Sunday, October 20, 2013

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell 10/15 Pacific Rim, The Heat, and more

The Heat (2013)Maniac (2012)Plush (2013)Embrace of the Vampire (2013)

Pacific Rim 2013 Action Scifi Starring: Ron Perlman (Drive), Idris Elba (Thor), Charlie Hunnam  ("Sons of Anarchy"), & Rinko Kikuchi (The Brothers Bloom). Director: Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth). Writers: Marcus Dunstan (The Collection), Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy II: The Golden Army) and Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans) Plot: Hunnam stars as a washed-out controller and pilot of a series of robots called Jaegers, which are put into production after Earth is invaded by a species of giant monsters, the Kaijus.  Trailer Review: I'm only interested in this for Idris Elba. Rating: TBD Watch with: Battle: Los Angeles 

The Heat 2013 Action Comedy Starring: Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) & Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids). Director: Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) Writer: Katie Dippold PLot: The story begins when egotistical, ambitious FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) is promised consideration for a big promotion if she can bring down a drug lord setting up shop in Boston. She's forced to team with loud-mouthed local cop Shannon Mullins (McCarthy). Trailer Review: If I just read a plot synopsis about this movie I wouldn't wanna see it, but it has Bullock & McCarthy. That makes all the difference. Rating: TBD Watch with: Hot Fuzz, Bridesmaids. 

Maniac 2012 Horror Starring: Elijah Wood (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug). Director:
Franck Khalfoun (Wrong Turn at TahoeWriters: Gregory Levasseur (Piranha) & Alexandre Aja (Mirrors) based on the 1980 film Maniac. Plot: Reboot of the 1980 film that takes you into the killer's POV. On the surface Frank (Wood) may look like just another skinny L.A. hipster, but don't be fooled -- he's a deeply disturbed killer with a penchant for collecting the scalps of pretty young women. Trailer Review: I like the idea of a film completely from the kiiller's POV. I've never seen that before. Yes, I know it's a reboot, but I've never seen the 1980 version so I'll watch this first. I like to watch the new one first then go back and watch the original to compare. I'm more likely to enjoy both films that way. Rating: TBD Watch with: Maniac (1980) & American Psycho

 Plush 2013 Thriller Starring: Emily Browning (Sleeping Beauty) & Cam Gigandet (The Roommate) Director: Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) Writers: Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) and Arty NelsonPlot: A talented rock star mourning the drug-overdose death of her brother and bandmate hires a new guitarist who turns dangerously obsessive. Trailer Review: I like music films, and Browning has an amazing voice. Listen to the Sucker Punch soundtrack to see what I mean. I also love stalker films. They are my guilty pleasure no matter how awful so I should enjoy this. Rating: TBD Watch with: The Roommate 

Embrace of the Vampire (V) 2013 Horror Director: Carl Bessai (Sisters and Brothers). Writers: Andrew Christopher Erin (Tornado Valley) and Sheldon Roper based on the 1995 film of the same name. Plot: Charlotte is a timid and sheltered teen who has just left an all-girls Catholic school for a new life at a co-ed university. But an ancient evil has followed her here, tormenting her with disturbing nightmares and tempting her with forbidden desires. It is a hunger that can only be satiated by sensual pleasures of the flesh...and a thirst for blood. It's a battle for her soul... and one she's losing. But Charlotte is a fighter. The chaos and torment threatens to unleash her own inner beast, and anyone even close to her may find themselves embracing their own horrific fate. Trailer Review: I've seen the original 95 version starring Alyssa Milano which was basically soft-core porn. I liked Milano in the film since she's always good, but the movie itself was pretty boring & awful. This film apparently takes most of the soft-core porn stuff out and has more Buffy-type action which has to be an improvement, but it's straight to video status at a time when vampire cult is still pretty high is not a good sign. Rating: TBD Watch with: Embrace of the Vampire (95). 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gravity Movie Review

Gravity (2013) Poster 
Gravity 2013 Scifi Directed by: 3X Oscar nom Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men). Written bu: Alfonso &  (A Little Princess), & 2X Oscar winner George Clooney (The Ides of March). Starring: Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), 2X Oscar Winner George Clooney (Syriana), and 4X Oscar nom Ed Harris (The Truman Show & Apollo 13). Plot: Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) in command. But on a seemingly routine mission, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone. Review: 
One stellar performance & Oscar caliber visuals combine to make a stunning and moving scifi gem sure to have the Oscars knocking at their door. I went into this film simply buzzing from all the stellar early reviews hoping to not be disappointed. I wasn't. Bulloch plays a medical engineer who invented new technology NASA has now adapted for space and trained to be an astronaut in order to implement it. Now she's in orbit on her first mission, but when satellite debris starts hurdling towards the shuttle, she & her commander (Clooney) must figure out how to survive. The film's pacing is perfect with an intensity & emotional drive throughout and enough character development to keep the viewer caring about what happens to these characters. This is one of Bulloch's finest roles to date & her best performance in years (though she was pretty amazing in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). She's certainly managed to survive the Oscar curse, and if the Academy has any sense at all, she, director Alfonso Cuaron, and this film will all be nominated. The science is mostly good here with some things here & there heightened for Hollywood dramatic effect, but not enough wrong here to take away from the enjoyment of the film. This coming from someone who has a deep fascination with space, took 1 Astronomy class in college, & my dad is a scientist I've learned a great deal from. I'm definitely not an expert my any sense of the imagination, but I know more than the average person. This movie is a rare kind that only comes along once in a full moon: an Oscar caliber film that manages to also appeal to the masses. An even rarer kind? A 3D film worthy of the 3D effects. This film is heightened by the 3D effects, not hindered by it or schticky. With Oscar caliber performances, effects & directing, Gravity is entertaining, intense, and emotional with an almost perfect ending. Gravity is one of the best movies of the year. Rating: Epic. Watch with: Apollo 13.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

