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Now, take a deep breath in because I have been told before that I can get a little controversial on this topic. We are all aware that America has a tendency to notice when us Brits have a hit in the ratings, and they take our little gem of a television show that was perfect the way it was, strip it of our wonderful humour, remove anything that toes "sensitive" issues and Americanise the characters into perfect stereotypes and boom! You are left with a dull, generic plot that is like everything else in the US market (I'm looking at you Skins US, The IT Crowd and Fawltey Towers). There, of course, have been triumphs such as The Office which has become a success in it's own right. So whenever I hear they're making an adaptation, it piques my interest and I'll have a nose at it. That wasn't strictly true with Shameless US.
Controversy Number 1: I cannot stand Shameless UK.
I admire it's success, don't get me wrong. I tried my hardest with it, I really did, but it never grabbed me. In it's initial series the premise was great. The cast is filled with wonderful actors, I just loathe all the characters equally. This is the desired effect, to a certain degree. However, probably not to the point where I just cannot bare to watch it. So why would I bother watching the US version? I hear you ask. I was at home, hungover as as anything, and the boxset was on Virgin Anytime.
Controversy Number 2: I love Shameless US
All your basics of the plot are the same; you have your dead beat dad Frank Gallagher (Macy) who is so blind drunk, that the responsibility of raising the younger children falls on the shoulders of Fiona (Rossum). They're scrounging to get enough money to last the month, with all the siblings participating in their own way. So why did I fall in love with this series, when it starts out the same? The US series has 12 episodes, where as the UK is in a smaller series. This means they can develop a plot line with a little more depth, and you can get attactched to characters a little quicker. The kids, do have their downfalls in their attributes, yet they're all essentially good. Lip (White) is still looking for fights, but he is the most intelligant kid around and makes money by taking his peers tests for them. This new dimension the character makes him more rounded.
It is Americanised, it is similar. I have watched both series' now and cannot wait till January when the third series airs in America. So eager, I probably won't be able to wait and watch it when it gets round to airing on More 4. If you're a fan of the UK version, I recommend going into viewing it with an open mind. Do not be ready to shut it down immediately because it's American. You will be familiar with most of the plot arcs in the first few episodes, but it's different enough to not me bored.
I highly recommend giving it a go, at least. It grabbed me from the opening sequence! I'll be interested to know your opinions if you do go on to watch it after reading this!
And now, take another breath in. It wasn't too controversial, right? :)
I am an avid collector, to some degree, of charm bracelets if I think about it. I have a Tiffany's, Thomas Sabo, Links, Tresor and of course this Juicy Couture bracelet. I got my initial bracelet as a gift off an ex boyfriend and was incredibly pleased. I wear a lot of gold jewellery, and the majority of the other bracelets I owned are primarily silver and I am not a massive fan of wearing the two at the same time: just a personal preference. So I had this bracelet that I could wear quite regularly.
The basic chain starter bracelet is sweet in its own right, and if you wished you could leave it at that (if you still want to purchase it that is). My wrists are incredibly narrow, when I wore it, it sort of sat on my forearm near to my elbow. There were multiple times when I was out and my arm would suddenly feel a little lighter and the clasp and slipped through. Now, it's quite an expensive thing to be losing on a regular basis. The heart charm , it starts with, got lost very early on off the bracelet to my horror. Still, at this point, I was quite fond of it. Perhaps the sentimental value that was attatched to it af the time.
Whilst in America a couple of years ago, I bought a charm to add. It was a really pretty gold key that had little crystals etched in too. It was around $38, which if you look at the other charm bracelets on the market, it is around the same price for more premium charms. It attatches to the chain by quite a large clasp. This makes it easy to put on and also take off, but is slightly chunky ans unsightly. However, it wasn't till it was attatched I was fully aware of the HUGE difference in colour between the bracelet and the charm. I hadnt realised, to what an extreme extent, the bracelets colour had completely tarnished. Of course, you're aware that the item is gold platted, but I have tatty gold platted items from high street stores that are still in a far better condition when I paid a fraction of the price for them.
I will add that my sister bought the more silver coloured one. The appearance of this has not declined so rapidly, but she found the choice of charms to be more narrow.
