Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Allison Harvard by Malan Breton

In these latest shots of Allison Harvard, she epitomises a beautiful mermaid in this shoot by Malan Breton. Breathtaking face, breathtaking eyes... simply beautiful! I'm so glad we're seeing so many test shots and shoots from Allison! She will be walking in New York Fashion Week which will be very cool and can't wait to see shots from the runway and backstage!

Check out more images below:



Monday, 30 January 2012

Casa dos Cubos by EMBAIXADA Architects


As an interior project from preserved exterior shell, the Casa dos Cubos by EMBAIXADA architects is based in Tomar, Portugal. Featuring "a public area for exhibitions, meetings and cafeteria and a private area consisting of Lecture rooms and accommodation for invited artists", it is a beautiful display of how an interior space can be so beautifully modernized. 

The use of concrete is inspiring and the way it interacts with the light and the incorporation of glass makes it truly stunning through the orthogonal and linear forms.

Check out more images below:

 

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Skyphos Chandelier by Katerina Smolikova


These are aliens nor not deep sea life. These are stunning glass chandeliers by Katerina Smolikova. Lined with LEDs, the chandelier glows and reflects light with tremendous qualities and becomes a landmark sculpture of a room.

Check out more images below:


Friday, 27 January 2012

'Mockingjay' by Suzanne Collins Book Review

The third and final book in 'The Hunger Games' trilogy, 'Mockingjay' concludes the 


~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Katniss is taken to District 13 and is prepped to become the 'Mockingjay', the symbol of the rebellion. Within this district with rules arguably stricter than the Capitol and led by the suspicious Coin, Katniss is made to film 'propos' (propaganda footage) to rally the districts to allegiance.

But when the Capitol retaliates with their own footage of Peeta calling for a ceasefire, will Katniss allow his torture to continue? Or does it break her beyond repair?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

'Catching Fire' by Suzanne Collins Book Review

Another three days later and I finished the sequel to 'The Hunger Games'. I was so eager to find out what happens to Katniss and Peeta that I just couldn't wait and whizzed through this one- and again, left wanting more!


~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Back in District 12, Katniss and Peeta get ready for their victory tour around all the districts. Having defied the Capitol with her rebellious action during the games, she gets a visit from President Snow to warn her that uprisings may occur if she portrays herself in the wrong way. Confused about her feelings towards Gale/Peeta, she puts off dealing with it and during the tour returns to her role as the star-crossed lover of district 12.

But it is not enough. As several districts are already in uprising, President Snow manipulates this year's Quarter Quell (every 25th Hunger games) and all the districts have to send in a boy and a girl from the victor's pool. Peeta and Katniss once again enters the games they so despise, but this time, their competition, all being victors, ensures certain death.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Roxanne Emery 'Turn Back' EP album preview

Roxanne Emery has just revealed the name to her upcoming EP to be released in March, titled 'Turn Back' and promises a music video in February. She also recently tweeted a list of songs she was writing which could all very well be on the upcoming release as 'Turn Back' is listed.

EP Tracklist:
1. Turn Back
2. Tug Of War
3. Walk Through Fire
4. Pick The Rose
5. All That I Am
6. Hero

She will also be touring with Matt Cardle in February and March. I wonder if she will start performing new tracks as the tour will finish at the end of March, so the EP could very  well be released by then! Roxanne will be performing one or two new tracks! :D
I cannot wait- check out her last EP 'An Introduction to Roxanne Emery'.

She previously tweeted a pic with the following tracklist:

1.Kalmer
2. Little Bird
3. Tug of War
4. Paint the Sky
5. Rough Roads
6. Can we be friends?
7. Last thing on your mind
8. Time to let go
9. Man of Honour
10. I will Dance
11. Love is a Star

Will this be the tracklist to her 'Tug of War' summer album release?

Jane by Design Season 1 Episode 4 (The Finger Bowl) Recap

Stunned by the relationship of Billy and Lulu, Jane freezes him out. Billy and Lulu flaunt themselves around the school, but Lulu hasn't told her father yet and her friend warns her about it.


Still quizzed by why Nick hasn't spoken to her since the dance, Jane's brother Ben who coaches Nick tells her to go find him at the baseball grounds. Jane apologises for leaving the dance and tells him that she did come back, but he was gone. She promises to make it up to him and he agrees.


