Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
In the past month alone I have seen The Happening, Sex and the City, Kung Fu Panda, Indiana Jones, Prince Caspian, Iron Man, and Horton Hears a Who and I still have plans to watch Don't Mess with the Zohan and The Hulk. So am I addicted to the movie theater? Perhaps. But that's one addiction for which I have no plans of quitting.
So here are my thoughts on some of the recent films I watched.
- The Happening. So I pretty much love M. Night Shymalan, although I have no clue how to say his last name. He thrilled me with Sixth Sense, spooked me with Signs, ensorcelled me with The Village, and touched me with Lady in the Water. But, as a close friend of mine put it "he's a one trick pony." The Happening did nothing for me, just like the rest of his films it had the eerie beginning, the tense middle where we don't really know what's going on, and the surprise ending where we're flooded with the moral background to the film. Although I still love M. Night Shymalan, I'm getting bored with his one trick.
- Sex and the City. Hello lover! As I learned later, this movie was pretty much an extended episode. Not having been exposed to more than six episodes of this famed HBO series before I saw the movie, I like to think I went into the theater a Sex and the City virgin. I came out, however, an addict; do you suppose there are support groups for this? All I can think about now is Carolina Herrera, Fendi, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, and falling in love in New York City. There was one weird part in the movie, though. It's called Jennifer Hudson. Considering she's the only academy award winner in the entire cast she gave a surprisingly horrible performance. Ah well, the magnificent fashion easily overshadows her anyway.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was everything it promised to be- fun, exciting, adventurous...but what the blazes was with the alien bit, huh? Cinematically it was pleasing, but the story was slightly too sci-fi for my tastes.
- Iron Man. Who better to play a drunken billionaire playboy than Robert Downey Jr.? I was absolutely enthralled with the film. Not only did it translate fantastically from comic book to movie screen(better than any other DC or Marvel attempt), but it was smash on its own as a movie. I couldn't have been happier with it.
I can only hope The Hulk can block out the painful memory of its predecessor, The Incredible Hulk. Although I don't expect too much cinematically with Zohan, I'm sure it'll create a few laughs. After all, a summer at the theater is a splendid thing, if only for the air conditioning and electricity in the air.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Just like women's fashion is soaking up the sunshine in the color yellow, men's clothing is submersed in oceans of blue. I consider blue to be a color that, when used appropriately, can be both a neutral and a focal in the same outfit. This means that it's not only okay to go beyond jeans and a plain white tee, but it's even suggested that men experiment with bright stripes and (gasp) even florals! Yes, I did say florals. Beach ready and blue, this ties in with another trend, which is rather appropriate considering today is Earth Day.
The petal-pushing fad of which I speak is none other than environmentally conscious clothing. This season, men are at liberty to explore their hippie-roots for style and don slouchy moccasins and recycled shirts whilst cruising along in their new hybrid. One suggestion: keep it crisp and clean. Forget the dusty clothing fringed in dirt and stitched-on flowers and keep in mind that cleanliness is next to, well, environmentally conscious-ness.
One more note on men's fashion: although we're seeing a lot of clothing that mimic social movements, classic lines and clean cut men never go out of style. I'm not saying you have to look like Gerard Butler or dress like George Clooney every night, but maintaining a solid, classic look is always a good idea. John Krasinski is probably the best example of a celebrity who knows just how to dress. He maintains great looks and brilliantly ties in current styles every now and then without getting too fancy schmancy.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I do wonder sometimes how future societies will look back on our here and now, and if they will have their version of little old lady antique rooms, but instead of mannequins wearing floral dresses next to lace up boots and empty bottles of castor oil, they could be wearing high-waisted skinny jeans and a bright trench coat beside an empty bottle of Trimspa diet pills.
In any case, I think that fashion is making a turnaround and although it's just the tip of a hopefully large iceberg, it seems to be that the so called 'real woman' is starting to be justly portrayed by the fashion industry. Instead of splinter-thin models and jutting-out hip bones, more and more designers are choosing to hire models that, while still incredibly thin, have a bit more substance to their structure. What this means is that clothes will be made for people who do more than act like a hanger (and look like one).
I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the overall fun nature of the trends this season. Clothing is getting the chance to be slightly more playful and less practical and based more on enhancing a female figure.