I do not wear it anymore, it has a nice place in my jewellery box. With the holidays rapidly approaching, charm bracelets are ideal presents to get for your loved ones. Do not waste your money on this one. There are more on the market that are better value, and have a more timeless look and appeal to them.
I must say, after reading the other two reviews on this product I am kicking myself as I am a muppet who spent £18 on this product off ASOS. I am an ASOS premium user, meaning I get free next day delivery on anything I buy and when I was low on press powder, it was a case of desperate times. So I ordered the pricey item, without even testing to see if the colour matched my tone (risky, i know!) but I am as pale as they come and really struggle to get a colour match, and just ordered Light and hoped for the best.
It arrived in a cardboard box, simple design and I hadn't realised I'd ordered a refill product until I opened it and saw the plastic container. I didnt have a case it fitted in, so have left it in the plastic container and this has not really been too much of a problem: no breakages or spillages of loose powder. Where as it's not pretty to look at, it didnt really bother me too much. It also came with a really nice applicator sponge, and as I use powder very often to cover foundation that isn't quite pile enough I use sponges rather than brushes.
To my absolute delight, the colour was perfect for my complexion. I have homestly never had a powder that suits me so well. Considering the amount I spent on it, this was a huge relief. It is unscented and has a matte finish, not a hint of shimmer so it is great for everyday make-up. The finish it was is wonderful, and durable too without being heavy on my face. The rest of my make-up holds well with it also, so I feel I couldnt ask for better.
I will say, I have gotten to the very edges of the powder in just over a month. This may be because I am a daily user and use it for full coverage, but I have been very reluctant to re-order this product simply on the price tag. I have bought press powder from. 2 other brands from Boots instead, and have been greatly dissapointed with both: being to orange in tone considering they were the palest available. So it seems incredibly likely that when I get paid next, this will be an item I purchase because I am completely satisfied with the results I have had! This time, I may shop around a little bit better in ase I can get a bargin. However, with Christmas coming up, and with my job I will need a long lasting coverage on my make-up, I will be quite willing to fork out £18 again because I know that it will do what it needs to do.
It's a great colour match for pale complexions, and is durable. I just got through it quite quickly, so this does not justify the hefty price of the product.
I would say, it is most likely crucial that you watch Shane Meadows' groundbreaking film "This is England" before immersing yourself into the two gritty television series' that follow. I will try to avoid spoilers, but will probably hint at some key moments. If that doesn't concern you, or you have already watched it then proceed to read this review, and hopefully I can sell this incredible display of British talent to you. The raw emotion that the film drags out of you will be brought to the surface again, and be prodded and then have salt rubbed into it. I would not recommend watching them in one sitting, but you will be compelled to with the fresh plot and the mesmerising acting.
'86 brings back the characters you grew fond of (or possibly loathed) in the film in the opening episode that is based around Lol and Woody's up and coming nuptials, three years after the film was set. The film centres around Shaun growing up without a father as a result of the Falklands war, and while he is present as a teenager finishing school, it is important to know that he is not the main protagonist for the televison accompniments. This humerous exploration of life in Britain is a pleasure to watch, and you will laugh in the places you are supposed to. What you take away, however, is a harrowing commentary on thr monsterous manner of humans.
There is a reason Vicky McClure's character Lol is on the cover of the DVD; as she is at the epicentre of both. In the film, she is Woody's girlfriend, an elusive and intriguing character who is a scene stealer but doesn't have a lot to add to the over all story. Perhaps Meadows realised what an extraordinary talent he had in McClure and revolved the tale around her, or maybe this emerged through his script but she is the star and deserves the credits she has received as a result. She is engaging, and at times her character is downright unlikeable to the audience but you never resent her. You will feel your heart aching at what she experiences in '86 that explores her past, as a way of explaining her present. The continuation of this in '88 takes it to a bleak place but you never question the talent you are allowed to witness through her performance. She is of course accompnied through this with the undeniable talent of Joe Giligun (Woody) who shines just as brightly in his scenes. Without spoiling, a particular scene in '88 during Christmas could be used as his auditon reel for the rest of his career, as he tackles every dimension of the human psyche in one scene.
