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So Celebrity Big Brother is back for its final year. It originally was used as part of Comic Relief in 2001 and then took a break in 2003 when they showed Teen Big Brother. It was then shown in 2004 on. As you probably have heard from the media Big Brother's contract has ended with channel 4 and so this is the last year that it is being shown.
The idea behind the original Big Brother was that they put a group of unknown people in a house and then be able to watch what they do 24 hours a day. Someone probably thought why not do this with celebrities? We usually only get to see celebrities in magazine articles etc when they show themselves in a good light. Instead this programme meant that we could see the celebrities in a way they had never been seen before.
In Celebrity Big Brother a number of celebrities who are famous for various things are introduced one by one into a house full of cameras. These celebrities vary from Hollywood Actors to Page 3 models. Some of them admittedly aren't actually that famous at all, although they normally are by the end of the series. A lot of celebrities seem to do these reality programmes if they have a new single coming out or they need some publicity for something. I am not sure it always does the right thing. Although sometimes it can make people see a celebrity in a better light, a lot of the time it shows the shallow and childish nature of them.
I do like the idea behind Big Brother and I have always been a fan of the show although I prefer the normal one to Celebrity Big Brother normally. It is enjoyable to watch these people in a house interacting with each other and the funny and more serious moments that happen.
When the celebrities go into the house this is always quite funny as they often don't know who the others are. It is also interesting to see who does know each other. For example this year they have put in Alex Reid (Jordan's boyfriend) and Dane Bowers (Jordan's ex). Although they are friends 'apparently', it will be interesting to see how they interact with each other.
The celebrities get set tasks while they are in the house to do various things. This can involve them dressing up in different costumes, learning a skill or a number of different things. The producers usually try and make these tasks as silly as possible so they can make the celebrities look really stupid. It is definitely funny watching these tasks and one my favourites from the different series of Celebrity Big Brother was when Kenzie (Blazin Squad) was wearing a Humpty Dumpty costume. It was really funny watching this guy who thought he was so cool walking around in such a funny costume.
Celebrity Big Brother is a lot shorter than the normal Big Brother and is only about 4 weeks. Therefore instead of the usual eviction every week these are more often. As with all series of Big Brother the celebrities are evicted by a public vote where you can vote for the person that you want to leave the house. Then eventually at the end there will be only a couple of celebrities left and you can vote for the one you want to win.
I don't always enjoy all the series of this show but some have been a lot better than others. I think it depends a lot on who the celebrities are as the way they interact with each other can make it interesting or boring if nothing much happens. Unfortunately to make it exciting sometimes a bit of conflict does help although the funny moments also make it more fun to watch. Sometimes the conflict can go a bit too far and there was an occasion when there were racist comment made which led to a lot of public complaints about the programme. This was obviously not something that people want to see and the programme has tried its hardest to keep these kinds of problems away.
Celebrity Big Brother is currently showing on channel 4. You can also watch Big Brothers Little Brother and Big Brothers Big Mouth which are shown on Channel 4 and E4 if you want even more entertainment.
Celebrity Big Brother is an entertaining programme. It isn't intelligent but it is fun to see celebrities do silly things sometimes.
I always thought that Zara would be a really expensive store and so I never went in there when I was shopping. I did start to hear different stories though about people getting some cheaper items in there and so I decided that I would have a look. I have now been shopping there a couple of years and it is one of the stores that are my favourites on the high street now.
Zara as I said is a clothing store. It has clothes for women and men although I have only ever shopped in there for women's clothing so can only comment on that. Zara is a very European style store and I have seen branches of it in places like Spain.
It has a very sophisticated look to it which is one of the reasons that I always thought it would be so expensive. The look of the store is quite exclusive and is very white, which is how more expensive shops usually look. The clothes are all spaced out quite well and it is easy to look at what you like. One thing I do find different to other stores is that the shoes don't have a designated area, they tend to be spread around the shop instead. The clothes are usually separated into different types of styles so you can have a look and see which style you are interested in and browse that area.
The clothes that they sell tend to fall into two sections. There are the normal Zara clothes which are on the more expensive side of the high street. These fit in more with the interior of Zara and have the prices you would expect. There is also the basics Zara range which tends to be the clothes I go for and what makes it more affordable than you would expect. The Normal range tends to have all the high fashion clothes that are a bit more exciting and different. The basics range is all the sort of basics that you need that don't change too much season to season like basic jackets, cardigans and vest tops. I have bought quite a few cardigans from Zara now which were only about 12 pounds each. I thought this was really cheap as you could pay more than this in places like New Look. They have lasted me ages and so I think they are good quality as well. The basic ranges tend to have a lot of colour variety so you can find the item in the colour you want.
Zara also do a younger sort of range which in the Westfield store (the one I visit most) is located at the back of the store. These clothes seem to be a bit younger and trendier rather than sophisticated like the clothes in the main section of the store. I do find that sometimes that the more fashionable clothes are a bit too much for me as I am not too daring. I do see some really nice items though that I think would be worth paying the extra money for.
For Christmas my boyfriend got me some Zara vouchers. They don't do what most stores now do and you choose the amount which then they put on a card. Instead you have to buy cards for a certain amount. They do let you use the vouchers even if you aren't using the whole amount though and they just take the amount off and print you a receipt with the remaining balance written on it so that you know.
I went to visit the January sale the other day and it was very busy and the store was a lot more messy than usual. It looked like the majority of the stock had been put on sale. I did manage to find a couple of cardigans that I wanted but I am not one for loving shopping when I have to look through messed up piles and rails for clothes. I am sure if you do like rummaging through you could get yourself some good bargains though.
There are a number of Zara shops and they seem to be popping up in more locations. As I said earlier the one I go to most often is in Westfield and is a nice store.
Overall Zara is a nice clothing shop which caters for both a limited budget and a slightly more extravagant one.