At Donovan Decker, the task of impressing Miyoko Sato, editor of 'Modern Empress' magazine is of the utmost importance. With Gray's job at stake, Jane is asked to ensure they obtain that cover, as they have never managed to in the past.

Despite the initial repulse, Miyoko gives Jeremy another chance after Jane speaks to her by arranging a formal dinner. Jane breaks so many dining etiquette rules (drinking out of the finger bowl lol) that it actually reminds Miyoko of her younger self. Impressed by Jane's honesty, Jane takes her to a more 'relaxed' environment and treat her to a large burger, which she enjoys, and thus securing the deal.


At the restaurant, Jane bumps into Nick who is dining with another girl and there is an awkward moment between them both. Aww the look on her face!! Did he lie about 'practice' to meet this girl? Hmm... I dearly hope it's his cousin or something.



Ben also seems to be falling for Rita and vice versa.

Back at home, Billy waits for Jane and they make up.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Oscars 2012 Nominations (and My Predictions)

 
Following the 2012 Golden Globes, Jennifer Lawrence helped reveal the nominations for this year's Academy Awards. Here is a list of the 2012 Oscar Nominations:

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist *
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Tree of Life
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady*
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Johan Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer,  Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastian, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help *



Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris*
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Animated Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico and Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2*
Puss In Boots
Rango

Best Feature Film
War Horse
The Artist
Moneyball
The Descendants
The Tree Of Life
Midnight In Paris*
The Help, Hugo
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close*


Best Original Screenplay
The Artist
Midnight in Paris*
Bridesmaids
Margin Call
A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay 
The Descendants
Hugo
The Ides of March*
Moneyball
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

*My prediction/want to win

What are YOUR predictions?? 

Hugo lands a total of 11 nominations, beating out hot favourite The Artist with 10, with Moneyball and The Descendants following with 6 and 5 respectively.

I'm surprised Drive didn't get any nominations (apart from sound) nor did Shame. Also Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron did not get nominated. I don't know what half of those films are doing there but then again I haven't seen half of them!! 

Ryan Gosling who has been in 'The Ides of March', 'Drive' and 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' missed out on any categories, with Tilda Swinton losing out for her dramatic role in 'We Need to Talk about Kevin'.

This years Oscars seem a bit of a letdown, but I'll try to watch some before the awards like 'The Help' or 'The Artist'. The Oscars for 2013 should be amazing though given the number of great films coming out this year


The Oscars will be held on February 26th.

The rest of the nominations after the jump

Monday, 23 January 2012

'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins Book Review

I have just finished 'The Hunger Games' in three days- probably the shortest time I have ever finished a book and found it such a struggle to put down- and now on the hunt for the next book, Catching Fire.



~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Every year, during the 'reaping', two tributes, a boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts is chosen to compete in 'The Hunger Games', where only one of the twenty four can survive. When Primrose Everdeen gets picked, her sister Katniss offers to take her place as tribute. 

Whilst she is a good hunter, Katniss knows she cannot win the games, even with the suspicious help of Peeta, the boy chosen from her district. But she must try, for her sister and mother's sake. 

From the start of the book, the pace has been immense and I just couldn't put it down. This is partly due to the way it is written. Whilst most books end each chapter with some sort of closure, this book leads each chapter onto the next seamlessly.

The way the characters develop is also super strong. We get a real sense of who Katniss is and what she is thinking and she is a clever one. A lot of books force the character to think one way, but here Katniss is almost as clever as the reader, weighing out all the options, the questions we ask about the motives of the other tributes, she asks too. 

Apart from the likeable main character, we are also immersed into a world not so disimilar to our own, but yet feels fantastical and abstract. The modern themes and attitudes towards beauty, science, appearance, entertainment and so on are all reflected in the ways things work in the 'Capitol', and through the subtle descriptions, we reflect on our own world and attitudes.

Despite the description of the novel being somewhat scary, thrillerish or even grotesque (as my sister thought when she read the synopsis), this book is not at all like that. Whilst it does deal with murder, death, killing, the description is not overly explicit or gory.

And the way the deaths occur are clever, calculated and masterful. Every little detail, object, deed may be useful and revisited later. The beauty of the way the book flows and the way 'history' encapsulates the present and we receive so much back story subtly placed into it, it is as if we've read several books about these characters already. 

