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Thursday, October 23

2013 Movie Reviews Pt 2

Every few months, I like to bring you a review of all the movies I watch... and I watch a lot of movies. Also see my 2013 Part 1 Reviews and all the movies I was looking forward to watching in 2013. All of these should be out on DVD now since this post is so overdue... so go Redbox 'em!


Beautiful Creatures - That stereotypical movie is about a witch who moves into a religious town... a tale of destiny, love and finding oneself. I didn't mean to watch this movie, but it really turned out better than I expected. It's based off a YA book, I believe, and an overall enjoyable movie if you generally like YA books. Otherwise I wouldn't seek it out. Pretty people and effects. 

World War Z - Zombies everywhere! Wasn't initially going to watch this film either but it wasn't too bad. I like the big "twist" in the film. The effects were pretty awesome to watch as well (if you watch the trailer, you get the zombie swarming picture). I think it has pretty solid acting on all parts too. While I wouldn't recommend this if you don't generally like horror movies, it's more of an action adventure than straight horror. 

Kick-Ass 2 - Sequel to Kick-Ass, about a kid who decides to become a superhero, but with very real consequences. This was great. If you liked the first one, you're sure to like this one too. It follows a very similar arch but with the same gruesome deaths, awesome action scenes and moments that make you tear up. 

Thor: The Dark World - Sequel to Thor. As the royal family deals with the aftermath of Loki's actions in Avengers, Thor needs to defeat a new evil and save his lady. Love this movie! It had all the great Loki moments and banter I was looking for between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. Supporting characters were awesome and hilarious. You will have to suspend your disbelief a bit for this film, but it's definitely for you if you like the costumed action hero trope. 

This is the End - This stoner comedy starred James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogan as well as a bunch of cameos. The stars play themselves in the post apocaltypic Los Angles. I loved the first third and the last third of this movie, but I got a little lost in the middle where it was more scary than funny. However, this is a heartwarming (if you're a bit twisted) film about friendship. 

Hansel & Gretel - A steampunk retelling of Hansel and Gretel. You're not going to be impressed by this movie as the plot, effects and dialogue was all a bit lacking, but if you take a child to see it, I think they would like it! 

Jack the Giant Slayer - This film didn't stray too too much from the original story other than the addition of a princess. It's definitely a tale geared for children, but an enjoyable watch for adults. 

Upside Down - A science fiction love story about twin worlds with opposite gravities... that I didn't finish. To be honest, I really enjoyed this movie, but apparently it was so hokey to my boyfriend that he couldn't finish watching it. The science portion of the science fiction was flawed, I admit, but it has gorgeous visuals and an adorable love story. If you love a good love story, I'd really recommend this! 

GI Joe Retaliation - There's a new cast of characters in this film featuring an elite military group called "The Joes" but the same ridiculous type of storyline. That means, of course, that I absolutely loved the action. I think the worse the story is, the more I like it. 

The Heat - This action buddy cop comedy between Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy had me expecting great things, but still fell a little short. That's not to say that I didn't like the film or that it didn't make me laugh out loud, but it's not one of those classic comedies that makes you want to rewatch it, laughing all the time. 

RIPD - RIPD stands for Rest in Peace Department, a police department located in the afterlife. I usually really like gimmicks like this but the CGI was terrible and Jeff Bridges was completely unintelligible and not at all funny. This could have been a really cool movie if 1. They had more believable CGI and 2. Someone told Jeff Bridges that no one understood him. 

The GrandMaster - This film told the story of the Grandmaster, most famous for being Bruce Lee's teacher. This film was artistic, not what I normally watch and not what I expected either. I thought some parts were great, but other parts really dragged on. If you're interested in the subject matter though, I would recommend this film for you. 

The Wolverine - This movie was very strange. Despite it being a very American movie, almost all of it was set in Japan. That's fine and all... but large chunks of the movie was also in Japanese with no subtitles. At times, I felt like I was watching a foreign film. The action was alright, the villan was awesome, but the movie felt very strange. A combination of the language, the off kilter romance, and the conflict distracted me from what might have been a solid action flick. 

White House Down - My boyfriend says I have an obsession with Channing Tatum. I don't think I do. But looking back on all the movies of his that I've watched, I can definitely see how he thinks that. Channing Tatum stars in this film about terrorists taking over the White House. He's in a lot of comedy, which I like. He's also in a lot of action flicks, which I love. In this movie, he mixes the action with the comedy. I found the film to be highly enjoyable because it doesn't take itself too seriously. 