A few weeks ago we were doing what a lot of you would have doing and shopping for Christmas presents. The weekend before Christmas we decided to give a different shopping centre a try so we went to Brent Cross.
Brent Cross is a shopping centre, funnily enough located in Brent Cross in North West London. You can get there by car from a lot of different directions. We don't live that far away so we drove coming off the A406. It was quite easy to find and there were signs once you got near. One of the best things about this shopping centre is that the parking is free. Considering sometimes parking can cost you a lot of money, it is very welcome not to have to pay. They have over 8000 parking spaces as well. We went the weekend before Christmas as I said and we didn't struggle to find a space even though it wasn't that early. You can also get to the shopping centre by bus, there are 13 buses that go to the centre. The nearest tube station is Hendon Central and it is not too far from there. It can be very busy in that area so I would make sure you leave plenty of time for your journey. This wasn't a problem for us though.
There are a wide variety of shops at Brent Cross. These include women's clothes shop like Miss Selfridge, New Look and River Island, Menswear like Topman, children's shops like Mothercare and Baby Gap. Other types of shops include toyshops, book shops and all the usual types of shops you expect in a shopping centre. I think there was a good range of shops there including some of my favourites Miss Selfridge and New Look. Having a Miss Selfridge definitely makes it have something over Westfield as that is my favourite shop to buy clothes. Some of the shops are quite small compared to the same shops elsewhere in London though. For example the Topshop is a lot smaller than those in Westfield and Oxford Street and therefore you are going to have a lot less choice. It was a lot less busier though and so you might actually have a chance to see the clothes. I found the stores did have the main range of clothing and accessories though so unless you are looking for something really specific you could still find some nice clothes.
Apart from the shops there are also a number of places to eat and drink. These include fast food restaurants Mcdonalds and Burger King. Also other places to eat include Wagamamas and Yo Sushi! The places to eat tend to be fairly low key but there is still quite a lot of choice. While we were there we ate at Burger King. It wasn't too busy, although we did eat there fairly early. The other restaurants were also not too busy at the time around. They are mainly all on the top floor so you can have a look round and choose where you want to eat.
Brent Cross has the usual facilities that would expect at a shopping centre including those for children and for the disabled. They have an information desk so if you need any help to find anything or any other problems then you can ask here for some help. They also have maps which are very useful if you haven't been there before. We got one of these which are at various points around the centre. It lists all the various shops and then codes them as to where they are. It wasn't the easiest map to understand but it did help us to find the shops we were looking for. It isn't a massive shopping centre so you couldn't get too lost but it is big enough to need a bit of help finding specific stores.
Brent Cross is open from 10am to 8pm on weekdays so you have got plenty of time to do your shopping. On Saturdays it is open 9am to 7pm and Sunday 12 till 6 pm in the afternoon. We arrived around 11 am on a Saturday and it wasn't too busy.
Overall Brent Cross is a nice shopping centre with all the usual shops. It is not massive and a lot of the stores are smaller than other branches so you might not have as much choice. It was an enjoyable experience though, helped by the fact it is free parking.
I first came across Gossip Girl when bored flicking through channels one day. I thought this looks like it could be good and I got pulled in immediately and I realised that I wanted to watch this from the start. I asked for both Season 1 and 2 on DVD for my birthday and have just recently finished watching season 1 so here is my review on that box set.
Gossip Girl is set in New York in the Upper East side where a group of privileged teenagers attend an expensive private school. It was based partially on books by Cecily Von Ziegesar. The teenagers are all trying to get through the teenage years at school and get into a good college. They also have to try and navigate their way through all the gossip that surrounds them due to the online blogger 'Gossip Girl'. No one know who she is but she pretty much rules all their lives and nothing seems to happen without her picking up on it. In this first series we are introduced to all of the main characters and we start to see how the actions of them all affect each other and create a big tangled web.
I really like the setting with this programme. After visiting New York I realised it is definitely one of my favourite places ever and so therefore any TV show that is set there is likely to appeal to me. I like that the majority of the characters are very privileged as it makes the show very glamorous and there are always exciting parties going on. The storylines that are used within the season are great and really get you hooked. These vary from people getting together, to parents who have broken up to people lying about who they are. There is always something exciting happening and you never get bored. Each episode leaves you wanting to know what will happen next.
There are some great characters in Gossip Girl. There is Serena (Blake Lively) who has just come back from Boarding School. she seems to have some big secret that is eating away at her but she is trying to move on with her life and is starting to date Dan. Dan (Penn Badgley) is not as privileged as the others at the school and his Dad has to work very hard to send him and his sister Jenny (Taylor Momsen) there. Dan and Jenny have been under the radar until Dan starts to date Serena and suddenly finds he is suddenly one of Gossip Girls favourite subject. Blair (Leighton Meester) was Serena's best friend but after Serena left without even saying goodbye she now sees her as competition. Blair seems to live the perfect life with the perfect boyfriend Nate (Chace Crawford) and her designer Mother but things aren't as great as she lets on. Nate isn't sure his feelings are the same for Blair anymore and he is having even more problems with his Dad pressuring him to go to a college he doesn't want to. Nate's best friend is Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick). Chuck is extremely rich and pretty much does as he pleases even if that involves things that could get in a lot of trouble. Other characters include Dan and Jenny's Dad Rufus (Matthew Settle) and Serena's Mum Lily (Kelly Rutherford) who seem to have a bit of history.
I love all of the characters in Gossip Girl and each of them has a lot of depth which is what I like about them. You find out more about each character as you watch each episode and it makes you feel like you almost know them. I think the writers could have easily made the characters just glamorous people who squabble but there is a lot more to them. I like how even the characters that at first seem like the obvious baddies aren't as bad as you think and have their own problems too. Although Blair and Chuck are the two most manipulative characters the more you watch of them the more you grow to like them. The show certainly wouldn't be the same without them. I also like how all of the characters intertwine although it can get confusing remembering who is with who.
