A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Movie Review: Pirates 4 - On Stranger Tides

Perhaps no one was more wary of this last installment than I was... (well maybe there were a few of you). I love the Pirates series, but I have to admit that the last two movies in the original trilogy are just awful. They rarely make sense, and when they do make sense, it's for questionable reasons. So why go on to make a 4th, I would always ask. What haven't we done to this franchise that hasn't already been beat to death?

The answers to this question are this: We haven't had a sequel with a legit Jack love interest fraught with delicious sexual tension. We haven't had a sequel with a simple yet interesting story-line. We haven't had a sequel script that was fresh and didn't try to piggy-back on jokes that had already been warn down. We haven't had a sequel that completely focuses and centers around the glue that holds this entire franchise together: CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW. Of course, that is until now. This Pirates movie does all the things that made us love the first one, and more. Is it better than the original, perhaps not. But is it just as refreshing and fun? Absolutely. It may be that my expectations were so low that it surprised me, but I enjoyed the crap out of this one. 

I think it was absolutely necessary to make Jack the star once again in his own story. For too long, the movies have centered around other things that were weaker than the aura that is Sparrow. Not to mention convoluted. Trimming the fat of the franchise is what made this movie good. Not saying Orlando and Keira polluted the series, but without all the extra stuff, this movie was able to easily capture the audience without anyone saying... wait... but...? and I forgot about... wasn't he with...? OMG WHATEVER JUST FORGET IT.

Also, this movie wasn't too long. It was just right. I was entertained and happy the entire time and, just when it should have been wrapped up, it was. Plus, the movie  left me with a feeling of actually being interested in future movies in this franchise, something the last two did not achieve. I just wanted more of Jack being Jack (with actual good lines written for him!) and more time with Angelica, a character I was surprised to really like. I also really enjoyed the missionary and the mermaid, the new, silly crew members, and watching Barbosa be his usual awesome self. The Sparrow/Barbosa dynamic is another reason to truly love this film. Depp and Rush play off each other so well!

Overall, this is a great addition to the series, in my opinion. It brought us back to what made the first movie so much fun. It was able to revive in me, a skeptic, the desire to see more of this series and even hope for it. I highly suggest this for anyone who loved the original and wished the rest of the series was more like it. Here is your wish coming true.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review: City of Fallen Angels

This book came out last month and I was looking forward to it. I loved the first three in this series and I was really impressed with what she was able to do in this unique world she created. The characters were lovable and well developed. After the big plot points were done at the end of the third book I couldn't help but wonder: "Where will she go next?"

Unfortunately, this books was not good. It was compeltely self-indulgent, and in all the worst ways. The charm in the way Clare was able to use classic literary quotes in the first three apparently wore off and most of the time it felt like she was just throwing in random quotes to show off, not because it fit and added to the story. It has the feel of Breaking Dawn in that she is obviously writing for herself, so obsessed with her own creation, that she doesn't really care that she's kind of ruining what she had achieved before(or how readers feel), in the previous novels.

No character in this entire book is likable anymore (especially Alec, OMG what a HORRIBLE character to have to suffer through). Except for Simon, I actually liked him more in this book than the others. Other than him, everyone has turned either into a stupid/mushy/lovey/disgusting couple OR an annoying/whiny/petulant/dramatic couple. Sometimes both at the same time. There is SO MUCH DRAMA AND NOT THE GOOD KIND! For most of the book I felt like hardly anything had happened, save for a few tiny dramatic twists in Jace and Clary's story that meant nothing to me, even before I finished, because we ALL KNOW it's going to work out in the end. And when something finally does happen to push the plot along, this frightening event is SECONDARY to all the relationship drama going on. WHY is all the relationship drama between everyone more important than the horrible things going on behind the scenes? It makes no sense, and only decreases the sense of dread I'm assuming Clare wanted us to feel as it neared the ending.

Clare has taken Jace, an originally strong, Byronic hero and turned him into a hollow, Edward Cullen figure. It never stopped upsetting me throughout the book what she does to him. Even the way Clare describes Jace has changed. It makes him seem weaker, even in his presentation. He loses his depth by continually struggling with the same old problems that he's already tackled in the first three books. Along with that, Clare has changed Clary from a strong, spunky heroine to a dense, immature girlfriend who is rendered weak in the knees just by Jace's touch. Does that type of leading lady sound familiar to anyone else? Since when did Clare become Stephenie Meyer? Not only that, but the way she continuously describes their love affair again and again in the same overly-dramatic terms is sickeningly similar to the Twilight series. Especially because most of the book is spent showing us Jace's self-loathing actions predominantly made up of inexplicably pushing Clary away to save her from himself, then sulking.

What was so disappointing is that what Clare had before this book was so special. But she just couldn't leave well-enough alone. With this one book she has undermined and maimed this series. And the baby images were so good and terrifying, too! She wasted that great idea on a lame story and bad writing. Again, like Breaking Dawn, I have a feeling many fans will just be pretending this 4th doesn't exist. Unfortunately the ending of this book is not the ending. I guess, had I cared more, it would have been a cliff hanger, but since I was so tired of seeing Jace weak and being used by all types of weird new magic/rules Clare made up to perpetuate this affliction, it didn't strike me as a shock. It just irritated me. Guess I will be ignoring the 5th in this series, as well.

