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When it comes to my eyelashes, I like big and bold mascara, but my usual mascara by Maybelline is nearly £8, and I wanted to try something cheaper for a change, because its just ridiculous to fork out nearly a tenner for mascara! Natural Collection by Boots is quite a reliable brand on the whole, and usually cheap! I thought I''''d give the mascara a try, and for only £1.99 it''''s not expensive, so I thought it doesn''''t really matter if I don''''t like it (it''''s usually on offer too, at the moment it''''s 3 for £5). I actually bought the brown mascara by mistake, so I will be reviewing that.
The packaging is plain white, with the natural collection symbol in the middle. It is a reasonably tall tube, about the size of a normal ball-point pen, but it still fits in my make-up bag easily. The wand itself is quite thin, and the brush is made from the fairly standard bristles. I usually prefer rubber brushes rather than ones with bristles, however I''''ve found that this one gives even coverage and doesn''''t clump. Although the coverage is good, it''''s quite thin and so it isn''''t high impact. It probably doesn''''t help that I bought the brown one, as I imagine the black version would be a bit more noticeable. Being blonde, the brown mascara does look more natural, which I actually quite like if I''''m going for an ''''eau naturelle'''' look. It has also lasted longer than I expected, although it has started to become a bit duller, but that happens to ever mascara so it is expected. In terms of lash length, I wouldn''''t really say I noticed a difference. There are definitely better brands on the market which boost the length of your lashes, but you need to pay a bit extra.
I tend only to use this mascara during the day as it is more subtle. For on a night, I still prefer bolder mascara, as I think strong eyelashes look better when you have eye-shadow on. If you''''re looking for a mascara that says "wow" I wouldn''''t really recommend this brand, however for an understated, every day look, this mascara is perfect. And since it is only £1.99, it means that your every day mascara is cheap to replace regularly, and you can save the more expensive mascaras for special occasions!
*Warning, may be spoilers, although I will try to avoid them!*
American Hustle is directed by David O Russell (who brought us the fabulous Silver Linings Playbook and the Fighter), and was released on December 12th 2013. At two hours and eighteen minutes, it''''s a long one, but it is worth every second! It received 7.8/10 on IMDB and 90% on Metacritic, not to mention a whole bunch of thoroughly deserved awards and nominations.
When I saw a billboard advertising this film I knew straight away that I wanted to see it - the cast is just impeccable. The story follows a small time conman and (fake) art dealer Irving Rosenfeld (played by Chritsian Bale, who gained an incredible 40lbs for the role), and his "British" mistress/con-partner, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). While executing one of their many cons, Sydney is caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) and the pair face an ultimatum: help the FBI bring down corrupt politicians in one final con, or go to jail. Rosenfeld and Prosser are dragged into the dangerous and violent world of the Mafia, with Robert de Niro playing a short but surprising little role of a Mafia don. Rosenfeld becomes increasingly attached to one of their con victims, Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), a mayor intent on doing what''''s best for his people, but who as a result becomes involved in corrupt and illegal dealings. This is the biggest and most important con of Rosenfeld and Prosser''''s entire career, but Rosenfeld''''s unstable and totally unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) threatens to jeopardise the entire operation. Being set in the 1970s, the film has a very retro feel and the styling is just great, you can’t help but feel absorbed by the whole thing.
CHARACTER AND PERFORMANCES
American Hustle is the best film I''''ve seen in ages. Although the plot is spread fairly thin for such a long film, it is not that story that makes it so good - it''''s the characters and the performances. Christian Bale plays the part of a man caught between his lover and his wife brilliantly and you end up sympathising with him even though you can see that he is a criminal and cheating on his wife. He constantly battles with his conscience and no matter how hard he tries, he always seems to be upsetting someone. Bale’s performance is flawless, however the true stars of the show are Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. Adams, despite her terrible English accent, actually portrays her character well and gives a serious and memorable performance which contrasts to her usual rom-com roles. Plus, she spends the entire film wearing no bra and tops with neck lines that plunge to her waist, so the men will no doubt remember her very well. But Lawrence''''s part is the true genius. She is witty, sexy, completely eccentric, and always leaves Rosenfeld completely bewildered, but she totally believable throughout. Lawrence adds a bit of humour and never once slips up. In my opinion, she is the best character in the entire film, gives the best performance and should win the oscar for best supporting role (but I may or may not have a slight crush on her). The only weak link in the whole film is Bradley Cooper. For those of you who have seen Silver Linings Playbook, it is apparent that Cooper is playing the same character. He is the same neurotic, violent and obsessive personality we see in Silver Linings, the only difference is that he is an FBI agent instead of a teacher. Despite his somewhat disappointing performance, the rest of the cast is exceptional.