I found that it got a bit predictable towards the end. This is not a criticism. As I kept guessing at what will happen and how the book will resolve, I knew there would be a trick up their sleeve and some of the elements of  the final 'battle' scene was just how I'd predicted (I thought the hostage situation would've occured sooner to be quite honest)!

The author manages to keep us guessing right up till the end, especially with Peeta and Katniss' relationship. Is he her friend? Will he betray her? Could Katniss really trust and love him or is it all just an act? It really could've worked out both ways and it'd be justifiable. And it is this key ingredient which leaves you wanting more when you read the final lines of the book.

Much like the way the chapters worked as I discussed earlier, the ending of the book feels unfinished- like it is leading onto a next chapter which isn't there. As it ends so abruptly with no mention of Katniss and her family's reunion, it definitely doesn't offer the catharsis you expect. But thankfully, there is a second book.

And I will hopefully get the answers as I read the second book, starting RIGHT NOW!

~~~OVERALL~~~
Beautifully written, suspenseful and original, 'The Hunger Games' is seriously one un-put-down-able book. The themes, relationships and the near-future world is gripping and engrossing. Get your copy now and read it because the film will be out soon and I cannot wait to see it. (WATCH THE TRAILER HERE)

SIDE NOTE (mildly spoilerish): I really want Peeta and Katniss to be together. It is clear he loves her and they have so much history, and after the games, so much more. Whilst Katniss feels so close to Gale because of their hunting, he has never declared his love for her and I feel like she should at least give Peeta some sort of hope and tell him she wasn't just faking it... hopefully it will pan out in the upcoming books :P

Sunday, 22 January 2012

La Rioja by Frank Gehry


The stunning design by Frank Gehry of a vineyard in Spain called La Rioja reflects the architect's unique style and materiality. With his signiture use of sheet metal and elegant organic curves, he adds a subtle hint of colour, like the flow of red wine.

Arguably outlandish in such an area, it is a statement and a landmark.

Check out more images below:


Saturday, 21 January 2012

'Faces in the Crowd' Film Review

Randomly stumbled upon the trailer of this movie and it looked very interesting. Despite mediocre reviews, I still gave it a go and thought it was enjoyable, but not strong.

~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Anna (Milla Jovovich) witnesses the murder of a girl by the famed serial killer tearjerk Jack as she crosses a bridge home. Upon struggling with the killer, she falls off the bridge and hits her head. Upon waking up, she is diagnosed with face blindness, where she cannot recognise faces of her lover Bryce (Michael Shanks), her family, friends, even her own face.
 

Being the only survivor of the serial killer, she is distressed that he is after her. He could be right next to her and she wouldn't be able to recognise him. When one of her best friends gets killed by tearjerk Jack, Anna is adamant on uncovering his face from her memory.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Taranta Studios by Taranta Creations

 

The Taranta studios by Taranta Creations is a beautiful mix of modern design and innovative architecture. Renovated from an old metal factory, it retains some of its former elements but is refreshed with its organic, womblike structures, especially the vibrant red staircase and the cosy workstations.

I think the design is wonderful and also love the interior furnishings! Would love to work somewhere like this!

Check out more images below:

 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

'The Ides of March' Film Review

Nominated for four Golden Globes, 'The Ides of March' is certain to obtain some Oscar buzz. As I've not heard of or seen many of the films nominated this year, I thought I'd watch this having just seen 'Midnight in Paris'.

~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Junior campaign manager Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is helping governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) run his campaign as he believes in the man's integrity and his policy. Campaigning in Ohio, his opponent, Pullman has no chance if they win the delegates, but this would soon become a struggle as they find out the senator (Jeffrey Wright) is considering an endorsement from Pullman.


When he discovers incriminating information about Mike, will Stephen succumb to the dirty politics at hand to get what he wants? 

'Red Riding Hood' Film Review

For the past few years and the following year, fairytale remakes/reboots/adaptations/modernisations have been very popular in film, and with 'Red Riding Hood', this was one of those rare opportunities to really create something beautiful.


~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) have always been a bit of a rebel. Running around in the woods with lover Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), killing rabbits, resisting her impending arranged marriage to Henry (Max Irons)... but when her sister gets killed by the werewolf, and is told by famed werewolf killer Solomon (Gary Oldman) that it is someone from their village, suspicions arise as to who it is.