The acting in the show is very good, which is probably why you get to like the characters so much. There are a lot of young actors in the show, some of which haven't really done much before but have really shown themselves to be very talented. I am particularly impressed by how Ed Westwick who is in fact English comes off so convincingly as being American. It wasn't until I was reading something about him I realised he was actually English. As I said the actors have to deal with a lot of different storylines, from funny to serious and they manage to pitch all of these just right so it is believable.
One of the things that really makes Gossip Girl great and enjoyable especially for girls to watch is the fashion in it. The wardrobes that the main characters have are amazing and make me a bit jealous frankly! I have read in magazines about how much the stuff they wear is worth. The clothes make you want to have the life these privileged teenagers do but obviously without the drama involved. I also love the school uniform they wear as well, makes you remember these people are just teenagers although they seem a lot older sometimes.
Each episode of Season one is around 45 minutes so they allow enough time for you to become really involved. It also means that with the boxset costing around £10 now on Amazon you get a lot of viewing time for your money.
Overall I really enjoy Gossip Girl and it is a firm favourite of mine now. It is aimed at a young female audience so it may not be everyone's cup of tea. If you like a show with lots of drama, bitchiness and glamour then you may love it as much as I do.
While I seem to be on theme of Christmas films this week, here is another Christmas film review for you. Home Alone is another of my favourites (yes I do have quite a few). This film was out in 1990 in the cinema and is a film I have been brought up watching from a very young age. I don't think I can remember a year without seeing this film. We used to have it on video but I bought it on DVD last year.
Home Alone is a story based around a young boy called Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Caulkin). Kevin is the youngest of a big family at 8 years old and often gets fed up of trying to compete with all the other children. This Christmas his family are going on holiday alongside his Auntie and Uncle and cousins. It is mayhem in the house as they are all packing and getting ready for their trip to France. Meanwhile two burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) are staking the McCallisters neighbourhood to see who will be away for the Christmas period. The two men get very excited when they see all the things inside the McCallisters. Unfortunately Kevin manages to get himself in trouble the night before they all leave and his Mother (Catherine O'Hara) sends him up to sleep in the attic. The next morning the alarms don't go off and the family wake up to find themselves in a mad rush to get ready and to the airport. So busy that they don't even notice that they have forgotten something pretty important... Kevin.
The story is a really fun one that provides for some great comedy moments. It is though pretty unrealistic, there are many parts in the film that you think that just wouldn't really happen. Would parents really forget one of their children even if they are in a mad rush? I would like to think not, despite this you are still able to believe that his parents are good parents who love him and would do anything to get back to him. I don't think the unrealistic nature of some parts of the films effect your enjoyment though. The main point of the film is to remember why Christmas is important, to be around the people that you love and that point is made well. There are both serious and more humorous elements in the film and these work well together to make it a fun and also sentimental story.
The character of Kevin as I said is the main character in Home Alone. He is a young boy of only 8 who thinks he knows best. He also shows that he is mature beyond his years, though the child in him still comes out. He is a great character that was created and I think when he is Home Alone he does a lot of the stuff we all would have loved to do if we were Home Alone as children like eat ice cream and watch scary films. The other main characters are the burglars. Although we don't really get to learn a background to these characters you do get to learn that they are very different. Harry is the cleverer one of the two and is the one that comes up with the plans. Marv on the other hand tends to do more things that are likely to get them both caught. Even though the burglars are bad guys, you do in a way get to like them and the things they do are very funny. They are what makes the film so humorous. The way they react and respond to each other creates some great moments.
The acting of Macaulay Caulkin in this film shows the potential he had as an actor. He was very young when in this film, only about 9 years old and yet he does a brilliant job in the role. Some of his facial expressions and the way that he speaks is far older than his years, and really makes you believe the character he is playing. It is quite strange seeing how young he seems in this film sometimes as he is older than me yet I will always see him as Kevin in Home Alone. The acting of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern is also brilliant. As I said before the characters don't have that much depth but they do have to put up with an awful lot. I love how persistent they are and their reactions to some of the things that happen to them are hilarious.
There are some good Christmas songs in the film so it does get you in the mood. It has a really nice Christmas message to it which isn't focused on wholly but does shine through.
Home Alone is 99 minutes long, the perfect length for a family comedy. It is rated a PG and I think is certainly suitable for the whole family. It is a little dated being nearly 20 years old but I don't think you notice that much and I think children now would still enjoy it although it is more a nostalgic thing for me.
You can buy this DVD from around £3 on Amazon, which is great value for money.
Overall Home Alone is a great family comedy film with a lovely Christmas message.
Miracle on 34th Street is definitely one if my favourite Christmas films. This is actually a remake of the original film which was out in 1947. This one was released in 1994 and has been a firm favourite for me since. This film was actually number one in a show of the top Christmas films I saw the other day and I can see why.
The story of Miracle On 34th Street is based around a little girl called Susan (Mara Wilson) who lives alone with her Mother Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) who works at The Coles department store in New York. Dorey has told Susan that Santa Claus doesn't exist much to the disgust of their family friend Bryan Bedford (Dylan McDermott). Dorey is in charge of the Coles annual thanksgiving parade where they will show their brand new Santa off to the children of New York. Unfortunately the Santa who has been chosen is totally unsuitable and drunk before the parade. Dorey finds a man called Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough) fighting with the man trying to take away his alcohol. Realising the problem she was facing without having a Santa she turns to Kris who luckily looks incredible like the real thing. Kris agrees to do it and becomes the Coles new Santa. When Susan sees him she starts to wonder if her Mother may have been wrong when she told her that Santa doesn't exist.
