Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week 4: March Movie Challenge

Another week where I only watched five instead of seven movies. I've come to the conclusion that watching a movie every day for an entire month is actually quite difficult. Week 4 coincided with swimming week at my son's school, meaning I was up mega-early each morning and very tired all week as a result. I now have four films to catch up on in the final week of my challenge, in addition to the last three movies that take me from Day 29 to Day 31. Seven films. So that come's to another entire week of movies. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I actually can't wait until this is over.

Here's what my March Movie Challenge is all about. And here are my posts on Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3. Following is what I saw in Week 4......

Quentin Tarantino double!

I loved this Quentin Tarantino-penned and directed war film based on the notion of an alternate history regarding Hitler and Nazi Germany. I can definitely see why Christoph Waltz won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Colonel Hans "The Jew Hunter" Landa, as he is phenomenal here. At 2 hours and 33 minutes, this is a very long film, but it never drags, and the long running time didn't bother me whatsoever. Graphic in parts, but that's to be expected when you're watching a Tarantino film.

Day Twenty-Three: ROOM 237
This is a fascinating subjective documentary detailing some of the various conspiracy theories and hidden meanings concerning Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror film The Shining. Some of the theories are a tad farfetched, but that doesn't make them any less interesting. I found the Apollo moon landing theory mind-blowing, to be honest. I love a good conspiracy theory. At the very least, this shows the immense attention to detail the highly intelligent Kubrick paid in setting up his scenes, even down to perceived minor background props and posters.

Day Twenty-Four: no movie

Casey Affleck mumbles his way through as Lou Ford, a small town sheriff's deputy who basically begins murdering people. The violence against women in this slow-paced film is brutal and sickening. I'm actually disgusted that director Michael Winterbottom thought it was a good idea to show a long, drawn out scene of Jessica Alba's prostitute character being repeatedly bashed, seemingly to death, in such gruesome, sadistic detail. Also Kate Hudson's character is violently murdered by Lou, which is also shown in graphic detail. However, when he murders men, it's a couple of quick gunshots in one case, and not even depicted onscreen, in the other. I would not recommend this film in the slightest.

Day Twenty-Six: DEATH PROOF
I like the unique way Tarantino has shot Death Proof, like a '70s grindhouse theatre movie, complete with jumpcuts and deliberately damaged film. Kurt Russell stars as Stuntman Mike, a psychopath who hunts down young women and kills them using his 'death-proof' stunt car. Quentin Tarantino shows up as Warren, the bar owner. Yes, this is graphic in parts (particularly the car crash scene), however towards the end, the women are empowered and definitely kick some arse. This has the usual QT-style dialogue and close-up shots of feet we've come to expect from this director. I must admit, some of the characters did annoy me, especially Zoe Bell (playing herself), Pam (Rose McGowan) and Kim (Tracie Thoms). Not Quentin Tarantino's best work (acutally, he agrees it's his worst film), but still worth a look.

Day Twenty-Seven: no movie

Day Twenty-Eight: HUNGER
Hunger, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, is a harrowing look at the real-life events surrounding the 1981 IRA hunger strike at Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. Gritty, dramatic, raw and moving, this film is immensely hard to watch. The prison cells are tiny, claustrophobic and filthy, with shit-smeared walls and urine everywhere. The bashings are brutal and intense. And then the hunger strike begins, and with it, scenes of an anorexic Fassbender, whose dedication to this film is undeniable. The physical deterioration of Bobby's body is heartbreaking and again, extremely difficult to watch. A very well-made film, with brave performances, that I don't think I could ever sit through again.

Have you seen any of these films?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Week 3: March Movie Challenge

Fail week! I only watched five out of seven movies, skipping two days. Life just got in the way this week, with sickness, tiredness, Sports Day at school and generally being mega-busy rounding out my excuses. Now I have the hard task of making up not one, but two movies in the final week of my March Movie Challenge. Here's how I fared in Week 1 and Week 2. Anyway, here's what I saw in Week 3...

Day Fifteen: TO THE WONDER
I really disliked this Terence Malick directed romantic-drama 'art' film. It's a painstakingly slow, boring set of 'beautiful' (matter of opinion) montages of hair blowing in the wind, sweeping scenery, and Olga Kurylenko dancing in fields. Ben Affleck is as wooden as ever. There's minimal dialogue. And the foreign language parts are subtitled, often with white text on white backgrounds. Seriously annoying, but luckily the movie sucked so bad, I gave up trying to read them after a while, because I really didn't give a shit.