This film really is a must see, but I think you need to be in the right frame of mind. It is not full of action or twists and turns - the story it fairly simple. It is a film about character development more than anything and Adams, Bale and Lawrence are all at the top of their game. If you’re into films such as Iron Man or Now You See Me, this might not be the film for you as it has no special effects, just plenty of clever little tricks and deals and because of the lack of action it’s not necessarily the best film to see at the cinema, as it would be just as good on the sofa without the massive screen and the surround sound. However, I will be recommending this film to absolutely everyone I know because I thought it was just superb, everything about it was exceptional (except Bradley Cooper but I am willing to look over this as it was only a minor blip and if you haven’t seen Silver Linings then it’s not noticeable at all). Make sure you see this because it is not one to be missed! 10/10!
I like Richard Curtis films so when I heard that his new film About Time was coming into cinemas I couldn't wait. Predictably, it follows his usual formula and you can see the similarities with his other films but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
About Time is written and directed by Richard Curtis (director of Love Actually, Four Weddings and Funeral and Notting Hill for those of you who are screaming who is this man). It is a Universal Pictures and Working Title film, which was released on September 4th 2013. It is 123 minutes long. The film received 7.5/10 on IMDB, 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and 57% on Metacritic.
About Time is a curious little story about a man named Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) who lives in Cornwall with his father (Bill Nighy), mother (Lindsay Duncan) and quirky sister Kit Kat (Lydia Williams). On his 21st birthday Tim is told by his father that he, and all the men in the family, can travel backwards in time. In the beginning, Tim uses this power to try 'get the girls', travelling back in time to a recent New Years Eve party and kissing the girl he was too shy to kiss the first time around. After a few occasions of attempting to use his power in order to appear cool and win the girls, he realises that actually, females are a lot more complicated than he thought and time travel won't solve it.
Tim, wishing to pursue a career as a lawyer, moves from his large family home in Cornwall to London, where he lives with an old friend of his father's, Harry (Tom Hollander), a struggling playwright. Here, he and a friend go on to a blind dating restaurant, which is completely dark. He talks to a girl called Mary (Rachel McAdams) who he likes, and when they meet outside he falls in love. He gets her number and returns home, where he discovers that the opening show of Harry's play was a ruined by and actor (Richard Griffiths) who forgot his lines. Determined to help him, Tim travels back and reminds the actor of his lines before he goes on stage. The night is saved, but when Tim checks his phone, Mary's number has disappeared.
We then see Tim travelling backwards in time again and again, meeting Mary and ensuring she goes out on a date with him. The rest of the film follows Tim and Mary through their life together, with ups and downs and a few complications in the rules of time travelling.
It is impossible to ignore the similarities with Curtis's other films. The character of Tim Lake is undeniably similar to the roles usually played by Hugh Grant, and if Grant was still young enough to get away with playing a 21 year old, I think Curtis would have cast him in this too. Gleeson's performance is fine, it just seems he was in a role which was written for someone else. The kooky and crazy character of Kit Kat is also reminiscent of the Emma Chambers's character Honey Thacker in Notting Hill.
While watching the film I could help but be reminded of Rachel McAdams's role in the Time Traveller's Wife, since she plays the wife of a time traveller in About Time too. Although she is a good actress and plays the role well, I think Curtis should have cast some one different because it is hard to watch the film without comparing her two characters. I could also see similarities in the film between Groundhog Day and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. All in all, the film seems like it is a little less original than it could be, but I still enjoyed it.
The film is enjoyable, with surprising faces appearing in small and unassuming roles, namely Richard Griffiths. Curtis has managed to make a turn an unrealistic subject such as time travelling and made it seem rather ordinary and believable, which I personally think is quite the achievement, despite the material in the film being somewhat unoriginal. It is directed well and has a few tear jerking moments which are always good in a rom-com. I'd recommend the film, but I would probably wait until it comes out on DVD because it is just the generic rom-com that everyone loves, but it isn't worth the extortionate cinema ticket prices.
The other day I went to see We're the Millers at the cinema. I hadn't heard anything about it other than that Jennifer Anniston played a stripper, and some guy showed a bit more than expected. I needed a bit of persuading, but I went anyway.
We're the Millers is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (also the director of the questionable Dodgeball). It is written by Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Bob Anders and John Morris. It is a Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema film released August 7th 2013 and is 110 minutes long. It is rated a 15. On IMDB it is 7.2/10 and scored 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie starts with a small-time drug dealer (Jason Sudeikis), who has his stash stolen and has to face the wrath of his boss (Ed Helms, from the Hangover). Instead of being killed as he expects, he is told that he will be paid to smuggle a 'smidge' of drugs from Mexico into the USA. With no choice, he agrees.
While driving, he sees a family in a big RV motorhome and decides that families are less likely to draw attention, and so in a bid to be less suspicious creates 'the Millers'. He asks his neighbour, Rose (Jennifer Aniston), who is also a stripper, to pretend to be his wife. Kenny (Will Poulter) the boy that lives in his apartment block pretends to be his son and the runaway girl from the block, Casey (Emma Roberts), is his daughter. And so together they set off to smuggle drugs. Along the way there is a tarantula, a strip scene from Jennifer Aniston, a baby made of cannabis, a few awkward moments and plenty of laughs.
