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So, this review follows on from my no.7 Shine Free Make Up Base review, which I apply to my skin first. However, I have used this without the base and it works fantastically then as well. The colour I use is soft cream. I have a very light skin tone, although a No.7 consultant will help you find the right colour for you.
My sister has been introducing me to the wonders of No.7 products and this product was her best introduction. Having tried so many different foundations in desperate search of 'the one', I finally found it in this.
It retails in Boots for around £13 at the moment, although stockists on Ebay do appear to have them at around £8 before P&P.
Packaging - Yet again, another simple and sleek tube from No.7. Their brand is extremely distinctive in its simplicity. This tube is particularly nice though, the base colour being a kind of greenish brown with gold lettering.
The Product - I moved to this from using powdered minerals (Benefit, L'Oreal) and I wasn't too sure about the concept of liquid mineral foundation. Thankfully, my misgivings were unfounded. As with other No.7 products, I've found a small amount goes a long way, so please be careful with your usage and always make sure you blend so you don't have streaks.
The liquid cream is quite runny when you first squeeze the tube, but don't put off. When you apply it to your face it honestly feels like liquid velvet. It is so soft and covers yours skin incredibly well. It isn't difficult to apply or blend on to your skin. The cream doesn't dry out too quickly, which I think is because it is quite runny. Thicker liquid foundations can dry in quickly, meaning you have to apply at lightening speed. No such problems here!
My advice is to use small amounts and add more as is necessary to ensure your face is cover. I blend it in with my fingers but you could use a clean makeup sponge if you prefer.
The results - I've found this to give me the best coverage, better than high priced products by a long shot. The foundation is so light you can't feel it on your skin, which is a major must for me. I hate the feel of heavy foundation so being able to wear this every day is fantastic. It's great for evening out your skin tone and you don't look as if you have foundation on. I've found I don't need to use a blemish corrector with this foundation - another bonus. This is perfect for night or day wear. For a natural look just use this, or you can add colour using some bronzer/blusher. I use the No.7 bronzing pearls.
The foundation is hypo-allergenic, is non-pore blocking (although I still advice to cleanse at the end of each day) and contains SPF15 which we all know is recommended all year to keep your skin young and healthy.
I've had my tube for around 5 months now and I still have a good amount left, despite daily use. Due to this, don't let the price put you off, it will last for ages. Alternatively, stock up when there is a 3 for 2 offer on or use a £5 off voucher which Boots give out quite regularly.
Okay, the headline is probably not entirely true and maybe a teeny tiny exaggeration.
I am lucky girl when it comes skin, not. I have this wonderful shine that appears a few hours into my day, makeup just slides right off and if I even think of going to the gym at lunch, well I end up red and shiny. Looks really good haha.
So, for years I've muddled along. I've tried tinted moisturisers, heavy foundation, foundation with pressed/loose powders. powder minerals etc and all to the same effect. I had always stayed away from No.7 products, not sure why although their eye make up remover (previously reviewed) did not instill confidence in the brand.
So, what happened? My sister - I really should listen to her more, she is usually right but don't tell her that - made me try No.7 mineral foundation (I'll review separately) and I love it. So I went back to buy more and stock up and Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on No.7. I picked up this as the freebie and what a freebie I got!
Packaging - As you can see from the picture above, the tube is styled as most No.7 products - simple, sleek and distinctive.
Product - The bit you've been waiting for. The base (or primer) works as a barrier between your skin and your makeup. It's really creamy, yet when you are putting it on, you can feel it drying out immediately. If you cover half your face with this, you will instantly see the difference. Your skin becomes matt with no shine or sheen anywhere. I tend to put this on then give a couple of minutes before applying my foundation. No.7 would recommend at this point you follow up by applying another No.7 product. I would too but only because I love the foundation I use. Realistically, you can use anything on top of this. Apply your make up as usual.
You only need to use small amounts of this, a tube this size should last you several months. I've had mine for 2 months now and it's nowhere near being finished and I use it every day. So, small amounts at a time!
Does it work?
For me, absolutely. I have finally found a way to keep my face from looking like a well shined red apple. People can be polite and call it a glow, I hate it. My makeup stays on all day using this base. I will admit by the end of the day my face has a teeny bit of shine to it, but I never reapply make up during the day anymore as there is just no need.