P.S. She referenced a line from Lord of the Rings. I know she did it on purpose because she's too big of a fan of that book not to know better. IT WAS NOT WELL RECEIVED.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fashion Review: The Met Gala

I haven't done a fashion review since The Oscars, so since The Met Gala just happened, I decided to put up a few pictures from there and do some critiquing! Please come check out the album and leave your own thoughts next to mine. You'll see ladies such as:

 Blake Lively...
 And Beyonce!
 ...and even Fergie...

 Click here to read my comments and make some of your own!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Twitter Famous: Elijah Wood tweeted me

For those of you who don't know me, this may seems silly... but ELIJAH WOOD is one of those people that I just have to meet before I die. If you have just tuned into my blog, Lord of the Rings means more to me than any other piece of literature or just art form in general, and Elijah's portrayal of Frodo has a lot to do with that. I started following him on Twitter as soon as I heard he had an account. Did I ever expect to get a response from him? I hoped. But did I ever expect to get two in one night, on specifically just for me? HECK NO!

I am SO glad Twitter exists! WILL NEVER HAVE A BAD DAY AGAIN.

The first time Elijah tweeted me, it was to clear up a rumor that Jared Leto had slapped him before. I posted a picture of the two of them together and this happened:

Then I totally freaked the frick out because ELWOOD just TWEETED me and my friends back and LOOK, my name is all lowercase so he like... must have RETYPED it... TYPED MY NAME .... (or I am just pathetic and think that's special but WHATEVER, didhetweetyou?no,okgetoffmethen...) Also, this means he saw that I called him beautiful.

So then I tweeted this and then THIS happened, the best thing ever in life:

He's GLAD he made my day better! WHY IS THIS MAN SO PRECIOUS? I feel SO lucky and SO happy and ... if I never get to meet him, this was just precious enough to make it ok!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Video Review: Judas by Lady Gaga

I've never written a video review before, but I thought I might try it this once and see how it goes. I am a fan of Lady Gaga and have loved her ever since her performance of the medley version of Bad Romance and Speechless at the AMAs in 2009. She broke glass over a flaming piano, but still it was her passion and performance that really wowed me that night. She won me over, and I really enjoyed almost every song on her first CD. I know she's odd, to say the least, but for the most part I think her first album was fantastic and well balanced. However, with the sensationalism of the first, it will be hard for her to top it with the second.

Lady Gaga: Judas Video

The thing that Gaga is known for is being original, however, the first single "Born This Way" was criticized for sounding horribly similar to "Express Yourself" by Madonna. I personally didn't mind. Even though I didn't think the song was the best I'd ever heard, it was catchy and fun to sing loud in the car. However, I'd have to say with this new video for her song "Judas," again, Gaga is suffering from unoriginality. I feel like she already did this with the "Alejandro" video with all that Christian symbolism. Also, that's basically the go-to thing to do if you want to shock people been there done that so it's not shocking at all. In fact, it was totally predictable. Also, sidebar: with all this backlash about how she "copied" Madonna, maybe the biblical symbolism ISN'T the way to go since (not only did she, herself, just do this but...) Madonna did that 22 years ago with "Like a Prayer." Not to mention, some awesome costumes and dance moves are wasted between some super LAME moves. I wish they had saved some of them for a better video, to be honest.

As for the lyrics, "I'd wash his feet with my hair even if he betrayed me 3 times,"what other purpose except shock do those lyrics serve? They aren't deep and it's a poorly constructed metaphor, if you can count it as one at all. That, unfortunately, makes the song seem shallow and contrived. I want her to return to flirting with the line instead of demolishing it, because honestly, if there is nothing left to the imagination, then what fun is it? Plus, if Gaga calmed it down just one little bit, made just ONE little song that was slightly innocuous instead of trying so hard to garner the title "controversial," and made a video using no religious symbols, I think she could easily gain some on-the-fencers who now dislike her back.    

Also, the hook of this song ("JudAH, Judah-AH-AH! JudAH, Judah-AH-AH!") is SO much better than the rest of entire song. Just saying. I also kind of wish she had saved that for a better song, too.

I know that Gaga isn't about doing what others want. She's about being who she wants to be, who she is. However, I don't feel that lately she has been who she is. I think once some of these celebrities get so huge, they don't know how to top themselves and so it becomes a matter of "How do I keep the spotlight?" I don't think that should be the goal anymore. She seems to be doing everything she can to be what she thinks will shock and confuse us to keep the attention. In that way is she not succumbing to the same thing that she preaches to all of us to shrug off and ignore? If it starts becoming "gimmicky" in order to keep the eyes of the press, then it is no longer original or sincere. I am afraid Gaga is headed that direction, and the only reason I point it out isn't because I am a hater, but because I adore what she has been and I don't want her to lose sight of that.

Lady Gaga's 2009 AMA performance.