Jennifer Aniston is just brilliant. I was afraid that she'd fall into the generic Rachel character, which has carried through most of her roles. However she gave a surprising performance. She was feisty, sexy and sweet. And lucky Will Poulter got to share a kiss with her (surely every teenage boy's dream)! Emma Roberts also gave a good performance but I felt she wasn't quite edgy enough for the role, but generally the cast was good and so it was reflected in the characters.
The plot is good, but not brilliant. It follows the general idea of 'heroes' and 'villans', with a bit of a bad boy charcter who turns out good in the end and the film ends very happy and smiley. There are a few brilliant little scenes though, with Jennifer Aniston sneaking into tents and shouting obscene things around the camp-fire. It is a bit predictable but it follows the tired and tested formula and just about survives, it's not all bad.
The film was very funny, with Hangover-style humour but cleaned up enough to make it an enjoyable family movie (but definitely a 15!). At times it was a bit cringe-worthy, but on the whole it was clever and quick witted. I think it perhaps went on just a little bit too long, and it was very predictable. It should have been shorter by 15 minutes or so as it was getting a bit tedious. Make sure you do stay until the end thought because you don't want to miss the bloopers! In one, a joke at her expense leaves Jennifer Aniston looking rather shocked at first.
I would recommend this film as it is a good old funny comedy, slightly predictable but still worth a watch. I tend to prefer seeing films like Transformers at the cinemas, where you need the surround sound and atmosphere to really get the full experience of the film, so if you're like me I'd give this one a miss at the cinema and wait until it is released on DVD. Definitely a watchable film though and one to put on your list!
I first watched Up when it was released in cinemas a few years ago and I thought it was just beautiful. I recently watched it again on DVD and was reminded just how good it actually is.
Up is directed by Pete Docter (also the director of Monsters Inc.), written by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Thomas McCarthy. It is a Walt Disney and Pixar animation movie, which was released on May 29th 2009 and is 96 minutes long.
At the start of the film, we are introduced to one of the main characters, Carl Fredricksen, as a young boy. He is shy and quiet but adores Charles Muntz, the explorer who went to South America and was never seen again. Carl comes across a very loud and outgoing girl called Ellie, who shares Carl's love of adventure and exploring. This is a great little intro to the film as Carl's character is developed quite early, and so we already know a lot about him before the story really kicks in.
The first ten minutes or so show Carl and Ellie's life together, growing up, getting married, and buying a house. They both share the life long dream of travelling to South America and finding their idol, Muntz. They save, but something always comes up and they have to use there money for something else. The two grow old, never having fulfilled their shared dream, and when Ellie dies, Carl is heart broken. The first ten minutes of this film are very emotional (but don't worry, it gets more upbeat!)
Carl is left alone in the house he and Ellie lived in, but now it is in the middle of an urban development, and he refuses to move. Carl accidentally injures one of the developers and has to go to court, where the court rules he must move to a retirement home. Meanwhile, Russell, the second protagonist, is a Wilderness Explorer (a scout) and is desperate to earn his very last badge: assisting the elderly. He pesters Mr. Fredricksen but he is too busy and sends him away. It is clear from this point that these two characters are key.
Carl, determined not to lose his home, ties thousands of balloons to the house and flies it away. This scene is quite magical and wonderful, as the house floats away, and Carl looks very smug as the developers are left open mouthed below. Still enjoying his prank, Mr. Fredricksen suddenly, in mid air, gets a knock on the door, and a very shocked and very frightened Russell is there. Totally unphased by Carl, Russell invites himself in and the story really begins.
The two characters share a journey to remember for a lifetime. They find a legendary waterfall, help a flightless bird find her chicks, and adopt a talking dog. There are many turns to the plot and flashes of pure brilliance when it comes to humour, in my opinion. The characters are original and loveable, and find friends in each other. Carl is explored in the beginning, but as the film goes on we learn more and more about Russell and his past. The story is new and fresh, not just another film that's reworked the same story, with the same characters that we've seen a million times.
The graphics are fantastic too, there is one scene in the beginning, where Carl's house floats past a little girl's bedroom window, and it is so crisp and clear, it looks fab. The characters are voiced well too, full of emotion and laughter. Before creating and animating the film, Docter and eleven other Pixar artists spent time in Venezuela, gathering drawings and inspirations for when they began creating the movie. Seeing the different artists interpreting the landscapes in their own ways was great because it really put life into the animation. The ideas the team found in Venezuela can really be seen in the film and the effort put in really shows.
Up is lighthearted and a great family film. It is uplifting and fun, but the bond the characters create with each other is so realistic and true it really hits you in the heart. Everybody knows it is going to be a happy ending but that doesn't matter, because it is a completely original film. It is impossible to not love this film and I would reccommend this film to everyone! It is a fantastic addition to anyone's DVD collection.
My friends asked my boyfriend and I to go to the cinema not long ago and said I could pick the film, and I chose Pacific Rim. When we went again, they chose the film and it was Now You See Me, and I had seen the trailer and was a bit sceptical but went along with it anyway (especially after my last choice had been so terrible!). I can honestly say that this is the best film I have seen in ages!