Using this base will add a couple of extra minutes to your make up routine, but those extra minutes are entirely worth it. So if you have oily/combination skin this could be a good product for you.
Extra advice - always remove your makeup at the end of the day so your pores can breathe. If you use a base I would especially recommend you cleanse and exfoliate.
So, I've been an admirer of Paul's Boutique bags and purses for a while. I tend to think for a long time before I buy something I deem expensive (£35 for a purse seems quite excessive to me).
Anyway, out shopping I'm having a week look at the bags and spot this pretty little thing and think I have to have it. It looks gorgeous. I particularly like the padlock - completely decorative - and the charms. Another advantage is this purse has a short shoulder strap.
Bonus right? Nope.
I've had this purse for one month now. Already the fabric strip around the middle of the padblock has peeled off. The section where your change sits in the purse, has a tradtional clasp method. Except it doesn't clasp. Everytime I take my purse out of my bag there is no change in it, but my bag jingles quite happily. It's not even as though I walk around weighed heavily down by change. It's a 'normal' amount.
Maybe I'm being harsh, but I think the workmanship is shoddy. It's mass produced I hear you cry! I KNOW. Yet, I paid £35 for a bloomin purse less than a month ago and it doesn't even perform a basic function. I could have got - a less sexy and cool - plastic resealable bag (Ikea do boxes, in two sizes for about £4) which would work better than this!
*sigh* It's still pretty though. And, I'm still using it.
How do you even start writing about abortion? It's an absolute minefield, it's easy to insult people's beliefs and choices without even trying.
For me I am 'pro choice' and 'pro abortion'. Pro abortion sounds horrid doesn't it, but please let me explain.
In an ideal world, of course something like abortion would never be needed, but it is. For lots of reasons. One of those most basic reasons is a woman should be entitled to make her own informed decisions about what happens to her body. I will defend that right to the hilt. No woman should ever be forced to carry a baby she does not want, for some moralistic reasoning such as putting said child up for adoption. Equally, no woman should ever be forced, coerced or guilt-ed into an abortion. It is her body and hers alone.
A common point of view I hear is: I am against abortion except in rape cases.
Whilst the proponents of this may feel this makes them more reasonable in my opinion it doesn't. The underlying text there is:
If a woman is forced/didn't enjoy sex- well that's ok, she can terminate.
If a woman participated willfully and enjoyed the sex - she must carry on with that pregnancy.
If we look at the above, potentially we see that actually, some people believe that women should still be punished for enjoying an active sex life. It's still only fairly recently that it has become more acceptable in society for women to enjoy and discuss sex.
Of course, back in an ideal world, contraception would never fail, human beings would never ever make any mistakes and there would never be an unwanted pregnancy.
Abortion MUST remain legal. Making it illegal will not stop it happening. It will only stop it happening safely, with proper precautions, proper health and safety considerations and proper aftercare.
It's not an enjoyable topic to discuss, it is emotive I understand, but I remain convinced, a woman must retain control of her own body, it is not for anyone else to determine.
I have very recently discovered this myself and it is definitely my new favourite dish. The sauce is extremely light and not 'soupy' if that makes sense. Be careful with your lemon, too big and the lemon juice & zest will overpower the dish.
Also, with the sundried tomatoes, I'd advise chopping up about 5 or 6 as again, they are such a strong flavour.
Mascarpone is not the the healthiest cheese in the world, but the dish is devine, sometimes the extra cals are worth it.
1 cup of mascarpone (I use American style 'cups', however it translates to about 200grams)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (if like me you hate faffing with garlic, M&S do a fab minced garlic jar, in a little vinegar (which dissolves and doesn't impact the taste. It's about £1.99.) 1 teaspoon of pre-minced garlic = 1 clove.
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
A couple of good handuls of spinach
500gram of linguine
zest & juice of 1 lemon (try a small to medium size lemon)
a little olive oil
3 chicken breast, cut into small strips
salt and pepper to season.
Heat the oil in a wok/frying pan and add the chicken
Meanwhile, boil water for your linguine and add the pasta to it. You can salt the water, depends on your taste
Once the chicken is sealed, and the garlic.
In a bowl, whisk the mascarpone, lemon zest & juice, and some salt/pepper if you wish, until mixed and creamy.
You want the pasta to be cooked al dente, but remove it about 2 mins before you would normally. Drain the pasta, retaining a cup of the water.