Miracle on 34th Street is a great heart warming Christmas film with a great storyline. The story is based around a little girl who seems to be grown up beyond her years and with nothing to believe in till she meets Kris. He allows her to realise how exciting Christmas can be and what it really means. It is a fun storyline most of the way through but there are also some serious and more sad parts in it. I think these more serious and sad parts of the story make the happier parts more heart warming and special.
There are some really nice scenes in the film. My favourite scene has to be when Kris has got a little deaf girl sat on his lap and the Mother of the girls says he doesn't need to speak to her. Kris turns the little girl round and starts speaking to her in sign language lighting her face up. Apparently the little girl actually had no idea he was going to do this is real life and so her facial expressions were real. I think this scene really sums up what the film is about which is heart warming moments that make you feel all warm inside. The film is full of little scenes like this, which make up the atmosphere of the film.
Kris Kringle is obviously one of the main characters in the film and he is a great one. He is just what you imagine Santa Claus would be like if he was living in New York in the real world. He is a kind, old man who doesn't seem like he would hurt anyone but manages to get himself in trouble. He cares about kids first and foremost and will do anything to make them happy. He is a great portrayal of Santa Claus and one that all kids should see. Other good characters in the film include Susan the young girl. As I said previously she is very serious and grown up for her young age. Kris manages to change her opinions though and provide some Christmas excitement and amazement for her and something to believe in.
There is also a romance story going on between Dorey and Bryan. This is quite a nice story but isn't focused on too much. I think it is good for adults as it provides a little more depth to the whole film. I also like the way that Bryan has a similar effect on Dorey that Kris does on Susan.
The acting in this film is fantastic. Kris Kringle is played brilliantly by Richard Attenborough, who looks the part so well. I think even if he wasn't a good actor he would be believable because of the way he looks. His acting though really adds to the overall character and he is very mild mannered, only having moments of anger when he is trying to protect others. I also thought Mara Wilson did a great job playing Susan. She had a good career as a child including playing Matilda and this is one of her finest roles. Sometimes children aren't very believable but she does a great job. She is cute and plays the slightly precocious and grown up child easily. The other actors in the film also do a great job.
The film is 109 minutes long which is just the right length for you to keep interest. It is rated a U and is suitable for everyone but I would say some scenes could potentially be a bit upsetting for children.
The DVD can be purchased for around £5 and is certainly worth this, it is a DVD that I will continue to get out every year to get me in the Christmas mood.
Overall Miracle on 34th Street is a great Christmas film with a good story and the best Santa Claus in any Christmas film I have seen.
I have been watching a lot of Christmas films recently. I love doing this just before Christmas as it gets me in the mood and makes me feel excited! One of my favourite films to watch which I own on DVD is The Santa Claus.
The Santa Claus is based around a man called Scott Calvin (Tim Allen). Scott works at a toy company where he is very high up and works hard. Sometimes his hard work can mean he is late to see his son Charlie (Eric Lloyd). Charlie lives with his Mum (Wendy Crewson) and Stepdad Neil (Judge Reinhold) and doesn't really enjoy going to see his Dad. This particular Christmas Charlie is staying at his Dads on Christmas Eve. The night doesn't get off to a good start when Scott turns up late after his work Christmas party and then managed to burn the turkey and they end up eating at a restaurant. Scott is also annoyed to find out that Neil has told Charlie that Santa Claus does not exist. He tells Charlie 'the night before Christmas' story before bed and then they both go to sleep. In the middle of the night Scott and Charlie are both woken up by a loud sound outside. Scott goes outside to investigate and sees Santa Claus on the roof, he shouts up and Santa Claus slips and falls. Where he should be though lying in the snow is just his suit with a business card inside saying Scott should slip on the Santa suit. Before they know it Scott and Charlie and flying on the reindeer sleigh, is Scott the new Santa Claus?
I think the story is a really nice Christmas one. It has got all the things you want in a Christmas film: snow , Santa, reindeer, elves and presents. It also has a more adult story to it which is that of a man who has to fight for custody of his son against his ex wife and her husband who think he is going mad. I used to enjoy this story as a child and I think I enjoy it even more now as there is more depth to it than you originally find. There is also some adult humour in there that children wouldn't get. It is a heart warming story and is just the thing to get you in the Christmas mood.
I like the concept that Santa Claus is a normal person as it makes it quite funny seeing how he changes. The character of Scott is a good one and the typical type of character you get in Christmas films. He begins being a not so nice person who seems to care mainly about himself and less about his son and the things he should care about. As you would expect his character really changes and it is nice to see this transformation and it makes you warm towards him. Scott is also a funny character and he has some humorous moments throughout the film. Other good characters include Neil , he is very different from Scott and this makes the times when they meet quite funny. Another character that I enjoyed watching was the head elf Bernard (David Krumholtz) as he was a really serious character in all that he said but the actual words are quite funny.
I thought Tim Allen did a good job in this role. He always performs well in comedy roles and this is no exception. The story and the lines written in to the film allow his to show himself to his true potential. I found the way that he acted very funny, helped by the good writing. He was very believable in his role. The other actors were also good throughout especially the child actors including Eric Lloyd. Sometimes child actors are not actually good at acting but he did a great job and he again was very believable in his role.
The Santa Claus is 105 minutes long which is a good length for an enjoyable festive film. It is rated a U and I would definitely say it is suitable for the whole family. As I said earlier it will appeal to children and also adults due to some of the jokes.
It is quite an old film, originally being released in 1994 at the cinema. I don't think you notice this too much though and it is not too dated. It is a film that I will continue to watch for many years and I think children now would also enjoy it.
The film had a great feel to it overall and it does make you feel good after watching it. It is funny and is great for the whole family to watch.
What did you do in 2009 that you have not done before?
I can't actually think of anything off the top of my head!
Did anyone close to you give birth?