Now You See Me is directed by Louis Leterrier, the French director of films such a Transporter and Transporter 2. It's distributor is Summit Entertainment. The film was released on May 31st 2013 and has a running time of 115 minutes.
The film is about a set of four magicians recruited by a mysterious figure using tarot cards and together they become the 'Four Horsemen' and they are funded by the big business man that everybody hates, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine). Each member of the group has their own specialty; Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) is an illusionist; Merritt Mckinney (Woody Harrelson) is a mentalist; Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) is an escapist; and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) uses sleight of hand.
They set up a number of shows throughout the film, each with more daring stunts and tricks than the last. In their first Las Vegas show, the group invite a member of the audience to take part in their trick, which is to rob a bank. They manage to transport the man into a bank in Paris, where he then opens a vent. At the exact moment he opens the vent, money starts to fall from the ceiling onto the audience back in Las Vegas.
More shows follow, and as more money is stolen the Four Horsemen become wanted more and more. Throughout the film, the Four Horsemen are constantly under the threat of being exposed by the sceptic Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman). FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is set to try and charge them for the thefts, but he is constantly one step behind.
An intricate plot follows with twists and turns and a few shocks. By the end you're wondering how you never saw the ending coming, there were clues dropped through the entire film! I enjoyed this film a lot, it has a good cast and kept my attention the entire way through. It is exciting and thrilling and brilliantly cast. It has elements of humour, but not so much that it turns into a comedy. It keeps you guessing and wondering what will happen next. Don't be fooled - when you think the Four Horsemen are just socialising, or having a bit of fun, they're not! It's all part of their master plan!
Critique of the film has suggested it has huge loopholes and that it is unconvincing, however I disagree completely. If there were loopholes they were so small it was unnoticeable (and what film is perfect anyway? Everything is played up for cinema!), and I thought the magicians' performances came across well on the cinema screen. The cast is very good and so it goes without saying that the acting is good too. Mark Rufallo gave my favourite performance and by the end of the film he was my favourite character.
A few of the characters' backgrounds were explored, however throughout the film there were connotations which suggested the characters of Isla Fisher and Jesse Eisenberg had some relationship history, but it is never fully developed. I would have liked to have had a brief insight into the charcters (what got them into magic and such like) but this might make the film a bit too long, and since it is a perfect length to begin with, not knowning much about the charcters doesn't really detract from the overall success of the film.
Rotten Tomatoes rated this film as an overall 'splat' (49%) but it received a 7.3/10 from IMDB. In my opinion, the film is great and I can't wait for the sequel (which has been confirmed) is released. Pacific Rim scored higher than this film on both these sites, and having seen them both I know that this film is far far better than Pacific Rim, so ignore the ratings and go watch it!
Elemis SOS Emercency Cream is part of the Elemis skin solutions collection. I purchased this product for £51, but I have seen it on amazon for £41.30. I suffer from breakouts of spots I just can't seem to shift and my skin also tends to be very dry in places. This cream seemed to offer solutions to these problems and so I tried it.
The product comes in a shiny silver tube with red writing and a pump to dispense the cream. On the side it has a clear panel which allows you to see the cream inside and acts as an indicator to let you know when you are running out. I have had this product around 5 months and it is only just at half way. On the bottle it suggests to use he product morning and night, however I have seen results using it just in the mornings under my make-up. Occasionally, when I feel my skin needs more attention than normal, or is having a particularly bad day, I put it on before I go to bed, after I have cleansed my face and leave it overnight.
The cream itself is a beige/yellow colour and very thick. It has quite a strong smell of lavender, which might not be to everyone's taste, but I personally love it. From one pump, you get around a pea size amount, which is plenty for one application on the face. There is quite a greasy feel, however my face feels instantly moisturised once I've applied it. I would recommend waiting around ten minutes after application before you apply the cream, or until you feel it has soaked in. I have found that it works well under my makeup after I have left a bit of time in between, however if I don't my make-up tends to cling to certain places on my face and won't cover evenly. Sometimes, if I've not applied it for a few days, the first bit of cream that ones out of the pump is slightly sticky and I tend to avoid using this bit and just clean the nozzle with a bit of warm water.
I have definitely seen a difference in my skin since I've been using this cream. Not only has it kept my skin hydrated, but it has also reduced the redness of my face and hoped to reduce the number and the severity of breakouts on my face. My skin is not completely spot-free, however spots at smaller and less frequent. My skin feels healthier and I really feel the benefits of this cream.
It definitely boosts your confidence knowing your skin looks clearer and healthier. I get self conscious about how dry my skin is and have been limited with which foundations I can use because of it. Overall I think this cream is brilliant and although fairly pricey, I think it's worth it if you have problem skin. If you want wuality products you have to pay hebprice, and this one is quality that works. Personally I think it is lightly too thick however this is only a minor issue for me and there are no major downsides to this cream. I would definitely recommend.