In a pot, chuck everything but the water in - your mascarpone mix, the chicken, the pasta, tomatoes, spinach.
Cook on a high heat for 2 mins until piping hot.
If you wish, you can add some of the pasta water to thin out the sauce. I tend to use about 1/4 of a cup.
Serve immediately and can be topped with parmesan if desired. You could also add croutons.
This is a firm favourite in our house, I hope someone else enjoys it! From prep to plate is less than 30 minutes.
Like some other people, I was completely sure I never ever ever wanted a Kindle - or any other type of e-Reader. I would spout the usual - I love the buying process, the 'smell', the opening of a new book. Yep, heard it all before eh?
So, what happened? My holiday happened. How on earth does one get 8 books into a 15kg suitcase, alongside clothes for a two week holiday? You don't. You get sensible, and spend over £100 on Kindle, about £20-30 on a case and I'm too scared to count the amount I've since spent on books.
But, in my opinion, the cost is completely not the point. The Kindle is genius. There is nothing not to like about. It's lovely sleek design, the slate grey colour (I should add, other colours are available, I'm a stickler for being boring though), the lightness of it, the ease of the buttons. And the screen, oh the screen with it's anti-glare fancy technology and whatever they've done to get the ink like book ink. (Yes, I write technical reviews).
The Kindle, is an utter joy. One of my biggest book bugbears is holding the darn thing. You know when you try to read with one hand and flick the page with your pinkie and nearly get cramp? Not anymore! A simple light click of a button and off you go.
I can honestly say, I haven't bought a 'real' book since. Which is shocking.
Ultimately one of my favourite things is the availability of the books. I hate not having some new to read. Nothing worse than finishing a book midway through an evening and it's too late to go get another one.
Never fear, the Kindle is here! Simply enter the kindle store, find your reasonably priced book and download in 10 seconds. No going out in the rain (I live in Scotland, it rains a lot), or the cold. Get a new book from your comfy couch/bed
Any criticisms I have?
The buttons are extremely sensitive and many a time I've turned one page too many.
Hmm, not much of a criticism is it?
My only more technical comment would be that the battery life is fantastic. Of course, the processing power of the kindle must be fairly low, but still I get two weeks out each charge, minimum.
The very idea of a 'versus' for working or stay at home option immediately gets my back up. Why should it be 'versus'? It's not two football teams competing, these are peoples lives.
I find the whole thing incredibly frustrating, and ultimately the most frustrating thing is that once you become a parents, the world seems to feel they have an opinion on your life and how you raise your child.
Breast feeding or bottle feeding
Co sleeping or independent.
Dummy, thumb or nothing
jars or home-made
nursery or child-minder. The list goes on and on. Everyone has an opinion. Fairly often it's an opinion, followed a 'but it's your choice' which does nothing but make one feel judged anyway.
Becoming a mum is something that no books can really tell you about. They can't explain the sheer utter joy or the sudden loneliness and isolation a mum can feel.
So, once a mum has navigated the stressful choices above, and the maternity leave suddenly begins to count down towards the end, the choice has to be made. The points to be taken into account are endless. Money, time, childcare etc.. It's entirely mind-boggling.
Personally, I went back to work. I worked compressed hours to have more time off with my son. We put him in a nursery setting and he also spent time with Grandparents. For us, this was the right option.
Even setting aside money, I wanted to work. Not that I didn't want to spend time with my son, I did but I have a need to work. Does that make me selfish? Possibly it does.
However, in my mind, no. For me to be the best mum I can be, I need to be me as well. I do not see why women should lose their own identity when they become mum. Being a mum is amazing, but should I pretend it's all toddler groups and coffee mornings? Because it's not.
Reality is, there are chores to be done. Regardless of how you agree to split things with your other half, the person who stays at home becomes responsible for the bulk of housework.
This is fairly mixed I know, the problem is it's an emotive topic. Do I feel guilty? Of course I do! Even though I know my son thrives at nursery I feel guilty. I feel guilty for not wanting to spend every waking moment with him. I feel guilty that I go in to work and immerse myself in it. I feel guilty that I actually enjoy my job.
And yet, I feel proud. I feel proud that my shy little boy has become a sociable being. I feel proud that I can add to the family pot. I actually do feel a little pride that my income is about half of the family income. I feel proud that I can balance the two, regardless of how stressful it is sometimes.