The dvd is a worthy purchase, however with the approaching realise of This is England '90 you can bet they will both be shown in the not too distant future on channel 4 and also are available on 4od. However, I recommend watching it. There are times where it will be behind your hand, and it will take you on an emotional journey. Do not watch to escape the bleak world we live in, as you will be reminded of it round every corner in approaches and you won't be left to be a passive observer. Meadows and his team are remarkable writers, that is undeniable. The ensemble that have stayed, and growed with this franchise, are a reminder of the talent we have in Great Britain who could take on the Hollywood giants that dominate cinema.
"We are infinite" is the tagline of the trailer and the poster, and one of the most resonating quotes from the book, and it is how I left the cinema feeling.
I have read the book on more than one occasion, first reading it in my teens and again when I hit 20, so when I saw that it was being made into a film I felt elated. Then my heart sunk a little. I am one of these people that firmly sticks to the mantra that films are never quite as good as the books. Though I was comforted when I was that the screen writer and director was Stephen Chbosky, the writer of this incredible coming of age story. I will always recommend the book, but I will dedicate this review to the film rather than making it nit picky about elements that did not add up to the book (to me personally, there were few though!)
Charlie (Lerman), is our slightly unreliable narrator. If you listen to the opening voice over, the premise is that he is writing letters to someone he has heard is a good listener, and "Charlie" is the name he chooses to go under. He has suffered mental lapses, after the suicide of his best friend and the guilt he feels for his Aunt Helen's death. He is a wallflower, he sinks into the background but is always there and a beauty. Awkward and intelligent, he slips through high school a day at a time with his friend being the English teacher we all wish we had at school, Mr Anderson (Rudd) Eventually, he is taken under the wing of step-siblings Sam and Patrick, after joining them at a football match. Absent from the film, is the wonderful line from Patrick (Miller) chanting "be agressive, passive agressive" which irked me slightly! I digress. They enable Charlie to experience new things, open to him to music and drugs, as well as develop relationships which he has struggled with.
Lerman is wonderful as the understated teen, and he displays the wide spectrum of acting required to play a character who has the success of this story on his shoulders. However, for me personally Miller is the star of this, for me. He comfortably slipped into the flamboyant nature of Patrick without any stiffness, or uneasiness. He delievered the comedic side of his character beautifully, and was harrowing in the downward spiral he experiences, without going into details. It is interesting to me that Miller originally went for the role of Charlie, he displays a range that shows he would have been suitable for the role but I am pleased he was selected as the friend. It is difficult not to write a review on this, and not mention Emma Watson. Visually, she is definitely the demure beauty that Sam is supposed to be. It isnt a wonder Charlie is smitten. With credit to Watson as an actress, you do not watch this film and think "Hermione" which was a concern when casting her. The american accent isn't perfect, but by no means is it dreadful. I just felt that she played Sam shallowly, how she felt she should have been rather than what she is. It is tricky to describe exactly what I mean without spoiling the plot, but Sam is a little more distant, than she is played to be.
There are difficult elements to show in the film, rather than explicitly tell the audience and it pulls it off beautifully. It was wonder to me how some parts would be conveyed, having read the book, and keep the 15 rating. There are references to drugs, and sex, but nothing to explicit which makes it available to young and old audiences a like. The cinematography is wonderful at times, beautiful to absorb. The tunnel scene is as spine tingling as you expect it to be.
As a book that emerged out of the MTV generation, it is filled to the brim with pop culture references. You can see where the "Juno" comparisons have come through from this as you are aware of the influences from film, literature and crucially music. The soundtrack of the film, is the soundtrack of Charlie's life and were contemporary to the penning of the novel. Of course a film set in the early 90's is oozing with The Smiths and David Bowie, and it is so great. We also get the titles of the books Charlie is given by MR Anderson are often centered around a main character who is on a journey of self discovery, and it is a beautiful nod to other books that I value greatly.
For fans of the book, you will not be bitterly let down. To new fans, you will get as much from this coming of age story, with haunting undertones. Watch the film, get the DVD. You wont regret it.