I purchased this 30L rucksack for a 3 week expedition to the Argentinian Andes in the summer of 2012. It was a great purchase, lasting the entirety of the trip without damage and has been used multiple times since! This bag cost me just short of £90, but it is available now online for around £75. It looks great with a compact yet spacious design. Deuter is a great brand and very reliable and so there was no hesitation when buying this rucksack.
It is very comfortable to wear, with well padded shoulder straps. The bag also has a well padded and quite wide waist belt, which effectively distributes the weight of the bag and takes the strain and pressure away from the shoulders. I thought the waist strap on this bag was excellent as smaller bags tend not to have this feature, but it is so much easier when carrying for long periods of time to have some of the weight taken off your shoulders and put onto the hips, as the hips are more weight-bearing naturally. The convenient strap also means that at the end of the day your shoulders don't feel sore and are not aching. And the strap also has a handy pocket on the front, useful for tissues, a handful of sweets in easy reach, or a little compact camera which is close to hand so you don't miss any of those impromptu photo opportunities! The chest strap is also useful for stopping the shoulder straps slipping or falling and can be moved up or down depending on what is individually comfortable. All straps are adjustable to make sure the bag fits properly.
Deuter also includes an Aircomfort feature in their small and medium rucksacks. This consists of a mesh piece along the back of the back which allows air to flow between the back of the rucksack and your body. I think this is great feature as I have found in the past that my back tends to get hot and sticky fairly quickly when it is in contact with the back of the rucksack, however this bag has overcome that problem and the Aircomfort allows my skin to breathe. It also provides a bit of extra support and comfort as it moulds to the shape of your body. All straps have breathable padding too, to maximise the amount of moisture that can escape. Reducing perspiration also means that you can continue exercising for longer.
This bag has plenty of pockets and zips and clasps to play with. I particularly like the little opening just to the side of the right shoulder which is labelled "H20". This handy little thing is actually a space for you to feed your platypus (a sort of bag with a pipe which allows you to drink without reaching for a water bottle) through from inside your bag. The right shoulder strap also has a little elastic strap across it so you can fed your platypus pie through and attach it next to your head for ease of use. I loved this as it meant I didn't have to faff about taking my bag off, getting a water bottle out and putting my bag back on and it encouraged me to drink more! As well as space for a patypus, the bag also has two external pockets which can hold water bottles. The pockets have straps which tighten around your bottle, to try and make sure it doesn't fall out. I have found though that the pockets are quite wide and so bottles tend to slip and end up sliding out of the pocket.
The bag has toggles that you can attach any walking poles to, with two at the top and two at the bottom. They are adjustable and grip poles well and they don't fall out. It also has a handy rain cover which has elastic around the outside so it stretches over the bag and then stays in place. It is quite a good rain cover but I would still recommend purchasing dry sacks to ensure everything is kept dry!
There are two easy to reach pockets on the side of the bag and one on the very top, which are useful for things you need close to hand and are all spacious. The pocket on the front of the bag is a bit smaller and doesn't stretch as much, and since it's not all that easy to reach I didn't really use it for anything. The bag also has a zip at the bottom which allows you to enter the main section of the bag without having to unclip all the buckles and things to get into the main section. I found this really helpful when it started to rain, as I had my waterproofs at the bottom of my bag and I could access them easily and quickly, without having to open the top of my bag and risk getting the things inside wet.
Inside the bag there is a pouch in which to put your platypus. It is quite small and would not fit a platypus above 2L in size. The main compartment is quite large and able to fit lots in. 30L is a good size to carry all the essentials for during the day, but I would say you need a larger bag if you are planning on carrying a tent and a sleeping bag. I used this bag as my day sack and it fit all my essentials in no problem, but I had another, 65L rucksack with everything else I needed for the night.
This bag has endured below zero conditions and scorching heat and direct sunlight, it has constantly been dropped and thrown around and long, long rain showers. Despite all thing, there are no scuff marks, rips or tears, it has not faded or discoloured and all the zips are still functioning smoothly. It is a very durable bag.
Overall, I would say that this is a great bag for trekking, cycling or simply for nice walks with the family. It is very comfortable and extremely sturdy, with plenty of space to fill up and put things in. I would definitely recommend this bag, it has lasted me well and I have never had any problems with back pain or anything! Definitely worth the money and it looks nice too!
When I saw the trailer for Pacific Rim, I was desperate to see it as it looked like my kind of film; set in the future and full of action-packed battles. However, I am disappointed to say that this film did not meet my expectations. In the film, Earth is invaded periodically by a monster race called the Kaijus, who rise from a rip in the ocean floor. In order to protect humanity, huge, transformer-like machines called Jaegers have been built to combat the alien invasions.
Pacific Rim is directed by Guillermo del Toro, also the director of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. It is written by del Toro and Travis Beacham (writer of Clash of the Titans). It is a Legendary Picture and Warner Bros. film, released July 4th 2013. It is 132 minutes long.