Whatever a woman chooses, she should celebrate the fact that she CAN choose. That we now live in a country where choice is our own.
We shouldn't be sniping at other peoples choices. We shouldn't have to feel guilty. We all want what is best for our own family, we all do what is best. If that's staying at home with the kid(s), perfect. If it's going out to work, perfect.
Who cares, really?
Surely the biggest problem around parenting today is more the bad parents, the ones who don't/can't love, who don't care, who abuse children. Those with no intention of contributing to society. To me, they are the ones we should focus on, not whether a woman should be at home or working. Have we not moved on from that in 2010?
Whatever your choice, good luck to you. Find what fits for your family, and try not to feel guilty. Guaranteed you will feel some sort of guilt regardless.
I recently reviewed the Boots No. 7 eye make up remover with great disdain. I couldn't stand the greasiness of it, regardless of how well it cleaned off my eye make up.
For my birthday, I received some Clarins goodies - Cleansing milk, toner lotion and the eye make up remover lotion. Being a fan of Clarins, I was pretty pleased as I haven't tried this one before.
As usual, the product is blue liquid. The bottle is easily identified as Clarins, with their logo and the description in French and English. The lid is a screw cap and easily moved on and off, so I would keep away from children.
Ingredients include Burdock - an astringent and soya protein, which is said to help strengthen your lashes.
There is no strong smell associated with the product, which is good.
To use, pour a reasonable amount onto a cotton pad and sweep over your eye gently, until your make up is removed. Use separate pads for each eye as this helps to avoid infection.
I tend to use the cleansing milk first, then this, then a toner over my whole face, followed by moisturising.
This product works really well and quickly. The idea being that your make up is removed when the pad has no discolouration to it and I find this happens usually within two pads, although I tend to only have mascara on most days, so it may take an extra couple if you have eye shadow and eye liner to remove as well.
For me the beauty of Clarins products is that they are really gentle, yet effective. This product works wonders, without having to use a huge amount. A bonus considering the price, as it's not something you would want to fork out for weekly.
I tend to use this once a day only - at night, but will cleanse and tone twice daily. I don't feel I need to use this in the morning, given how well it takes off make up at night.
All in all, this is an excellent product, if you can stomach the price, I would definitely recommend you try this out, especially if it is a choice between this and the No. 7 version. Greasy product or non-greasy product. I know what I choose!
Having not made it to the cinema to see this film, I anxiously awaited it coming out on dvd. I did have a couple of concerns though. Mainly Jude Law. I have never been a fan of his. I don't particularly like him and struggle with films he is in, so I was a little worried that he was Dr Watson.
Anyway, for anyone who knows nothing/little of Sherlock Holmes, here is a short guide:
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, from the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes 'lived' in the late 19th and early 20th century, appeared in 4 full stories and a further 56 short ones.
According to Sir Doyle, Holmes was based on Dr Joseph Bell, whom Doyle worked for at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The basis was due to Dr Bell's talent for finding the hardest answer from the tiniest clue.
In some dramatisations, Sir Doyle is portrayed as the Dr Watson to Dr Bell's Holmes. This is a bit of a stretch, but makes for good television I suppose.
So anyway, on to the film.
Holmes & Watson are the case of ritualistic sacrifice. They manage to prevent the murder of a young woman, and Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) is arrested and sentenced to death. Holmes visits Blackwood and is warned there will be three more deaths, and these will change the world.
An old adversary of Holmes makes a surprise visit to request his help, and Holmes is enlisted by the police to help discover how Lord Blackwoods' tomb was destroyed from the inside out, and does not contain the remains of Blackwood.
From this point on, the plot twists and turns. Can Holmes & Watson prevent any more deaths? How exactly did Blackwood rise from the dead? Watson himself examined the dead man.
What exactly does Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) - Holmes' former adversary - want? And can she be trusted?
Well, you better watch it to find out!
This film got mixed reviews really. Some thought Ritchie strayed too far from the original stories, that it was too action focused. Others thought it was brilliant, intriguing. I'm with the latter. There is so much to this film I could watch it again and again and still find new clues planted along the way.
A bit about the casting
We have the ever magnificient Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes. An inspired choice. He is so good an actor, I can never imagine anyone else playing the characters he plays. At any rate, Downey Jr has the exact amount of arrogance, aloofness, eccentricity and good looks to carry this off.