As the blood moon rises, the werewolf approaches Valerie and tells her it wants her. Will she give herself up to save the village? Who could it be? Her mysterious grandmother? Her dark lover Peter? Her fiance she doesn't love? The hunt begins...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Jane By Design Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

For her good work last episode for the preview line, Gray gives Jane a birkin, as a 'bag is supposed to reflect who you are'. With it, a list of things to do before she gets back from an auction- including breaking up with Brad.


India gets jealous of Jane and despite trying to be honest to Gray, Gray tells her 'you're no Jane', causing her rage and sabotage Jane, sending an invite to a party at Gray's house, where the trunk show is being held.


At school, Jane's brother Ben starts his first day at work, Jane is tied for top student with none other than Lulu and Nick has not spoken to her since the dance. And to top it off, she has a test tomorrow which will likely influence who gets top pupil.


With Billy's help, Jane gets all the tasks on the list done, except one- break up with Brad.


At Gray's house for a trunk show, everything is going according to plan until Brad shows up. As she is leading Brad to Gray's bedroom, the partygoers arrive and trash her house. Jane calls Billy for help and together, they clean the house just before Gray arrives.


But she forgot about Brad. Gray enters  her bedroom to discover Brad naked on her bed with rose petals. The next day, Gray is disappointed in Jane and takes back the Birkin.

Lulu flunks the test and declares to Billy that she wants to be with him regardless of her dad or her friends knowing. The show ends with Billy saying: 'I have to tell Jane'. We'll see how that goes!!

No Matt Atkinson this week but he'll be back next episode and perhaps this clip from the preview will be in next episode! Can't wait. :)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Taylor Swift in Vogue US (Feb 2012)

 

Taylor Swift covers the February issue of US vogue. In the magazine, she says that her next album, the follow up to the hugely successful 'Spreak Now' will be about break-up. Given her most recent romance has been with Jake Gyllenhaal, all guesses are on him and their relationship being the target of her songwriting. 

Swift will be performing at the Grammy's this year, most likely her latest single 'Ours', or even 'Safe and Sound' her song for highly anticipated film 'The Hunger Games'. Her fourth album will be out later this year and the issue of Vogue can be picked up on Jan 24.

Check out more images from the spread below:



'Midnight in Paris' Film Review

I'll admit that what drew me to this movie was ultimately Rachel McAdams, but I've always enjoyed Woody Allen's films- there's a quirk about them which is lovable, so this was sure to be good. And it won Best Original Screenplay at the Golden Globes!
 

~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Writer Gil (Owen Wilson) goes on a trip to Paris with fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) whom he has nothing much in common with. He has always wanted to live in Paris in the 20's. One night during a walk alone at midnight, Gil gets picked up by a vintage car, and is taken to the 20's. There he meets Picasso, Hemingway, Dali and many great minds, but amongst the famed, he also meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), a beautiful woman who he really connects with.


Through his adventures in the 20's, Gil develops as a writer, learns how to truly love and what he is searching for in the present, in reality.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Golden Globes 2012 Awards Red Carpet

 

Last Night's Golden Globes were certainly a bit disappointing, both in terms of awards and fashion. Firstly, I have hardly heard of most of the films nominated, let alone seen them, though I'm starting to watch them now, ready for the Oscars. Secondly, the fashion was all a bit flat- compared to last year anyway.


However, there were a few highlights. Firstly BEST DRESSED goes to Charlize Theron in a beautiful Dior gown- no wonder she's the face of the brand! I also really liked Sarah Michelle Gellar's dress, though many disliked it- and Tilda Swinton looked edgy as did Rooney Mara (though hated her hair).


Lea Michele also looked wonderful in Marchesa, in a gown very similar to what Rachel McAdams wore to her Midnight in Paris premiere at Cannes. And I'm very much on the fence with new hit comedy 'New Girl' star Zooey Deschanel- it's different, it's cute, but I just don't like it?

Natalie Portman shows off her post-baby body, though here is where they start to get boring- as did Mila Kunis, they both looked so much better during last year's awards, probably because they were acually nominated forsomething :/ but still...



On the men's front, they all looked pretty similar in tux but the stand out of the evening had to be Joseph Gordon Levitt's 'out-there' bow tie (love love love) and Leonardo DiCaprio looked suave.


Check out the list of winners below as well as my ramblings during the red carpet live stream.

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