I started to lose the will to live when I was watching this film. The story line was poor and repetitive; it was so predictable it was terrible. The characters' backgrounds were explored briefly, but there was nothing original or in depth about them. I guess it is normal for action movies to be purely about the action, however in this film I felt like they should have at least had a bit more depth to them after they had decided to go into the characters' history.
The acting in Pacific Rim was poor, despite a good cast. Idris Elba, from Luther, clearly gave the best performance in this film and his character was perhaps my favourite in the film. I think it is hard to look good in a bad film, so he deserves credit and I think he was a far better choice than Tom Cruise, who was originally cast in his place. Charlie Hunnam on the other hand was shocking. I had heard good things about him as an actor from his performance in Sons of Anarchy, however in Pacific Rim he was wooden and often over exaggerated which made his acting skills appear amateurish. Similarly, Charlie Day's character portrayal was disappointing. His usual performances are in comedy film such as Horrible Bosses, and while in Pacific Rim his character (a scientist) was supposed to be humorous, it just didn't fit with the film in total and I think that a more serious performance might have been a better route to take.
On a positive note however, the special effects and action scenes were impressive and definitely had my attention. I also thought the soundtrack was good. The battles between the Kaijus and the Jaegers were exciting and thrilling, often taking place in different settings, such as in the middle of the sea or in the centre of large cities. The Kaijus and Jaegers themselves were also quite varied in appearance, and detailed too. However, there were a few too many battles and I think the film could do with being around 20 minutes shorter as it was starting to get tedious.
Also, throughout the film I couldn't help thinking that they'd stolen the idea of monsters rising periodically from the centre of the earth from the Demon Cycle book written by Peter V. Brett. In his books, daemons rise from the core of the earth on a night and attack humans, and this film just seemed to use the idea, which I found rather irritating. Furthermore, the similarities in design between the Jaegers and
Iron Man are undeniable, with them even having the same glowing circle in the middle of the chest. More original and creative designs could have been invented I'm sure.
This film seems to have generally positive reviews from websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, however I really fail to see where this comes from. Yes, the action is good yet it's also repetitive and predictable and the film generally lacks substance and the acting really lets it down in my opinion. It was trying to be too many different films as once, and hasn't succeeded in being any one of them. Unless you're in it solely for the action and nothing else, I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone. A total disappointment and not worth £8 cinema ticket!
I bought these headphones a few years ago for around £170. I had seen a few people with them and they looked good, so I decided to give them a try.
The packaging is a very sleek, compact box, with a picture of the headphones on the front. Once inside, the headphones come with a soft case, two red anti-tangle cables and a cleaning cloth. The beats themselves are a nice design, with the iconic 'b' next to the ear and a smooth finish. The ear cushions are soft and comfortable and the headphones have a two hinges to allow for folding. Overall finish is excellent and you can tell they are well made.
The cables are the very distinctive red associated with Beats and like it says on the tin, they don't tangle. This is great because I am forever having to untangle my apple earphones before I use them which is a pain, so the anti-tangle feature is a massive advantage in my opinion. One of the cables it comes with is just a plain cable, but the other one has a built in microphone which is useful if you have an iPhone because you can make hands-free calls. It also means you can control the volume on the headphones without having to unlock your phone or iPod. I love this feature and its so useful. Even though it doesn't have the hands-free, the other cable is also good, because it means you always have a spare. The two hinge folding mechanism is also really useful because it means the headphones fold to a small size which makes them easy to carry and put in a bag. The case in its self is quite bulky compared to the headphones on their own but it is still small enough to transport easily.
The ear cushions cover the ear and block outside sound very effectively. This is great in terms of listening to music, since all background noise is removed, however if people are trying to get your attention or talk to you, they have no chance. I end up shouting replies because I can't tell how loud I'm talking! Plus, they are comfortable and you can wear them for long periods of time without your head or ears hurting. The head strap is also padded.
Personally, I think the sound quality is excellent, although I'm not too knowledgeable on the technicalities of sound. For someone like me they sound great, clearly better than your average apple earphones. The music is clear and because you can't hear external sounds, it's a totally different listening experience to the average earphones. In my experience they are at their best when songs with good basslines are playing, the headphones really complement and improve the sound. The earphones are a little expensive, but if you're into music then it's worth it.
The only thing which annoys me slightly (and this is a personal thing), is that I can't use them when I'm watching a movie or something on my iPad because they're too bulky to be able to lay on my side, so I would always recommend keeping a pair of trusty in-ear earphones for such occasions. Other than that, I would definitely recommend these headphones to anyone willing to spend that kind of money; they are sleek and classy, recognisable to a fellow-music lover and have great sound quality, in my opinion.
My family is just a little but obsessed with Despicable Me and the charismatic little minions, so when I saw this I just had to get it. I purchased Despicable Me 2 monopoly from ToysRUs for £19.99.
In this game, traditional Monopoly money has been transformed into 'banana bucks'! Every note is worth the same value to keep it uncomplicated, and properties range from 1 banana buck to 5 banana bucks. If you land in jail, you have to pay a one buck fee to get out on your next turn, there is no spinning a six to get out!