Jude Law as Dr Watson was a massive shock for me. First off, with his moustache, I didn't immediately associate Watson as Jude Law - which for me was a bonus. Secondly, he really managed to change my opinion of him, in this one film. Now, of course the script calls for funny one liners etc, but he delivered them perfectly. His exasperation with Holmes was spot on as was how in tune with Holmes he was.
Between them, the leading actors delivered a fantastically believable relationship.
A quick word about Guy Ritchie directing - brilliant. The filmography was perfect, Victorian London was captured perfectly, the film is fast paced, fun, and much more clever than I would have given it credit for.
Hans Zimmer provides the musical score, I would have to say 10/10.It's brilliant, perfectly complementing the dialogue, the action, the atmosphere. As ever Zimmer provides the perfect accompaniment to the film.
Finally, if you can, get this film on blu-ray to do it justice. It just enhances what is already a most magnificent film.
Another product from the big box of tricks from my lovely sister!
Boots No. 7 Cleanse and care claims to 'use a double action to condition while you cleanse'.
Packaging wise, as ever, it's the No. 7 logo which we all know. No. 7 products seem to all have fairly simple packaging, something I think works well for them. I'm not a fan of overly fussy packaging - although I make an exception for Soap & Glory products.
100 ml of Cleanse & Care will cost you around £7.50. In my eyes - haha - that's at £7 too much. Read on, and I'll explain more.
So, the liquid is blue, no problems there, eye make up remover does tend to be blue - possibly one of the 'ingredients'. The liquid is half and half, in that, if you look at the bottle, you can see, when it is settled, that there is difference between the top half and the bottom half.
I assume, that one half is the 'cleanse' and the other half, the 'condition'. Personally I think one half is oil of some sort, but more on that in a bit.
To use, shake the bottle well, to ensure the liquid is well mixed, apply to a cotton pad and sweep over your eye. Repeat until you have removed all your eye make up. Follow the same process for your other eye. If you can bear it.
See, the problem I have found is how oily/greasy this feels. I've repeatedly tried it, but it is possibly the most horrible feeling product I've ever used. It left this almost oily sheen on my face and it just felt awful.
Each time I have used this, I've had to remove it with a cleanser/toner and use a different product - I favour Clarins Gentle eye make-up remover - until I am sure I have removed it.
I would buy another bottle, in the hope it's a one off, but to be honest, having found an alternative, I think I will stick with it.
This is the problem I find with No. 7. Some of their products are great and some of them are really awful. This definitely falls into the latter category in my opinion, although judging from the 4 stars it has, I may be in the minority.
I received a massive box of No. 7 products from my sister, as a present. I've been working my way through using them, some great, some OK and some I really dislike.
Hydro Quench, is not a moisturiser - as it's described above - it's a face mask, with a kick.
The tube is fairly non-descript, albeit obviously a No. 7 product due to the logo and script. The tube is a creamy-beige colour, with a flip-top lid.
To use the mask, first cleanse & tone or ex-foliate. You want to remove your make-up so the mask has access to your pores. Once you've prepped your skin, shake the tube well. This bit is essential as otherwise the product is watery.
I never like to say how much you should use of a product, as everyone is different, however, this can be spread quite thinly over your face, so you don't need to use too much.
Wet your face, although don't soak it, or you can wet your hands, as the product works properly when in contact with water.
The first thing you will notice as soon as you start applying this to your face, is the heat. The mask radiates a heat, so apply all over your face - avoiding your eyes and then relax for around 2 minutes.
Personally I find the biggest issue with this product is the fact you only have it on for two minutes! It's such a nice feeling, this lovely warm heat on your face. The mask will not harden, it won't crack when you smile at the sheer loveliness of the feeling. It doesn't require peeling off. It simply needs to be rinsed off well.
I find my skin is lovely and soft after using this mask. I don't tend to 'gush' over beauty products generally, but this, I feel is well worth it. Looking around, it costs about £9.75 for 75ml. Personally, I think it's a fairly good price as you won't need to use a lot and probably won't use it more than 1-2 times a week.
If No.7 could just extend the time the mask lasts on your face, I'd be ecstatic!
*Film review only*
OK, so if you are not a fan of the Twilight Saga books or previous films there is really nothing that I can say here that will change your mind.