Try some of these fantastic trends on for size:
- The color yellow. Call it intuition, but I've been saying for months that yellow is going to be huge. So blogging family, I bequeathe unto you this savory saffron shade and wish you enough good sense to NOT choose a yellow which washes you out. Also, you don't have to stick to this one color, anything bold and bright will surely suffice!
- Trench coats. I indulged in this trend early on and purchased a luscious red trench just perfect for spring. Unlucky for me, I live in a place where it'll snow one day and blaze with heat the next, neither of which are very condusive to trench-wearing. In any case, it still looks great even if I don't wear it outside.
- Feminine silhouettes. Yay! This goes along with the runway turnaround we're seeing and the end of rail-thin models. Florals and large splashy prints abound in this curvalicious trend as well as sundresses. This means fun dresses belted at the waist and topped off with none other than the nexttrend, which just happens to be my personal favorite...
- Wide-brimmed hats. Goodbye boring heads of hair and welcome back glamorous hats! Every year around Easter time I'll walk into a department store and I can't help but drool over the large elaborate hats made specifically for elderly female church-goers. Unfortunately I don't think the large hat idea will take off too fast in Utah, but it won't be too long before we see heads adorned with floppy hats reminiscent of the 1970's or casual versions of the gorgeous hats previously seen only at horse races.
- I believe Rihanna sports a look that encompasses many of the looks most women are going for this season, bright colors, bold prints, belted waist enhancing a feminine silhouette, and of course the beloved trench coat. I wouldn't suggest sporting only the coat and nothing else as it seems Rihanna is doing. In fact, I must insist one wears other clothing beneath the trench coat.
Although I quite enjoyed last spring's black and white trends which focused on prints more than color, I can't help but drool over the girly, fun, and beautifully flattering styles that will adorn feminine figures everywhere.
Granted, Logan isn't a big city with a lot of nightlife going on, but it is a city based around culture, and not only the religious kind. Cache Valley is just brimming with artistic opportunities, with everything from sculptures and paintings to poetry readings, live opera, and coffee house jazz performances. All this and more can be yours for the simple price of, well, actually, all you have have to do is look in the right places.
One of the best places to go in Cache Valley if you're looking for a classier date night is the Ellen Eccles Theater, located in the heart of Logan on Main Street just south of Center. Tickets can run anywhere from 5 bucks up to about 40, depending on the show and seating in the theater. I've been to my share of performances at the theater and every time I am simply astounded by the intricate designs and elegant artwork that seems to dance along the walls and even the ceiling. No performance is ever disappointing, and most leave me wanting more. Their next show is Beauty and the Beast which runs April 25, 26, 28, 30 and May 1-3, 5. For more information on performances and tickets visit the Cache Valley Center for the Arts website http://www.centerforthearts.us/e_eccles.html.
Another place where entertainment is guaranteed for the small price of a 5 dollar ticket is the Logan Art Cinema. I've mentioned it before, but it's definitely worth mentioning again. Anybody who has ever been outside Cache Valley knows that the theaters here just aren't normal; they only play a select few movies that usually have opened elsewhere in the country much earlier and have proven their ticket-drawing worth. I'm not saying it's bad to base a business off of sources of income that are sure and for certain, but once that business fails to expand their horizons even slightly, well, then they become pure evil. Although I'm not a typically a fan of huge corporation, I sure do wish there were a Harkins or an AMC nearby. The Art Cinema, however, plays the rest of the films the bigger(albeit smaller than normal) theaters around here don't play. They'll play one at a time for several weeks then move on to the next. The films are killer and the tickets are cheap. The downside? Only one employee- so don't count on buying popcorn if there's a line at the ticket counter. The cinema is located at 795 N Main in Logan.