This movie provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of Marilyn Monroe, during the filming of 'The Prince and the Showgirl' in 1956. Michelle Williams is fantastic as Monroe, doing well to capture her charm and vulnerability as well as her fragile, troubled side.

Day Seventeen: no movie

Day Eighteen: NIM'S ISLAND
This is a great fantasy adventure with lovely performances from Abigail Breslin and Jodie Foster in particular, who was over the top and hilarious; perfect for a kids film! Gerard Butler also stars but this fun adventure is all about the female characters. I enjoyed this film more than I anticipated.

Day Nineteen: MY LITTLE EYE
This horror flick, directed by Marc Evans, is TERRIFYING. Like actually have 500 heart attacks during the movie type terrifying. Unless I'm a total scaredy-cat (a highly likely scenario). Scary movie fans would love this, I reckon. Basically, five people agree to spend six months together in an isolated house, where their every move will be filmed. It's like Big Brother but a million times more frightening (if that's possible). 

I quite enjoyed this "coming-of-age" (in first time Director Floria Sigismondi's words) story. She says it's not a biopic and Joan Jett agrees, saying it's a "parallel narrative of The Runaways, based on Cherie's book". Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon give inspired performances as Joan Jett, Cherie Currie (The Runaways members) and Kim Fowley (their record producer) respectively. This film provided me with interesting insight into a band I knew little about. Great music, too!

Day Twenty-One: no movie

Have you seen any of these film?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Furless Mani: Getting my FREAK on!

Furless Cosmetics kindly sent me some of their nail lacquers to trial; Chic and Filthy Rich will be featured in upcoming blog posts, but for now, it's time to get my FREAK on!

Product: Furless nail lacquer in FREAK

Furless say: "Indulge yourself with our professional vegan and cruelty free nail lacquer. Furless nail polish is long wearing, fade resistant and is free from toluene, formaldehyde, carmine, and dibutyl phthalate."

Freak is a pretty emerald green. It looks great on the nails, but I must say I was a little worried after applying the first coat. It's quite a thin formula and one coat alone looked slightly transparent and uneven. However, things couldn't have turned out better after the second coat. The uneven patches were completely covered up and I was left with a solid, smooth and even block of emerald colour.

The square bottle design is very chic and stylish, making them great for displaying. I'm not sure how they'd go fitting in a nail polish tower, as I don't have one. It's on my huge Wish List!

I'm on Day Two, and so far no chips or wear. I like the glossy finish, too. I haven't used a top coat, but I did prep with A'kin Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme first. I'm really happy with this manicure, and can't wait to try out the other Furless nail lacquers.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post (I wasn't paid), however Furless is an affiliate of Max The Unicorn blog. The banner ads are affiliate links. If you purchase from Furless via clicking my link, I get a small payment. Product opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Week 2: March Movie Challenge

Two stacks of Movie Challenge goodness

Hey! My March Movie Challenge is going great, thanks for asking! I have yet to miss a day of viewing, and hopefully I can continue along that path. To catch you up, I set myself a challenge to watch a different DVD every day in March. A movie I've never seen before. You can read about the challenge here. Here's the post where I review what I saw in Week 1.

Now, onto Week 2 ........

Well I can report that it's better than the similarly-plotted Olympus Has Fallen, which was dire. Maggie Gyllenhaal is annoying (pretty sure universally, not just to me), but then you've got Channing Tatum, so things kind of even out. If you like action and EXPLOSIONS, this is your film.

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful"

Loved it! Amazingly brave performances from Matt Damon as Scott Thorson and Michael Douglas as the fabulous Liberace. Full of opulence and extravagance, completely fascinating and utterly brilliant. Director Steven Soderbergh redeems himself from the god-awful The Girlfriend Experience, which I saw last week.

Incredibly beautiful and breathtakingly sad. Heartbreaking, in fact. This film is about love, loss and grief. A wonderful lead performance by Colin Firth, and the Directional debut of Tom Ford. Have tissues at the ready!

Zac has a wee-ly big crush

It's all tits, ass, blonde hairpieces, false eyelashes and short dresses and then shit gets dramatic. John Cusack is creepy and sweaty, Zac Efron cops wee in the face, Matthew McConaughey cannot catch a break and there's a lot of "bitch, open your mouth". And I'll leave it there.