My boyfriends sister had a little girl who I am going to be Godmother to.
Did anyone close to you die?
One of my best friends younger sister sadly died of cancer at the young age of 20. It was very upsetting especially because of her age.
What countries did you visit?
I went to Zante In Greece.
What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
To actually have some money! I would like to buy a flat with my boyfriend so hopefully that will happen.
What dates will you remember from 2009?
The 4th of July when I went to see Take That. Apart from that mainly peoples birthdays etc.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I did have a bit of a cold in the summer but nothing serious.
What was the best thing you bought?
My Ugg Boots which I got with birthday money.
Whose behaviour has merited celebration?
My Boyfriend managed to get himself a great new job so was very proud of him.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I don't think anyone in particular. I don't like to let people get to me.
Where did most of your money go?
I have no idea! A lot paying my Dad back for my car and also on various nights out and a holiday.
What did you get really excited about?
I got excited about a few things. Holiday, my birthday and Christmas were probably the most exciting for me.
What song(s) will you remember from 2009?
Dizzee Rascal - bonkers and holiday as they remind me of the summer.
Compared to this time last year are you . . . happier, fitter, or more productive?
I think I am probably happier , feel quite content with life at the moment although there is lots I want to do.
I don't think I am any fitter, definitely need to work on that one.
I would say I am just as productive as I was last year.
What do you wish you had done more of?
Spent more time enjoying London (I live here) and spend more time outdoors in the summer.
What do you wish you had done less of?
Less spending money on rubbish as normal and less eating!
What was your favourite TV programme?
Definitely X Factor, I am addicted to that programme.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year?
I don't think so. My hatred for Spencer in The Hills has grown though!
What was your greatest musical discovery?
I love a bit of Michael Buble now and also Joe from the X Factor ( love him!).
What did you want to get in 2009?
Lots of things and I got most of them.
What did you want and didn't get?
I don't think there is anything I particularly wanted that I didn't get apart from a flat.
What is your favourite film of the year?
I am not really sure. Nothing stands out to me that much. I quite liked The Hangover.
What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I was 23 and I had lunch with my family, went to the theatre to see Sister Act with friends and also went on a great night out.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Hmm I am not sure I have been that stirred by any political issues.
Who was the best person you met?
My boyfriends new niece.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009?
Life is short so live it to the full which I hope to next year!
The Hangover is a comedy film that was released in June 2009. I didn't get the chance to go and see it at the cinema but did hear some good things so when it was released on DVD I decided I should have a watch.
The story is based around a man called Doug's (Justin Bartha) stag do. He is about to get married to Tracy (Sacha Barrese) and can't wait. His two best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) are taking him to Las Vegas for a fun boys night out. Tracy's slightly odd brother Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is also along for the ride. Stu has to lie to his girlfriend about where they are going because she is so controlling. Phil is happy to have a bit of a break from his wife and child and Alan is just being his usual odd self. The trip starts in the normal manner with the boys ganging up on Stu to make him pay for a massive suite instead of the room they had booked. They then set about getting ready for their night out. They go up to the top of the hotel roof where Alan pours them all a drink. Next thing they remember is waking up, the suite is a mess and they have no idea what happened.
The story is a great one for comedy as stag do's are obviously an occasion when men get drunk and do silly things. Therefore it is always going to be a great idea for a comedy. It is also an exaggeration of something that many of us experience ourselves after we have drunk a lot the night before and can't remember what happened. I like the idea that the scene is set and then there is a blank that they have to try and work out what happened retracing their steps. This is fun and also leaves a lot of mystery , which is what makes the storyline interesting and there are many unexpected turns. What I liked most was that the story was unpredictable and you never knew what was going to happen next.
I think the characters also really make the film great. They are all very different which is what you would expect from a stag do and adds to the comedy. There is Doug who is the stag, he is in love with his fiancé and can't wait to marry her. He is a nice guy who was even kind enough to invite Alan even though he is weird. He isn't the most exciting character but he is the one that brings all the others together so has an important part in the film. Phil is one of his best friends who has a wife and child at home. He works as a teacher and so doesn't have a very exciting life but likes to pretend he is the life and soul of the party. Stu gets bossed around by his girlfriend and tends to be the boring one, this soon changes after he has had a drink. Finally there is Alan, Tracy's odd brother who doesn't really have any friends of his own and can't wait to hang out with the boys.
As I said all the characters were interesting and were each very different. My favourite character was Alan as he was really funny and the odd things he did made me laugh. I liked how they all played off each other. Some of the other characters that they come across throughout the film also added to the humour and fun of the film.
The acting of the characters was really good and they were all very believable in their parts they played. As I said my favourite character was Alan and I think this was partially due to the acting of Zach Galifianakis. He managed to play the eccentric character in a way that was not too over the top but was still hilarious. He is a great comedy actor that was a vital part of the film that made it work so well.
One thing I thought was great about the film was that both women and men would enjoy it. The comedy is not aimed at one market but instead it has parts that would appeal to both. Most of us have gone out and got drunk so we know what it is like.
The film is 99 minutes long which is just the right length for a comedy. It was interesting throughout and I didn't lose interest.
Overall I thought The Hangover was a good comedy film with some great characters and a fun storyline.
I hadn't been to Pizza Hut for ages but we went for lunch today so I thought I would write a review on it.
Pizza Hut as you can tell is a pizza restaurant, although it does sell other foods as well it mainly does focus on Pizza. Pizza Hut actually began back in the 1950's in the USA but didn't open in England till the 70's. It mainly started to become big in the 80's though and I remember attending quite a few Pizza Hut birthda parties in the early 90's. Pizza Hut these days has expanded quite a bit from its original form.