Okay let's see, so far we have classy night at the theater and the rogue feel of maverick films, what else could anyone possibly want? Hmm, music, perhaps? Caffe Ibis is arguably the best thing to happen to Logan. Besides making the best Chai Latte this side of the Prime Meridian, Caffe Ibis plays hosts to many local artists on a regular basis. They have live music every Friday from 7-9 PM and 12:30 PM on Sundays. Being the environmentally conscious business that they are, it seems only appropriate that they would support Earth Day in one way or another, but they went way beyond the call of duty. On April 22, 2008 Caffe Ibis will not allow "to-go" cups outside the store(so bring your own mug) and Phil Leffler, a local folk rock and acoustic artist, will be performing from 12-2 PM, along with bio-friendly awareness speeches and a way fun raffle. Oh yes, did I mention that it's free to go and listen? Woohoo! Visit their myspace page to learn more http://www.myspace.com/caffeibis.
Ellen Eccles Theater, Logan Art Cinema, and Caffe Ibis are definitely my top three(in no particular order) but there are many more things to do in Logan, just maybe not so awesome or convenient. For now, however, feel free submerge yourself into these flowing wonders of the artistic world of cultured Utah.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Warning: List may include pop princesses and/or an otherwise unheard of New Zealand band.
- Leona Lewis "Spirit"- Lewis's single "Bleeding Love" floods the airwaves and makes us all pine after some long-lost love. Whether or not this British songbird's a keeper is still up in the air.
- Mariah Carey "E=MC2"- The title refers to the success of her last album, "Emancipation of Mimi" and the success it brought, thus Emancipation= Mariah Carey Squared refers to another hopeful success. I'm not exactly a stalwart fan of MC's, but I have to give her props for her amazing comeback after the shiny squall that was "Glitter" and her winning out over Elvis for most Number 1 hits. There's something to be said for a princess that can beat out a king. (note: Glitter was a shiny squall because nobody could survive through it-I tell you, zero survivors!)
- Flight of the Conchords "Flight of the Conchords"- This band hails from ye old New Zealand and stars in their own reality show on HBO. The show is ridiculous, absurd, hilarious, yet charming all the same. If their CD is anything like their show, Ill be first in line to buy it.
- Ashlee Simpson "Bittersweet World"- I've only ever liked two songs of Simpson's, both of which came out in the black nailpolish and punk T-shirt stage of my life. According to a statement released by Simpson earlier this month, however, this album is supposedly a "fun party album" with a "silly and quirky side." This, along with her recent engagement and to Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz and rumors of pregnancy, surely will boost record sales.
- Madonna "Hard Candy"- Madonna is like the blonde, physically fit version of the Energizer Bunny. She just keeps going, and going, and going..... Note how the Bunny is definitely dated to the 80's and Duracell dominates in sales. But she still keeps going, and going, and going...yawn. Unfortunate for the likes of young talents like Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, Madonna roped them in for the single "4 minutes," which musically isn't too displeasing, but the video is...ummm, scary.
- Jason Mraz "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things"- To me, Mraz is the real deal. He doesn't seem to get involved in the party aspect of the music industry and creates solid songs with definite musical asepcts without turning off the younger crowds- much unlike many of the squealing, nonsensical artists we find today. Having placed several of his songs on my zune's quick list, I look forward to see what brilliance this album will exude.
Although I believe the music industry is at a turning point and needs some serious changes, there's no denying that there are still quality artist out there, you just have to sift through some garbage to find them. Now if only a music sifter came with every CD purchase.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
- "Juno"- Quirky, hilarious, and endearing; definitely worth the hype.
- "Lars and the Real Girl"- Strangely charming. You'll either love it or you'll hate it.
- "Charlie Wilson's War"- intriguing film that gives some insight into national relations in the early 1980's as well as today.
- "Cloverfield"- I'm all for the monster movies, but the shaky handheld camera approach just doesn't work for me. It's like Blair Witch, but you'll get eighteen times more sick.
- "My Boy Jack"- I actually haven't seen this, but I found it interesting that Daniel Radcliffe would star in a made-for-TV movie after his success in the theaters. It's received many good reviews and because it's based on Rudyard Kipling's biography of his son(by the same title), I'll definitely take time to watch this film.
- "27 Dresses"- Perhaps Katherine Heigl was hoping the world would forget her first attempt at the big screen in "Knocked Up" with this movie, but I'm afraid it didn't exactly give her as much box office credibility as her "Grey's Anatomy" costar Patrick Dempsey. The plot was obvious and the script mundane, but it still managed to get by with the hopeless followers of cheesy romantic comedies...like myself.