With the Saga, it seems to be either a love or loathe situation. Personally I love it.
I've been really excited about this film, Eclipse being my favourite book. I was also a bit worried as Twilight was low budget and missed some important bits, New Moon I was never a fan of anyway so the film didn't do much for me - ashamed to say too much Jacob and nowhere near enough Edward!
Very quickly, the music in the film is quite frankly the best so far. I recently got the Eclipse soundtrack for my birthday (clever nearly 3 year old son I have haha!) and it's fantastic, but I'll review that seperately.
So, on to Eclipse. Eclipse sees us few mere weeks on from New Moon, where Bella and Edward were reunited. Bella is currently grounded due to her unexplained 3 day absence (in Charlie's eyes).
Bella and Edward's relationship is as intense as ever, with the ever brooding Jacob Black waiting in the wings for Bella to realise her true feelings for him.
As is usual for Bella, her life is under threat. The main threat is Victoria, the lover of James who Edward killed in Twilight. Victoria is out for revenge and wants Bella. Knowing the Cullen clan have extra powers - seeing the future, reading minds etc - she sets about creating a newborn Vampire army, something which is strictly forbidden, given how bloodthirsty newborn vampires are.
And so the main plot revolves around the Cullen Vampires and the Quilete wolves having to learn to work together to protect Bella, whilst Jacob works on her to reveal her true feelings for him.
The film culminates in a big battle, will they have done enough? Can Jacob win Bella away from Edward? Well yes to the first and no to the second.
I think for once in a film review I can safely reveal all!
So that's a basic outline of the plot. So what did I think?
I loved it! From the opening scene where we see a new character emerge and become Vampire, right through to the very last scene where Bella makes an impassioned speech I was a very happy bunny.
The books are, I imagine, quite hard to transcribe from novel to screen. Nothing much ever really happens in the books. Stephenie Meyer really steers clear of any real violence in the books. For example we don't get descriptions of the battles in any detail. From that point of view, the adaptation was excellent. By bringing the newborn vampires' story to life on screen I felt Melissa Rosenberg (screenwriter) added another element to the story. I feel they made a real effort to get the invariably dragged along boyfriends/husbands attention.
Casting wise, as the films move on, I feel the combination of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart gets more and more realistic. I actually feel they have an intensity between them. I feel Edward's pain as such when Bella goes against his wishes.
Much was made of the re-casting of Victoria. Played by Rachelle Lefevre in films one & two, an apparent dispute between her and the producers ended her contract. Some may same it's a shame as since this is the last film Victoria appears in, continuity would have been a good thing.
Personally, I wish her replacement - Bryce Dallas Howard - had been originally cast. She - in my eyes - WAS Victoria. Hair, voice, build, were all as they should be and I thought she portrayed Victoria really well.
With no other changes in cast, there isn't really a lot to say, although the addition of Leah and Seth Clearwater - played by Julia Jones and BooBoo Stewart respectively - were perfect. Julia Jones admirably mimics Leah's sulkiness and aggression, whilst BooBoo is the perfect excitable puppy. I look forward to their character development in the next installment.
So on to the Wolves. Personally, the CGI of the wolves was the best bit of the New Moon film for me. I thought they were magnificent and boy they were huge! Until this film, I don't think I realised just how big they were. There is one scene - where the wolves and Cullen's are training for the battle - where Bella is dwarfed by the Jacob-wolf and rubs his head, which was done fantastically well.
All my favourite bits from the book were in the film. Much has been said of the 'tent scene'; again I felt they got the tension just right.
So, all in all, it's strange to review a film you have seen twice, yet read the book many more times. Trying to ensure one doesn't mix the two up is quite difficult!
All 'Twi-hards' will love it. Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black) spends a lot of his on screen time, half naked. Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) is suitably distressed, miserable, caring and has that lovely smile.
As for Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), I felt this was her most believable Bella performance. I look forward to the next instalment once she has changed, this will give a very good view of her acting skills.
*film review only*
My husband and I quite like horrors so we added this to our rental list. This is 'based on a true story'. I've tried to find out what true story this stems from but have so far been unable to figure it out. I do know however that any film 'based' on a true story isn't necessarily true at all.
So, our main character is Samantha, a sophomore at college, who shares a dorm room with a slob of a girl. Samantha finds an apartment she loves and needs to raise the $300 rent in a week, after realising she only has $84 in her account.