Pizza Hut is a restaurant but in more of a fast food form. It is not really a restaurant that you expect high quality expensive food from. It is more one where you can get a reasonably priced and cheerful meal. The restaurants have seating areas with various sized tables for different sized groups. It is possible to book a table either online or by phoning up but I usually find this isn't needed unless you have a large group. I have never had to wait too long for a table when I have arrived. There is usually a member of waiting staff at the front who will find you a table.
The seating areas are not very posh and have easy wipe clean tables, which is great if you are going for a family meal as you don't have to worry about the kids making a mess. They usually provide colouring sheets and crayons for kids as well, so I would say it is very child friendly.
The menus are given to you on your arrival and have a variety of food and drink on them. There are a number of starters including garlic bread, mushrooms and potato wedges. These starters are all around £2 - £4 in price so are quite reasonable. For main courses they also have various salads, pasta dishes and pizza. As I said earlier the pizza is what the restaurant focuses on so there is a lot of choice of these. You can choose from a number of bases and crusts including stuffed crust, toppings and also the size of the pizza. As well as the different varieties of toppings that they mention you can also make your own and choose your own toppings. The pizzas are around £5.49 for an individual pizza, £10.99 for a medium pizza and £12.99 for a large pizza. I think this is quite reasonable although you could get a pizza for around the same price somewhere like Pizza Express and it is a little bit better quality. There are also a number of varieties of pizza, most of these are quite new.
I think that the pizza tastes OK but it can taste a little bit greasy. I prefer pizza from other places but I still do enjoy the taste of it generally. There are some good varieties of toppings and there is always one that I fancy. I haven't tried any of the pasta but there are now quite a few varieties so if yo would prefer that to pizza there is bound to be something you want.
There are also a number of deserts including the ice cream factory where you can go up as many times as you want and help yourself to the ice cream and all the different toppings for a set price. This was one of my favourites as a child. Does make you feel a bit ill when you eat too much though. The deserts are all reasonably prices with the most expensive about £3.49.
Pizza Hut do a number of deals. One of these which is very popular is the lunchtime buffet. For £6.49 you can eat as much pizza , pasta and salad as you want. This is quite good although sometimes I do find they don't have too many varieties of the pizza and only a couple of kinds of pasta. It is nice to be able to have a bit of salad with your pizza though. They are usually quite good at replacing the food so it is usually quite fresh. This is only available during lunchtime on weekdays.
There are a number of drinks available including alcoholic ones. I usually go for one of the soft drinks though, which have free refills. The staff are quite good at coming and refilling your drink although I usually only manage one or two as I am so full. These are £1.99 so it is good value if you keep refilling.
The staff in Pizza Hut tend to be quite attentive and are quick to help you. The food doesn't take long to come normally.
Overall I think Pizza Hut is an OK restaurant. They have a variety of food available at a reasonable price. I don't think the food is particularly tasty and you could probably use a voucher and get a cheaper meal somewhere like Pizza Express or Zizzis. I would say though that it is a good restaurant to take kids to.
Look magazine originally came out in February 2007. It was quite similar to Grazia in the sense that it took more of a fashion stance to a weekly magazine.
Look magazine as I said is a weekly magazine that comes out on a Monday. It is a bit different to the normal weekly magazines that you get as it has a bigger focus on fashion. Most weekly magazines seem to focus on celebrities and the latest diets etc and it is the monthly magazines that focus on some more serious stories and fashion. This magazine managed to encompass parts of both of these magazine styles.
Looking at the front of the magazine there is always a celebrity on the front. This is always somebody who is in the limelight a lot at that time. The last few weeks for example it has mainly had covers with Danni Minogue and Cheryl Cole on, as they are probably two of the most talked about women. As well as hinting on what the main story about the celebrity is on the front cover there is also a few examples of some of the fashion inside. The writing on the front is always in a bright colour and immediately attracts your attention. I think the front cover gives you a good idea of what the magazine is like as it shows you the kind of content and also the bright colours show it isn't going to be dull and posh but more exciting and fun.
Once inside the magazine you can see the sections which are fashion and beauty, celebrity, real life and every week. The main sections are the fashion and beauty and celebrity ones. This shows how they are trying to merge these two sections. This magazine is slightly different to other magazines in that it starts with a fashion section with a few items that are fashionable at the moment. It then goes on to show pictures of celebrities wearing nice clothes. Another difference to the usual trashy womens weeklys is that it doesn't spend ages looking at outfits that are bad, instead it focuses on good fashion.
Other parts of the magazine include some stories about celebrities including the one on the cover. These stories are usually hyped up rubbish as with most magazines but they are still quite an enoyable read. There are also some real life stories , although only a couple of these. I quite like the real life stories and the way they are written makes them quite an interesting read.
The back section of the magazine mainly focuses on fashion and beauty showing all the latest clothes and make up etc. What I really like about this magazine is that the clothes that are in it are actually available easilly on the highstreet or from the internet. Look is quite smilar in it's style to Grazia magazine focusing on fashion and celebrity. The difference between the two is mainly that the fashion included is much more affordable. I particularly like the pages where it has a number of highstreet stores and then shows some of the new items they have for sale. It is good that if I look through and see something I want I know that i will probably be able to get hold of it and also afford it.
I like the style of the magazine as it is not a heavy read so it does fit well with the weekly category. The style it has been written in is good as it is simple but not in a way that feels like it has been aimed at people who don't understand anything. The sections are easy to find and flick through. It also has quite a glossy feeling to the whole magazine in the way it is laid out and the pictures are used.
Look costs £1.60 , which I think is quite a reasonable price. It is a bit more expensive than some of the other weeklys but I think this is worth the money because of the content. It also feels more like a monthyl magazine so it is good value for money.
Overall Look is a good magazine for those who love a mix between celebrity gossip and fashion. I read quite a few weekly magazines and it is definitely one of my favourites.