The board follows the standard monopoly format, however it is assembled somewhat like an arena, with the properties on a removable piece of board which clips to the box to create a space in which to role the dice. The properties are themed too, with things such as The Moon, the Magnetic Strip and Minion Island. The rules are a little different though. When you land on a property you must buy it if it is unowned. And if you want to put a house or a hotel on your properties, well even that has changed! Now when you buy a property, you must take a cupcake (house) for free, and if you get both properties in one group, you can put a sundae (hotel) on your properties, also for free. The chance cards also have a fun twist, with things like "Get zapped by a freeze ray! Pay the bank of evil or spin again".
The player pieces are really cool too, they're little minions dressed up different ways; there's Tutu Stuart, Medieval Phil, Kung Fu Carl, Magician Bob and Nom Nom Tom! All have little holes in the bottom, so they can attach to the spinner which is used as a dice. The space in the middle of a board has numbers on and whichever number the spin rests on is the number of moves you have. It's a great idea and quite fun, however the little minion quite often flies off the top of the spinner.
The game is quite a lot simpler than traditional monopoly, which makes it easier for children to join in. This is a great addition to the monopoly collection since it means the whole family can play and enjoy the classic game. It's very fun, mischievous and totally evil.
I purchased this deodorant from Boots for around £1.25, with the promise of "protection from yellow stains and white marks" and a 48 hour barrier.
The deodorant does provide protections from yellow stains and white marks exceptionally well. The deodorant itself is quite a thick, clear liquid, which feels quite sticky when applying but dries fairly quickly and the general consistency of the product is good. I am not a fan of spray on deodorants, and I think the white stick types can become quite dry and flaky over the day, but this product does not have that problem. It remains clear throughout the day even when dry. It has lasted me a long time too, around a few months.
However, in my experience using this product I have found that it barely lasts 10 hours, and when exerting slightly more effort than usual, even less. This is a major downside as it claims to last 48 hours. Furthermore, I have found it has a strange smell throughout the day. To begin with it has a pleasant frangrance, but I found that I could smell the product throughout the day and it gradually changed fragrance, which I did not like. I would also add that the packaging is unpractical. It is quite a handy size for putting in your handbag, but it is in a glass bottle and so I was reluctant to carry it with me in case it smashed and leaked over the contents of my bag. Some of the other products in the Nivea Invisible range are in plastic containers and I would suggest that this should be too.
Overall, I think there are better products on the market, but this particular deodorant does provide good protection against yellow stains and white marks as it claims. However it is not as reliable as other products in terms of it's durability.
I recently received this Jellycat soft toy as a birthday present from my lovely boyfriend and as a lover of teddy bears and soft toys I was very happy with my gift! I've got a few Jellycat teddies already and I think it is a brilliant brand.
Jellycat is an English company who distribute worldwide and describe themselves as "a soft toy creator with a difference" and they have certainly created some quirky products over the years! Think of the silliest animal ever and I bet jellycat have created a soft toy of it! They have a HUGE variety of soft toys, ranging from cute little bunnies and fluffy flamingos to wolly tooth mammals and furry turtles! They have different collections too, some categorised by the material, such as the "Cordy Roys", others by the length of their legs, such as the "Little Legs" and the "Long Legs" and even boast a "Baby Collection". Each teddy is unbelievabley soft and cuddly, perfect for snuggling up to in bed. Prices are reasonable in my opinion and range from around ten pounds up to around thirty.
Although all designs share the same fantastic quality and creativity, each one is unique. The favourite of mine is the Long Legs giraffe called Merryday. He comes in two sizes, small or medium, costing £11 or £17 respectively. I have the medium teddy which is 41cm in height. He's very very very cute and very very very soft! What I love most about him and all the Jellycat range is that the creations have a certain charm. The humour in the designs shines through, and they are definitely created to be loved. Merryday's personality lies in his extra long tail, his fat little feet and his tiny stitched smile. He has also been through the wash and come out the other side damaged free and unharmed!
I would recommend Jellycat in general to anyone looking for a fab children's gift, but my personal favourite is the giraffe. They are well priced, of fantastic quality and great design. Boyfriends everywhere take note: a Jellycat teddy is a sure fire way to a girl's heart! If you're looking for something other than a teddy, the company also do books, comforters, booties, and a range of other products for children.
I have had the kindle for around 3 years now and I love it. When I purchased it, it cost around £110 (they're probably cheaper now) but it was worth every penny and it is so easy to use. For a book-worm like me the kindle didn't at first appeal to me because I felt like I was betraying books. However, it won me over and I eventually got one, and was pleasantly surprised.
The kindle has thousands upon thousands of positives, but I shall name a few of the best. When I first took my kindle out of the packaging, the screen was strange and almost false and it took a while to get used to, however it is ingenious. In the sunlight there is no glare whatsoever which is fantastic whether you're on holiday or sunning yourself in the garden. The kindle is also very light, so you don't get arm ache from holding it above your head when you're trying to block the sun out on holiday! This is also another fantastic advantage when travelling. I know from experience that a two week holiday requires at least 5 books, and when you only have a 20kg baggage allowance this is a significant weight to have in your suitcase. With a kindle, all your books are in the same place and weigh the same, whether you have a 100 or just 2, which means more room and weight for shoes (yay!). It also fits perfectly in your handbag and the screen is a nice size too, being similar to the average page of a book.