She finds an advert for 'babysitter required' and calls. She is asked to go that evening and will get $100 as it is short notice.
Samantha's friend Megan drives her out to the house - typically a massive old house in the middle of the woods - on the understanding they'll leave if it seems creepy. It does, but Samantha barters her way to $400 for the night as the babysitting job is not what it seems.
Megan leaves in a huff and from here the story really starts...or as they say, the plot thickens.
The night she is babysitting there is due to be an Eclipse, an event which has captured the attention of most people in the state and the reason the couple want her to babysit.
Once she is alone, the tension begins to build with creepy noises and strange goings on, until we reach the climax where of course she has to fight for her life.
So, my thoughts. Firstly, this is a strange film. It's shot really well, with technology being used to 'age' the film to it's era, the 1980's. A great throwback to drainpipe jeans and personal cassette players!
On the front cover of the dvd it says 'unrelenting'. Hmm. A lot of the film is really just watching Samantha being a normal teen - poking through the house, using the phone, ordering pizza, with a few shocks thrown in.
I'm not sure if it was because I was tired or if it was the film, but it didn't really hold my attention. I didn't think it was unrelenting at all. I guess they were trying to build the suspense and tension, but the usual horror music pretty much gave a good idea of when a shock was coming.
When there was violence/horror, it was pretty good, nice and gory.
Plot-wise, nothing much was really explained, lots of suggestion and leaving you to work it out, which is ok, but I didn't find I was all that interested. In fact, I felt they spent so long building the film up that the actual horror parts were rushed. Or it could be that there wasn't enough horror to fill the time.
Anyway, there is a nice wee twist at the end, and the acting is pretty good. Samantha is pretty normal, Megan is annoying and Samantha's employers are creepy.
All in all, this is entirely watchable, not my favourite horror by a long shot, but it's filmed well and does have a good level of suspense and tension to keep you interested.
**Film only review**
My husband had added this to our dvd rental list and it came through last week. I knew nothing of the film, except that it was supposed to be 'light-hearted'.
Well, if you are like me and get upset over silly things as well as not so silly things, keep some tissue with you.
The cast of this film is really good. We have Robert De Niro as Frank, a father of four who has recently lost his wife (within the last 8 months). Frank lives on his own in the family home, which looks like he hasn't changed a thing and he has a health issue, nothing too serious.
Of his 4 children, in the film, we meet 3 of them (although briefly see the 4th).
Frank has arranged for all his children to come home for a family dinner/weekend and he sets about preparing for it. He comes home to find that all of his kids have cancelled on him, for one reason or another. To the viewer, all the reasons are rather pathetic.
Frank decides to take a road trip - as he is not supposed to fly - and visit his children in turn.
First stop is to son David, an artist living in New York, but he isn't home.
Second stop is to daughter Amy, played by the ever lovely Kate Beckinsale. Amy is an Advertising/Creative supremo, living in a gorgeous house with her son and husband. Or is she? Frank is quickly moved on to see his next child, becoming slightly bewildered by goings on.
Robert - played by Sam Rockwell - is in Denver conducting an orchestra and Frank is obviously proud of his son, although their relationship is somewhat strained (I won't spoil it). Once again, he is quickly dispatched with Robert saying he has to fly to Europe, so Frank packs up and heads to Las Vegas, meeting a little trouble on the way.
Once in Vegas, he is met by his daughter Rosie - played by Drew Barrymore. Rosie is a lead dancer in a Las Vegas show, living in a showy apartment and driving around in Limo's.
But, is all as it seems? Frank discovers it's not and rather than embarrass Rosie he decides to leave for home. He takes a flight with disastrous consequences, although it does lead to him getting the answers he wanted, not least concerning why he can't get hold of David.
I've found this quite hard to review to be honest. It's a strange film. It's not all out action (well any action to be honest), it's not a comedy - although plenty of giggles provided by Robert De Niro, an actor I like more and more in these softer 'dad' roles.
Bittersweet is probably the best description. You really do feel for Frank, he's obviously lonely and trying to adjust after losing his wife, and wanting to keep the family close, something his wife used to take charge of.
I felt genuinely sorry for him at times, as you can see he is not being given the truth and almost treated as an inconvenience, until you get towards the end of the film.