Argos was always a popular shop with my Mum when i was little. I always used to find it exciting to go to the shop and pick up the latest catalogue and then take it home and circle everything I wanted. Now it is not a shop I use so much, probably due to the fact the Internet came along. It is still a useful shop though and I am going to talk about the different aspects of the shop in this review.
Argos was founded in the 70's and has since been one of the most famous and well known stores on the high street. Argos provided something different when you go shopping. You didn't go and select an item and then take it to the till to pay for it and then go home. Instead you had to go and look through a catalogue and then choose the item you want, go and pay for it and then go and collect it.
Inside Argos stores is very different from most stores. Instead of shelves of goods inside the shop when you go in, there is just some counters with books on. The Argos catalogue is on these counters where you can flick through and have a look for what you want. They have little machines where you can put the number of the item in and check whether it is in stock. The strange thing is it is like you are almost doing all the hardwork yourself, checking it is in stock etc. When you are a child this is really fun and makes the shop quite exciting but this soon wears off. At the time this method of shopping was quite new and made life easier but now you can buy things online and get them delivered to your door so it isn't quite the same.
The catalogue is really useful as you can take it home and then you can browse it in your own time without standing in a busy store when you have no time. It is well laid out in different sections and the index at the back is good to find exactly what you want.
The store itself sells loads of different items and I think this is the main appeal. It sells everything from home appliances to toys and beauty products to experience days. The amount of items it sells seems to increase with each catalogue that has been released. There are a variety of well known brands that are sold , so you are likely to be able to find something you want. As well as other brands Argos has some of its own specific brands like 'Elizabeth Duke' Jewellary, which is often joked about as being a bit cheap. They have their own jewellary counter within the store, which is about the only part where you can actually choose your jewellary looking at it properly first.
The quality of the products sold in Argos is generally quite good. As I said earlier they sell a lot of brands so you really can choose the brand that you know is good quality. They tend to list the items by price in the catalogue so if you have a budget for what you are buying it is easy to see which of the items are within this budget. The lower end of the spectrum is likely to be of lower quality but may still be good value for money. I think it is really good that there is a good variety of prices as it means that people can choose items that they can afford. It is all generally quite good value for money although I think that if you searched on the internet I think you could find items for less money.
For the last few years as well as being able to purchase items from in store you can also purchase them online or even check they are in stock before you go to the store to collect the item. I think the internet part of the catalogue is really useful as it means you can see if your local store has the item, reserve it and then go and pick it up. This is much better then turning up at the store and finding out they don't even have it.
Overall I think Argos is a good store. It has a wide variety of items for sale , all at reasonable prices. They have tried to make the process of buying your item as easy as possible . I think that shopping in the store can be a bit time consuming and the internet element is much more useful.
I am having a bit of a love for watching some of the 90's films I have on DVD at the moment. So here is a review for Clueless. This film was out in 1995 and there was also a TV series made of it later. Clueless was written and directed by Amy Heckerling.
Clueless is very loosely based on Jane Austen's Emma. The story focuses on Cher (Alicia Silverstone) a popular, rich and very pretty 15 year old high school student. She is used to having everything her way and even manages to negotiate her grades at school, which she thanks her Dad's skills as a lawyer for. She lives in Beverley Hills in a massive house with her own revolving computerised wardrobe. Her best friend Dion (Stacey Dash) is in a long term relationship with Murray (Donald Faison), and is also extremely popular and rich. One day a new girl starts at the school called Tai (Brittany Murphy), she seems like a bit of a lost cause for Cher sees her as a bit of a project and goes about giving her a makeover and trying to get her together with one of the most popular boys Elton. Cher herself is also looking for that special someone, but who will it be?
The story isn't a very serious one but it is a lot of fun. It is based around all the main anxieties when you are a teenager: what you are wearing, who you are going out with etc. These are obviously not really big issues but at the time they seem massive, which is what makes it a fun film to watch. When I was younger and would watch this I used to aspire to be like these girls and be incredible jealous of Cher's wardrobe (not sure I would want those clothes now). Now I am older I just like to watch and enjoy the story.
The characters are great in this film and Cher is my favourite. She is obviously very rich etc but she is still an extremely likeable character. She always is out trying to help other people and never puts herself first. She is a bit of an airhead but that is what makes her character so fun. I think she does show more of a clever side though as she manages to get people to join in her little schemes.
I also like the character of Tai as you get to see a real transformation of her from a bit of a grunge character to just like the other girls with perfectly groomed hair and clothes. You can see her starting to lose her identity though.
The acting in this film was good. I think the main characters all managed to play the airhead high school girls very well and it was believable. Alicia Silverstone managed to win an MTV movie award for her role in this film so you can see the kind of youth audience they were targeting. In the kind of film it was she managed to be funny without having to do slapstick or make obvious jokes. It was just funny some of the things her character did. It was also one of her first films and showed great potential for her for the future. Brittany Murphy again showed some good potential in this film and has also managed a great acting career. It is strange seeing these people so young in the film but you can see how they have done well.
Clueless is quite a dated film and I don't think young girls now would aspire to be like Cher and Dion like myself and other girls did. Their clothes look a bit unfashionable although the idea of wanting the latest clothes etc is still there. The music is quite fun and enjoyable in the film but again is quite dated. I think it is a classic film for a lot of girls around my age though and is one of the films brought up when we chat about which films we loved.
Clueless is 93 minutes long, which is just the right length for this sort of film. It is rated a 12 as there are some mild sexual references.
Overall Clueless will always be one of my favourite films. It is good fun and brings back great memories for me.
This was one of my favourite films as I was growing up and it is still one I love to watch every now and then. It was originally released in 1987 (so I would have actually only been 1 at the time!) and it was directed by Leonard Nimoy.