I'm tapping out this review on my iPad that was a birthday present to me this May. I won't lie, I was incredibly skeptical about how this product would benefit me, other than passing time on nifty, free games I could download. Naturally, the first thing I did was stock it full of free games apps and it was how I used it for a while.
At the time, I was a second year university student, and the end of year exams were round the corner. I commute from home, but to revise I went to friends houses and I started to take the iPad with me. It was a great tool to research on, and make notes and to procrastinate on also. Since then, I take it to my seminars and lectures daily. A lot of work is computer based resources, so it is portable and I don't struggle with loading times whilst on wi-fi either, so i can have the information beside me whilst making my paper notes.
My boyfriend lives a few miles from me, so it is great on the 2 hour train journey too. I have a kindle, but on the journeys I prefer to use the iPad app rather than take this too. I like the presentation of the book far more on the ipad screen and it means taking one electronic devise with me that I can make my notes on too. I have had conversations with people on the train asking me if I would recommend it, and I give my opinion just as I have on here! Also, the Facetime app is brilliant for my relationship too. He uses an iPhone (I have yet to convert to one) and I feel it is far easier to use on this as you can perch it rather than holding it though the duration of the conversation
I don't use it for a crucial item in my day-to-day routine, but it sure as hell makes elements easier. I'm impressed with the portability, the battery life is great. I have reviewed it purely based on how I use it, and maybe I don't use it to it's full benefit but it works for me! I will say that the people in the Apple store were extremely helpful when my parents were buying this. The new model was out, but they asked what I would mainly be using it for, and he said that this was much more suitable. They did, however, purchase it at Tesco instead as it was considerably cheaper. Other tablets may be more suitable for your personal use, but I have seen my dads Blackberry tablet and it does not compare.
I am now looking to buy add-ons for it, such as a keyboard for the frequency of use in notes and writing through my university career. These are more expensive than add ons for other tablets but that is the price of buying into the Apple empire. But I do love it and have probably used it enough to warrant the price tag!
You can see from my quick summaries below I haven't marked any aspects lower than a 4 rating, so I am quite fond!
I am guilty of wearing flimsy shoes as I am a dress and skirt kind of girl, but when the weather took a turn for the worse, it was necessary to invest in a pair of boots. I looked deliberately for the Chelsea boot style as this can be worn with skirts rather than just jeans and fit into the current trends.
It was incredibly difficult as I was on a limited budget (there were some I would have loved to have bought over the £100 mark) and had a specific item in mind. Now I found these in black and they were perfect. However, they weren't available in my size, 6. Out of curiosity, I asked to try them in a 5; I am not a half size and have always been a 6 in Topshop shoes. They were snug, but I wouldn't have bought them if I didn't feel I would be comfortable wearing them. I am glad I did as the leather has stretched so I fit in them comfortably, I do just wear them with tights, not thick socks so this may be something to be aware of. The heels are a perfect size, but I am aware of my calves aching slightly the next day after wearing them around University. They can be dressed up or down, and are a real staple piece to an outfit. Topshop boots have always been durable to be in the past and will go there as my first option for years to come after the value of these.
I am a girl who likes variety when it comes to perfume, having ones to suit particular occasions and I will rarely purchase the same one twice. While in America last year, this perfume was constantly in my periphery and it is a remarkably distinguishable smell. I simply had to have it. It is a perfume i will wear for occasions, such as a night out, it can be over powering for a day time scent but it is durable and long lasting which could be a bonus to some!
I am aware of brands, and Juicy Couture is not a brand i would say I am an avid fan of- their tracksuits are certainly not to my tastes. The bottle is slightly ostentatious, but it does its job and makes it stand out. Even in comparison to other bottles in it's brand. Perhaps it's higher price tag means it needs to be more eye catching to drive profits. It does not fit into my demure collection of perfume bottles, that is for sure. The same can be said for the scent. You can distinguish it easily as it is unusual. What are described as the base notes on 'The Perfume Shop' (the amber and sandlewood) definitely stand out more than the softer notes of mandarin and honeysuckle.
I would not advise anybody to buy this perfume without trying it on your skin. This is a perfume that people have commented about how nice it smells on me, and once Ive told them what it is they are usually shocked because they did not like it on them at all. The price of the perfume means it's not one that you want to be unsure of!