- "Diving Bell and the Butterfly"- Another film I haven't seen but has received such beautiful reviews that I couldn't pass up mentioning it's release date. This one's definitely on my to-watch list.
- "Golden Compass"- I like to forget all the controversy surrounding this flick and watch it in its own environment, the theater, and soak in all the brilliant casting and exhilirating special effects. That's good enough for me.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Althought I was in LA for a track meet and not for sight seeing, I still managed to fit into my schedule the traditional and sometimes tacky tourist attractions. First and foremost, of course, is the Hollywood walk of fame. Had my camera not run out of batteries on the drive over to the walk I would have oh so many photos to post. But it did. So.
The walk is, well, interesting. There are loads of stars with names I've never even heard of, but just as many(or possibly even more) of which I have. More interesting to me, however, was the front of Grauman's Chinese Theater where celebrities will imprint their hand and feet into a concrete slab next to their signature. I searched and searched for celebricious hands or feet that could rival mine in size and only found two, whose names I will not disclose for several reasons, but mainly I am just shocked and somewhat appalled at the physical sizes of the celebrities! Judy Garland could have been a porcelain doll!
A similar shock came after I visited the Wax Museum. Again, I wish I could have had a working camera, but I will forever have the picture of Arnold the Barbarian burned into my mind. Just think, California, he's your governator!
In my opinion, the Wax Museum wasn't exactly worth all the hype. Besides having all the figures behind velvet ropes and not being to pose with them(not that I could have, but still), I found that there weren't as many famous faces as I would have liked to see. There were several Johnny Depps and Angelina Jolies, but no Denzel Washington or Nicole Kidman or Meryl Streep- the actors that are really worth their salt (although Depp really is quite talented).
Before I left famed Tinseltown I had to make a stop at luxurious Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, but not before donning my nicest threads. Needless to say I felt glamorous(but still blatantly an imposter) while strutting amongst limousines awaiting their celebutante shopping queens in designer duds and oversized sunglasses. I also kept on saying 'that's just fabulous daaahling' so much that I think a few people actually realized I wasn't one of them. Apparently big bucks can't buy a sense of humor, or at least an appreciation for sarcasm.
Overall, LA is pretty to look at and nice to visit, but it does have its faults (ba dum chhhh!). Traffic and pollution aside, there's the false assumption that it's all beauty and glamour, when in reality the vast majority of their population resides in middle class condos, which isn't bad, it's just not all Bel Air or Beverly Hills. It's important to remember that almost all things you hear in the tabloids or see in the movies are fake, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy them.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Persepolis- wow. For lack of a more exceptional word, it's just wow for now. Logan, Utah has one theater that will play the movies that would normally play in regular theaters elsewhere but given the demographic of the area wouldn't create much, if any, revenue. Meet the Logan Art Cinema. It plays films considered 'unfit' for the Logan public, namely R-rated films, independent films, 'artsy' films, or films covering issues that tackle social, environmental, global problems. Persepolis was such a film and I was one of two people in the theater at the time . It's a shame, really.
But back to the movie. I wrote loads and loads in my notebook after seeing it trying to find the connections between the shading and the appearance of God and Marjane's individuality and the music(or the subtly perfect lack thereof) and all the symbolism, it's enough to spin your head. As I was in the theater watching the film(which happens to be animated and in subtitles, by the way) I had a lot of these thoughts swirling about my head just the same as when I was writing them. But then I remembered the end of the film and put down my pen. It's really just her story. You don't have to make connections or conjure some huge political or religious meaning out of it. Much unlike many of the slanted films of today, Marjane Satrapi, the writer, producer, and character in the film, was simply sharing her story. Whatever you take from it you can keep. That's all.
And to be even more honest, I have had this blog for over a month now and I am just now writing my first post.
Whew, it feels good to get that off my chest.
I have, in fact, been telling myself that I would transfer my thoughts and ideas on certain things from paper to the net. Why don't I just type them here in the first place, you ask? Hmm, good question. Well, I like to have a hard copy of some things, for one. I also have a pad of paper and pen with me at all times and hardly ever a computer, so it's much more convenient and organized to do it this way. I suppose I should get past my first post before I make a real judgment on what's best, though. We'll see.