The Bling Ring - I really watched this movie on a whim, not really understanding anything about the "stealing from celebrities" scandal. I thought it was an interesting movie and I appreciated this particular view of Hollywood. It's from a kid's perspective and makes the lifestyle seem at once, very real and very so far removed from society. No wonder child celebrities are often times weird and have trouble adjusting. 

Pacific Rim - If you saw the trailer with giant monsters and robots, you've seen the trailer for this film. I knew this was a huge summer hit, but I hated this movie. The plot (we need giant robots to punch giant monsters to save the world) was so incredibly unrealistic... and I'm clearly not even someone who watches a lot of realistic movies! The effects of this movie were nice, but it didn't make up for how nonsensical the premise was. 

Red & Red 2 - I'm a fan of throwback movies and senseless action movies. This was both. Former assassins have to get together again to complete a mission with a civillain female love interest. The film wasn't great, but it was a fun few hours. 

We're the Millers - When watching the trailer, I didn't feel like this was going to be my sense of humor. It seemed a bit vulgar and filled with drug related humor, which I generally don't like. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The movie seemed to have quite a bit of heart and even made me tear up. 

Machete Kills - I know I'm sounding like a bit of a broken record here. I like it when a movie doesn't take itself too seriously. Pacific Rim took itself too seriously and it was disappointing. Machete Kills knew it was ridiculous and that made it an awesome movie.Of course, if you're not into sexy women and gratuitous violence, you probably won't like this film. 

Last Vegas - This film starts Morgan Freeman, Michael Sheen, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline as four old friends. One of the friends get married and they head off to Vegas to celebrate the Bachelor Party. Hangover: Senior Citizen style. I didn't expect anything from this movie but found myself really enjoying it. Everyone in the film had different issues and it dealt with the frailty of life and love in a sincere settling. 

AnchorMan 2 - This film, sequel to Anchorman, follows Ron Burgundy with his wife in New York. I can't decide if I like this movie. I love to quote it. I know that. I absolutely adore certain moments in it. As a whole, it's just so dumb. Ron Burgundy, as a character, is so incredibly irritating that he makes me dislike the film. If you generally dislike Will Ferrell, I'd say skip this film. The Hobbit: 

The Desolation of Smaug - Wow. I love the nonstop action here. This film, like other LOTR films is both beautiful, smart and action packed. Though it deviates greatly from the original Hobbit, I found all the additions to be to my liking. Sure, it adds a romance and some cinema drama, but it doesn't cut away from the core. I think my top films for the second half of 2013 are Thor and the Hobbit!

Monday, September 22

The MOST BASIC Work Outfit

Due to a new location, I've been really slacking on outfit photos. I'm working on getting a good location and setting up lighting, etc. Work in progress, all over again. I miss my wall. In the meantime though, here's a boring cellphone picture of the most boring Work Outfit in the world. 


White shirt, black pants, black bag. 

Necklace: Tiffany's (Gift)
Blouse: Halogen ($21.99, on sale from $36.10)
Pants: Gap ($35.00)
Bag: Target ($24.48, on sale from $34.99)

In all honesty, I HATE this outfit. I feel like no matter the fit of the clothing, I'll always look like a child in this outfit. It's as if I'm wearing my father's clothing. 


Do you ever wear this combo? Or do you opt for something with a bit more flair?

Monday, September 15

Graze Box Number 5

If you haven't heard of Graze, it's a subscription box that includes four snacks. Each box costs $6.49 but using the offer code below, you can get your first box free! 

Here's what I got in my most recently box!

Natural Vanilla Seeds - I can't really say that this tasted like vanilla... more like just plain seeds, but I liked them well enough. They were a tad bland but the constant hand to mouth motion kept me entertained for a good long while. 



Mango Chutney  - Definitely had that Indian Chutney flavor in 'em. These jam products are a hit or miss. I liked this one a lot but definitely needed a bit of a mint afterwards. 



Summer Berry Compote - The jam here was pretty good (sweet, but not overly so). However, I was not a fan of the shortbread. It crumbled apart too quickly and tasted dry/stale. 

Yin and Yang - This was not memorable at all. Now that I'm looking at the photo again, it doesn't look incredibly attractive either! Every part of this snack was tasty... however, it really didn't blend together too well.