3 Men and A Baby is a story about 3 men who live together in Manhatten , New York. They have a brilliant apartment and have a great time with a life full of parties and women. Peter (Tom Selleck) is a very successful architect who is casually dating a woman called Rebecca (Margeret Colin). Michael (Steve Guttenberg) is a cartoonist and creates a famous cartoon character. Jack (Ted Danson) is an actor and the biggest ladies man of the lot.
Jack gets an offer to go abroad and do some filming and flys off leaving the other two to get on with their lives. Unfortunately things don't quite go their way when one day they find a baby outside the door of the flat. The men have no idea who the baby belongs to but soon find a note from someone called 'Sylvia' to Jack and they soon realise what has happened. With Jack not there Peter and Michael have to start looking after the baby, thinking it will only be a short term thing. Baby Mary has a much bigger impact on their lives than they ever thought she would though.
The story is a bit of a rediculous one at times. I know it is very believable that someone would get someone pregnant but the fact this baby turns up and the two men don't think to call the police or something is a little interesting. Also the scrapes they manage to get into aren't too realistic. Despite this I really like the story. It is original and there aren't really any other films out there like it. It is quite a family friendly story line and I enjoyed it as a child (although probably didn't understand some of it as much as I do now) and I still enjoy watching it. It is fun and although there are some slightly more serious parts to the film , this is what prevails throughout. I like that this film isn't just another romance film or a slap stick comedy. Instead it is a fun family film with some quite funny parts.
I think the fact that these three men are living together when they are clearly not incredible young and poor is a little odd. It does show how they are really good friends and enjoy each others company as bachelors though. I do like all of the main three men's characters though as they are all quite different. It is also quite funny watching these men who are used to living the bachelor lifestyle try to look after a baby. I find it really charming as you see all the characters grow.
I think the acting in the film is good. As I said previously it is not a deadly serious film but the characters are all played well by the actors. Tom Selleck plays serious architect Peter well, including the transformation of the character. Ted Danson plays womaniser Jack well as he realises that he has gained a daughter and soon realises that the new lady in his life may be very important. Steve Guttenberg also plays Michael well. The three actors work really well together and bounce off each other to create a great feel to the film.
The film is quite dated being over 20 years old now and some of the clothes they wear and music that is on the film is definitely out of date. I personally think this really adds to the charm of the film though and makes it quite retro. I like the music used , which is really fun and adds to the fun feel. If you haven't seen this film before though you may not appreciate this as much.
3 Men and A Baby is 98 minutes long so just over an hour and a half. I think the film is a really good length and it does manage to keep your attention throughout.
It is rated a PG and as I said previously I think it is suitable for kids and adults, although I think kids now would find it very out of date and not like the new animated films they watch now.
You can purchase this film on DVD for around £4 on Amazon.
Overall 3 Men and A Baby is a good film that brings back great memories to be. It has a fun story and is enjoyabe to watch, although it is a little dated.
It has taken me a while to get round to watching this film. We have had it on DVD but I just haven't been entirely motivated to watch it yet. The recent hype around follow up to this film, New Moon, has made me think I should finally watch Twilight.
Twilight was originally out back in 2008. It seemed to start a trend in the resurgence of Vampire films, which seem to come back into fashion every now and then. This film has managed to make vampires seem more exciting and sexy than ever before. It is based around the book by Stephanie Meyer. I haven't actually read the book so I can't comment on how near or far from the book the film is.
The story of Twilight starts with a young girl Bella (Kirsten Stewart). Bella has been living with her Mum after her parents broke up. Her Mum has got a new boyfriend , Phil, who has to travel a lot for work. Bella feels that she is holding her Mum back from what she wants to do and so decides to go and live with her Dad in Forks. The twon has a small population and is a bit different from what she is used to but she tries to settle in to her new life.
At school she soon gets to know some of the other teenagers and meets some new friends. She also comes across the Cullens family. Dr Cullen (Peter Facinelli) has fostered a group of children. They are all a bit strange and the other teenagers do not know what to make of them. One that stands out to Bella straight away is Edward (Robert Pattinson). He is extremely good looking and she can't help but be drawn to him and the mystery around him. She soon learns there is more to him than she first thought and eventually discovers that he is a vampire. The story follows the two as a relationship develops between the unlikely pair.
I think that the story of the film is a really interesting one and is quite original. As I said earlier a lot of films have been produced about vampires but this one is up to date with the times by being sexy and exciting. The story is a good one for both females and males as there is an element of romance but also action. I think the mix between the two is a good mix as it doesn't focus too much on one rather than the other. I was interested throughout the film as to what would happen and it also leaves you hanging at the end and ready to see what happens in the next film.
The characters were interesting. Bella was not your normal sappy teenage girl, she was a bit more mysterious and thoughtful. Edward was a really fascinating character that you wanted to find out more about. He had two very different sides to his personality and these were interesting to see.
The acting was very good in the film. You can see why all the girls have fallen for Robert Pattinson as he plays the heart throb well. He is not the normal clean cut character we normally see but instead more sexy and rugged. Obviously aside from how he looks he also managed to play the two sides of Edwards personality well, ranging from the soft romantic side to the more angry side. I also found it quite believable that he was a vampire as well from the way that he looked and acted. Kirsten Stewart did a great job of playing the anguished Bella as well. All of the other characters were portrayed brilliantly by the actors.
The action parts of the film were quite exciting , which I liked. I am not really an action sort of person but I didn't find this too much and the scenes were not extended too long. One particular scene that I thought was brilliant was a scene where they are playing baseball. You would have to watch it to get the true effect but they used some brilliant camera tricks and special effects to make this really exciting to watch.
Twilight is 117 minutes long, so just under two hours. I found this a good length of time and didn't feel like I lost any concentration throughout. It is rated a 12.
Overall I liked this film and thought it had some really good parts. The acting was great and it kept me interested throughout. I don't think it is one of my favourite films ever though and although I am looking forward to New Moon , I won't be first in the queue to watch it.