This shit is no laughing matter

Day Twelve: SNOWTOWN
Get ready, I have strong feelings on this one. In a nutshell, I feel like the subject matter is too disturbing and repulsive to get any enjoyment out of the movie. I couldn't even appreciate good storytelling, skilled Directing or fantastic performances, because I was too sickened by gruesome murders and stomach-turning torture. Not to mention the killing/dismembering of animals, which I turned away for. I can normally force myself to watch pretty much anything, but some scenes proved unwatchable. Even worse, this film is based on the real-life 'bodies in barrels' murders that took place in Snowtown, South Australia in the 1990's. Snowtown is gritty, intimidating, uncomfortable and horrendous. The only positive comment I have is that Lucas Pittaway, the actor who played Jamie, reminds me of a young Heath Ledger. Note that this film won numerous AACTA Awards, so it's not a bad film, it's just not for me.

The lemon cheesecake I ate while I watched this film was good. The film was pretty blah. If you're a hardcore Charlize Theron fan, you get to see her boobs, so there's that. Also, check out Jennifer Lawrence's acting before her meteoric rise to A-List status. It's pretty funny seeing her name billed three or four pages into the cast list.

Kids ask a lot of question during films, don't they?

My six year old son loved this 3D computer animated comedy, which has funny bits for adults to appreciate, too. Personally I loved Ricky Gervais as the computer system voice. My son loved the 'freezing bits'. It's colourful, energetic and a bit of fun for the whole family.

If you've seen any of these movies, let me know what you thought! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Week 1: March Movie Challenge

I set myself a challenge to watch one movie every day in March (you can read about it here) and so far, it's going well. There's only been one day where I really just wanted to go to bed and had to force myself to watch something. So I picked a really short film. Here are my thoughts on the movies I saw in Week 1.

This Christmas flick was cute and funny, even for adults. Great 3D animation and I love me a bit of Hugh Laurie, even if it is just his voice. My six year old talked continuously throughout, commenting on everything, asking questions, etc, so he was totally engaged with it and afterwards said he thought it was really good.

Day Two: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
'Wow' would be my own-word review. This is a very slow-moving epic sci-fi by Stanley Kubrick. Afterwards, I tweeted "What the Motherfuck?! I was fine 'til the freaky timewarp monolith acid trip. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? #2001ASpaceOdyssey #MarchMovieChallenge". Also might have tweeted "Hal is a bastard".

With only three actors in the cast, this thriller managed to captivate and excite me, keeping my interest with various plot twists and Gemma Arterton's boobs.

Day Four: BAIT
Is it wrong that I liked this? I don't care. I'm a Xavier Samuel fan and I thought Sharknado was hilarious, so I was probably always going to enjoy this. Utterly ridiculous, with some awesome OMG moments, Bait was a real guilty pleasure.

Day Five: ONCE
I wanted to like this! I thought I would. I'd heard people rave about it. And on some levels, it is beautiful, quaint and lovely, but for me, too much music, not enough romance. It just went nowhere! I'm annoyed by the bad decisions the two leads made with respect to their love lives. Its frustrating and sad. I wanted to scream at the TV.

This was freaking god-awful. Badly lit (on purpose) with horrible characters that I felt no empathy towards. The constant scenes with the group of obnoxious business men talking about the financial crisis were the worst.  '2009 experimental indie-drama' gone wrong. Thanks for nothing, Steven Soderbergh.

It took me a while to get into this vampire flick starring Gemma Arterton (again!) and Saoirse Ronan, but as it turns out, it exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed seeing Elementary's Jonny Lee Miller as a baddie, as I really just think of him as Sherlock Holmes. The best thing about Byzantium, however, is the beautiful mother/daughter relationship between the two female leads. That, and Gemma Arterton's boobs. 

A month of movies

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nude Sparkly Zoya Nails!

Zoya professional lacquer in Diem

Something amazing happened: I cleaned up. In the process I found an old lover, my Zoya 'professional lacquer' in Diem. Oh how I longed for thee! Not really, I'd completely forgotten about it, but that doesn't mean I wasn't excited to slick this baby on my talons! I fondly remember the faint pretty sparkle of the flattering pinky-nude hue.

Work your magic!

Something else amazing happened: for the first time pretty much ever, I actually prepped with A'kin Lavender, Geranium & Jojoba Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme. It was a lot thicker than I expected, but with a subtle, pleasant fragrance and (most importantly) the ability to soften any dry bits of skin and make my hands look presentable in these photos.

Conservative, no?


Two coats, no top coat

Disclaimer: I won both of these products. This is a non-sponsored post.