Use this code to get your first box of four snacks completely free!
WZJ6K4K5P

Thursday, August 28

Straight Legged Ankle Pants

I love the look of these straight legged ankle pants. I think these are comfortable, stylish, and perfect for the workplace. They work great with heels and flats. Blouses, tanks and sweaters pair with these pants with no problem. When I started working, I didn't own any, but now, I've got three in different colors and my collection is growing rapidly. 

Here's an example from Forever 21, but these are really available anywhere at all different price points and qualities.
Essential Twill Ankle Pants, Forever 21
 
My favorite fit has been the Julie Ankle Pant in Petite sizing from Loft. They're the perfect length for heels and flats, stretchy, and great quality (with the exception of a bit of fading).  


Julie Straight Legged Mid Weight Pant, Loft
They come in a ton of colors. I own 2 pairs of black pants (different materials) and one pair in a dark green. Definitely thinking of branching out into navy... and maybe something bright too!


True Straight Pants, GAP
Do you like this style? Where do you purchase work pants?

Thursday, August 21

Musical Instrument Museum

You guys probably didn't know this (nor would it ever really be relevant) but there's a Musical Instrument Museum on Arizona. Nestled in the desert, this building might seem out of place... but the aesthetically pleasing architecture makes it seem natural in the desert landscape. 
Once inside, you see long curvy hallways that remind me of concert halls. Fitting, given the theme and in fact, the museum does host concerts quite often. Though there's a lot to see. I visited the majority of the museum in a few hours.

First, I started off in a room that sorted music by geographic location; we traveled the world through song and sound, learning about how all sorts of instruments evolved through time. 

 Then, we went to a room that featured a lot of modern artists. One of the coolest exhibits I saw was this Olympic Drum from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I never realized it was so intricate up close. 

Lastly, after an entire day of being forbidden to touch the instruments, there was an interactive room. Bongos, drums, gongs, a theramin and even an automated machine were available to play with.


If you're looking for an event to do with parents or young kids, I highly recommend this. There was a surprising number of young adults just wandering the halls alone, too. Very fun to visit at least once!


Anything similar in you area? Or is the Musical Instrument Museum one of a kind? 

Monday, August 4

Revlon Matte Lipstick in Standout Review

When I opened this lipstick, I was immediately struck by how similar to a large chubby crayon it looked. But when I put it to my lips, it made a very defined red line. 250 Standout was much brighter than I'd ever thought it could be. The pigmentation of this lipstick made me nervous. Would it be hard to put wear? What if I drew outside of the lines? Despite my fears, I continued applying the gorgeous cool toned red color. Its matte finish doesn't accentuate dry lips as much as I thought it would. 


Overall, I have a pretty positive reaction to the product. However, I do have two major complaints. The first is that this lipstick transfers. Don't plan on having this lipstick stay on if you're going to be kissing someone (even a light peck on the cheek) or eating. If you don't accidentally transfer though, the lipstick lasts a few hours and leaves a nice stain effect. My second issue is more personal. I think, having an olive undertone and warm skin, this exact shade of red was not right for me. However, I am a pretty big fan of the application, which is very creamy. I also like the feeling of it on my lips which is quite moisturizing.  

The search for a perfect red continues!

Monday, July 21

Haley's Heavenly Scents

I first ordered from this site about a year ago. You can read about the scents that I ordered here. I enjoyed this site so much that I thought I'd order again. Her shipping time is by no means fast (she took a month to get these out to me) but to me, the pluses outweigh the minuses. She has a TON of scents, various lovely shapes and she's always always affordable. 

Let me share what I got this time!


Peeps - Sugar, sugar, sugar... and perhaps a bit of marshmallow. This smells sweet and bright. It perks you up wonderfully with a bit of a sugar rush, but isn't cloyingly sweet. 


Creme Brulee - You might expect this to be super sweet but while it is definitely a desert scent, it's more of a subdued caramel scent. Much more sophisticated than the Peeps smell. 


Apple Cinnamon - A great cinnamon scent that's not to harsh on the nose. It's sweet, but not overwhelming at all since the apple adds a bit of tartness. A perfect scent for the fall (or to remind you of the fall). 



Rosemary Mint - Ugh. I don't like this one at all. That's not the fault of Haley's though... Unfortunately, I had to purchase this to discover that I really don't like the rosemary scent. 

Toasted Marshmellow - Since this is another sweet dessert scent, I don't really distinguish it too much from Creme Brulee. If any difference, I'd only notice the lack of a caramel scent. 

Overall, my favorites have to be the apple cinnamon (tart + sweet make a great combination) and the Creme Brulee for when I just want a really nice sweet scent.