I would say this is a great Sunday afternoon type film. It really won't appeal to all, it's gently-paced, no massive shocks but it is a nice film to watch, with in my opinion some good performances from the big names.
I'm giving it 4 stars based on it's actually a good film, the acting is good, it's well written, well filmed, it just appeal to all audiences.
Twitter seems to be loved, loathed or wholly misunderstood.
If you love it, this review might bore you. If you loathe it, hang about you might begin to like it and if you don't understand it yet, hopefully by the end of this you will.
Twitters popularity really began in 2007. The first ever tweet was by Biz Stone, one of it's founders. There are around 65 million tweets a day on twitter.
A tweet is essentially a micro blog. Tweets can be a maximum of 140 characters, may reference other users, and can include links to un-connected sites and content. At the beginning, many users found most of their tweet taken up by a link, however with so many application developers around, we soon had use of link shortening tools, as well as a multitude of other twitter applications.
Your tweet can say anything you like. The idea is you 'follow' other users and you can see their tweets. They may follow you back, they may not.
What you tweet can massively improve your Twitter status - generally defined by your Twitter following and re-tweets.
So that's a basic overview, below I'll go into more detail on terminology, useful applications, celebrity users and do's & don'ts
Tweet - a 140 character update. The character limit includes spaces and punctuation, so you will find a lot of 'text speak' on twitter. If you are a bit of a grammar and spelling fiend, such as myself, this can take a bit of getting used to, but stick with it.
Re-tweet - this is where you see a tweet from someone you follow that you feel is entertaining/relevant/shocking etc and you re post it to your followers. Twitter now makes this easy to do and it can be done at the click of a button. Re-tweets are obvious as the beginning of the tweets has RT
Direct Communication - this can be in two forms. The first, if you wish to reference a particular user, place @ in front of their name and continue message. This is not a private message and can be seen by your followers. If you wish to send a private message, firstly you and your intended recipient must be 'following' each other. This is particularly helpful to prevent being spammed. To private (or direct message to use the correct twitter term) you type 'D' followed by the user-name. Direct messages are still subject to the 140 character limit.
Trending Topics - Trending topics are a list of the most popular terms contained in tweets across twitter. Quite often they are accompanied by # . A list of the 10 most popular topics are found on the right hand side of the Twitter screen. A point to note is that Twitter have recently allowed 'promoted' topics, whereby companies can promote themselves. The companies will have paid for these.
Realistically, there are too many to detail so I'll just overview a few different ones.
Tweetdeck - this is immensely useful. You download Tweetdeck to you computer and you can sync your Facebook account too. With Tweetdeck you can add columns searching for specific topics and you will see all posts relating to that topic. You can send tweets from tweet deck and it automatically shortens URLs using a twitter verified shortener.
Twitpic - A photo sharing site. Easily share your photos on twitter.
Twibbons - Twibbons, are small add-ons to your profile picture. Generally these are for causes, recent twibbon campaigns have been for I Love NHS and cancer charities. Companies and events also use twibbons and they can be a sign of your attendance or support of an event.
I just want to add that there are a multitude of mobile and iPod applications available for twitter.
Twitter certainly has buy in from famous people. Stephen Fry is possibly the most well known user. Demi Moore & Ashton kutcher both tweet regularly, in fact I think Ashton Kutcher was the first user to gain 1 million followers. Demi Moore had a spat with Perez Hilton on twitter over his comments about her daughter.
There are tons more, but as with anything there are fakes. So, Twitter came up with a way to let us mere mortals know we are following the real deal. If you want to follow a famous person, check for the 'verified' sign in the top right corner of their profile.
----------------Do's & Don'ts--------------------------
Don't tweet about your breakfast, your lunch your dinner etc. No one really wants to read that and you'll haemorrage any followers you may have.
Do use it as part of your business marketing strategy. Never underestimate the power of twitter. Once you have gained a following, make sure you reply to any messages, good and bad. Bad service is tweeted far and wide and can hugely damaging to your reputation.
Don't spam. That includes posting continual links to your website. Don't repeatedly send the same tweet. Twitter may delete your account if they think it is spam.
Do tweet funny things, funny pictures, amusing stories, contain links.
Do get involved in the trends such as Follow Friday (#FF) where you recommend people for others to follow.
So that's basically it. Hopefully it's useful to some and if you got this far, go get a drink, you deserve it!