The kindle is great for the mind-boggling selection of books on offer through amazon. The amazon library is quick and easy to access on the kindle, with the books split into different sections, and it even recommends books it thinks you might like based on your current kindle library, which is nice when you're struggling to find a new book to read. My family all have kindles, which is an extra bonus, because there is the 'archive' feature which means if two kindles use the same amazon account, you can share books between the two devices for free. Speaking of free books, all the most popular classics are free on kindle, so you've always got something new to read even if you're skint.
The kindle is so simple to use, it's amazing. The buttons to turn the page are on both sides of the kindle and this confused me to start with, because I presumed one side was to go forward and one was to go backward, but there is a forward button and a backward button on either side of the kindle which is useful for when you swap the hand you're holding it in. And it saves the last page you were reading, so there's no worries there. It's got a great battery life too. I hardly ever have to charge mine, and when it's running low, you get extra life by turning off the wireless in the menu. Plus, it takes hardly any time to charge once it's plugged in. Also in the menu, is a section called experimental. This includes web browsing, which is a bit slow and in black and white but sometimes handy, and a sort of audio-book feature. This is a bit strange since the voice is very computerized and often ignores punctuation completely, but its optional and you don't have to use it. By far the most useful feature offered by the kindle is, however, the inbuilt dictionary. This is not in the experimental section, but is accessed when reading a book. If there is a word you do not know (as is often the case for me...) you can simply select it, and the kindle will provide a short definition, or a longer one if you wish, which I think is brilliant.
I would say the kindle has but a few negatives. For me, the only real downside is the fact that it doesn't have a back light for when it's dark, however this problem is easily rectified by one of the cases with an inbuilt light (which I probably should invest in). Another thing I might say is that it is sometimes hard to get a feel for a book without having it in your hand physically, but the kindle store does provide a blurb to every book so this a minor issue really. Some people prefer the kindles without the keypad, since they are smaller, however I think that the keypad is better. Without the keypad it is faff trying to type in the name of the books when searching the kindle store, but I don't have this problem.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this product to fellow book-worms! I do secretly hope that the kindle doesn't mean the decline of printed books though, every now and then I do like a good old hardback! But this product is the perfect companion for someone who reads like their life depends on it, it's easy, hassle free, and saves money on overweight-suitcase-costs and the books are slightly cheaper too, so it's an all round winner, really. Go buy one!
Hasbro has added yet another version of the classic and well-loved game with the new electronic monopoly, which costs around £20. While it is true that the "electronic" monopoly has moved the game into the 21st century, complete with visa credit cards and properties costing millions, the new design of the game has lost some of the original charm. Nevertheless, there are a few nice changes.
The board is still in much the same format as before, however the properties have had an update. For example the two most expensive properties, classicly Mayfair and Park Lane, have become Kensington Palace Gardens and Knightsbridge. I personally don't mind the updated properties since they are more current, but this is perhaps the only update that I don't mind. Traditional paper money has been replaced by visa credit cards, with a variety of different colours to distinguish one player's card from another. Money transactions take place through an electronic banking device, which resembles a calculator. The cards simply slot in the side, one side for adding money and one side for subtracting money, and then the overall balance is displayed on the small screen. The device has a handy button with a green arrow on it, which when pressed automatically adds £2million to a player's balance, for when the player has passed Go. The player pieces have also had a bit of an update from the classic pieces. The likes of the top hat and little dog have been replaced by a burger, a mobile phone, a skateboard, a race car and a roller blade.
Positives and Negatives:
As a fan of the traditional monopoly, this version does very little for me. I do like the quirky new game pieces and I think they're a good reflection of how the times have changed, but that is where the positives stop. The rest of the changes, in my opinion, do nothing to improve the game. When the novelty of the credit cards wore off, they became annoying, with the plastic peeling off quite quickly, as a result of constantly inserting them into the electronic banking device. The device it's self started to become slow and not recognise some of the credit cards, with money being taken off without actually pressing any of the buttons. Furthermore, because of the fact that all banking is electronic, the money paid to supertax or chance cards can no longer be put aside and won when a player lands on free parking. For me this was one of the more negative aspects since I think the anticipation of being a dice role away from a wad of monopoly cash was fun, and now this element has been removed. As a child I loved to be named as 'banker' and carry out transactions for players, handing out money and properties. Although this is still possible with electronic banking, it's just not the same without the physical money.
I believe that this game is an unnecessary edition to the monopoly collection with many of the traditional and well-loved aspects changed for the worse. Monopoly is a classic game and I thin that part of its charm is the exchange of physical money and counting up how much you have, rather than checking your balance on an electronic screen. Yes, it is a very good reflection of today's technological society, but it just doesn't work for this game.