PR RW S12 Ep11 Next Generation

Last week: Read my recap/review

Challenge: It's the HP print challenge! My favorite PR challenge. This season they have to create prints inspired by next generation innovators. Here are the innovators: a HS student who created a program called Girl Code that helps give girls the computer science skills needed to bridge the gender gap in that field, the creator of, a crowd sourcing website for budding business owners/entrepreneurs, a pro BMX rider, Editor in chief of some magazine, an executive pastry chef, a mixed media artist, & Miss America who created an non-profit organization in Africa.

Prize: Winning designer & their muses will get HP technology including the program used for the print challenge, the Rove & the flip. All the muses got the flip.

Guest Judge:  Designer Peter Som

Judges: Designer Peter Som, Nina Garcia, Zac Posen, Heidi Klum
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
I love how Heidi always matches the challenges. This print is adorable. I love those burgundy shoes paired with that print. Here's a quick tip for matching: You can pair the same shades of different colors (powder blue with baby pink) together or different shades of the same color family (like the bright red & the burgundy red of Heidi's outfit).
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
It's nice to see Nina in print. I rarely see that. I think this outfit as a whole tho looks a little businessy for this show. Peter's outfit is like the suit version of a mullet haircut: Business up top, party on the bottom. Weird. This would've worked if the pants had been trouser jeans. I do not care for Zac's suit. That color does not suit his skin-tone, and that contrasting collar with the same color tie makes it look like he was running late and tied his tie over the collar of the shirt.
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Thank you Tim for brightening my mood about the guy's clothing so far with this amazing purple. He takes what would be a drab suit and adds pizzazz with different tones of purple in the shirt in a plaid pattern, the tie, & and a pocket square. I wonder if I could ever get away with a pocket square cuz I want one.

Now for highlights form Peter Som's NYFW Spring 2014 Collection so you can all see why he's a guest judge. Overall feel: A Sense of Ease. Graphic prints and structured pieces are given a rebellious feel with fluid shapes and cropped/cut off hems & cut outs.

Work Room and Mood
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 PhotosProject Runway Season 12 Bradon McDonald Episode 11 Photos
I love navy & yellow together. Very yacht club. Yellow is so difficult to pair with neutrals cuz u can look like a bumble bee when paired with black or like something dropped in a toilet paired with brown. Navy & grey are your best bets or olive which is a pseudo neutral.
Project Runway Season 12 Dom Streater Episode 11 Photos
I love her curly hair. It makes me happy when she wears it natural & down. That shade of red is stunning on her. I love that big watch too. I have one in silver that I love!
Project Runway Season 12 Dom Streater Episode 11 Photos
Poo you put ur hair up Dom. I love this outfit as something I'd wear lounging around the house, not with a camera following me around.

Project Runway Season 12 Alexandria von Bromssen Episode 11 Photos
That skirt thingy looks like a juniors department skirt-those ugly drawstring, peasant mini skirts.
Project Runway Season 12 Alexandria von Bromssen Episode 11 Photos
Those look like ginkgos or maybe that's a maxi skirt. Why do all her clothes look like active wear or lounge wear?
Project Runway Season 12 Alexandria von Bromssen Episode 11 Photos
Ughh need I say more.
Project Runway Season 12 Bradon McDonald Episode 11 PhotosProject Runway Season 12 Bradon McDonald Episode 11 Photos
Bradon loves pattern and so do I. I love this hounds-tooth paired with khakis but upped with those fabulous green shoes.
Project Runway Season 12 Bradon McDonald Episode 11 Photos
Python can look edgy or can look chic. This is the later.
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
The shoulders on this cut down on the crazy "sleeves" she has. This is actually a cute outfit. I don't say that often about Helen cuz she's usually in something boring.
Project Runway Season 12 Alexander Pope Episode 11 Photos
Those ruffles make a boring black shirt interesting.
Project Runway Season 12 Justin LeBlanc Episode 11 Photos
There's that hat again. PRRW needs to produce a bunch and sell it on the lifetime website. They'd sell like hot cakes.
Project Runway Season 12 Kate Pankoke Episode 11 PhotosProject Runway Season 12 Kate Pankoke Episode 11 Photos
Kate has such a cute vintage but sassy style. It suits her design aesthetic & personality well.
Project Runway Season 12 Justin LeBlanc Episode 11 Photos
I would like to know how many caddy caps you have Justin.


Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 PhotosProject Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos

All of the muse/designer pairings:
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos


Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Project Runway Season 12 Dom Streater Episode 11 Photos
That little tuxedo inspired collar makes this flattering wrap dress a little more luxe.
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Unflattering grandpa sweater gives Justin a little belly. I like the look itself. The fit is just an issue.
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
It's those amazing shoes making another appearance this episode paired with plaid of course. That green patterned bow tie works paired with the teal plaid top because teal is a blue-green so the prints are in the same color scheme. The green shoes work cuz the teal & green are similar color families, and they are the same saturated shades of different colors.
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
Those bowling shoes do belong with this outfit.
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
First of all, did she rip her shirt in the work room? 2. Are those clogs? Uggh. Why on runway day would u wear this? If you got kicked off would u really want this outfit to be your swan song?
Project Runway Season 12 Episode 11 Photos
LOL the model's shoes & Kate's match. I don;t like these shades of nude/tan on Kate but the overall effect if pretty chic.

"ust because my last name is McDonald doesn't mean I make garments out of french fries."  Bradon said that about Alexander making this papal inspired get up because his last name is Pope. The print is inspired by the chocolate ribbons made on the top of the cake im the picture above with his muse. I get the inspiration. It didn't need to be colorful to me to be inspired by cake, but that cross just doesn't  belong here at all. It came out of left field. Not all instincts are good ones. It's shame too cuz I like the dress otherwise. 

Uggh. This is awful. The print is inspired by the white washed brick in a building the magazine editor muse is writing about & working on renovating after Hurricane Sandy destroyed it. It doesn't look like it fits the inspiration at all, I hate the sloppy raw edges, and that throw away top gives her a belly. She looks 3 months preggers in this.

As Zac says sometimes, "less is more". You don't have to have bells and whistles all over your outfit, especially when the print is supposed to be the star. He made the print the star. His muse was the NYC BMX biker. The print is a bird's eye view of NYC with the greys, blacks & whites representing the city architecture & the blues representing the rider on his bike. I totally see it, but it's still Bradon. The top of the dress is also deceptively innovative. It changes up. You can take the top part of the dress entirely off and wear it strapless or you can wear it sleeveless. 

People on the forums talked about not liking the pink fingers on the model's nipples. I see the pink fingers- Heidi always calls out that stuff- but, with this design those black bands underneath take the emphasis off that and her nipples might be lower than where people are seeing them. Also the vag Vs people are talking about are called chevron stripes, and because there are multiples of them going all the way down past that area of her body, it's not pointing there anymore. It's pointing to her knees. If the dress was short and the chevrons ended above her vag, I would agree. Now off the weird forum obsession and onto the design. I love the print. Her muse was the man with the crowd-sourcing website. He talked about how it connects people all over the world and showed her a picture of some African women who used the site to fund their small business. They make beautiful handmade dresses and bags, etc. They were in bright tribal prints. She took that as inspiration. It fits her like a glove. The only thing I don't like about it is the shoulders and the quilted material make the model look like a linebacker. She looks wide from the front even with those side panels. It's much more flattering from the back I think because of the vback

Yeah the midriff thing is big now, but you also have to think they didn't film this episode today. The print is supposed to be the star of the design in this challenge. It is here. It's not just stars: If you look up close the big ones in the middle are actually pentagrams. I don't see modern occult, or Celtic, etc. designs on an outfit (I'm not Pagan, but I grew up in New Orleans so I know a lot about it).The ecru panels does make it look vintage and is a lot more unique than some other stuff she has made. I'm seeing a more unique voice come from her. It does fit her muse, but it's a subtle reference. Her muse was a mixed media artist that would paint on canvas than print photos over it. She used the idea of mirror imaging, which is something that he does in his art, and used it here in a print that's personal to her. She was wearing a pentagram ring in this episode so I'm assuming there's some personal connection there. I like the placement of the print, the panels, the vintage appeal, those shoulders are really interesting, and the styling is perfect as usual. I love this and would wear it in a heartbeat.   It's like grunge meets pinup which I think is a perfect marriage of her style, and she really seems to be coming into her own. At the beginning of the season she tried to make classic things, but it never felt like her. As a result, she was getting in the bottom (other than the challenge with Kate), and then she blossomed and started merging her own personal style with classic.  I could see Lana Del Rey rocking this. BTW wouldn't she make a fabulous  guest judge? 

Justin's muse was Miss America. She & her mom started a charity organization that helps kids in Africa and other places. They build schools, purify drinking water, etc. His print is actually the ASL sign for love which he felt from Miss America and her love for these children. It's an interesting idea for a print but it looks as if the hands are grabbing at the breast area. He's done this silhouette before with similar material, and the bottom half looks exactly like the bottom half of the dress that got him eliminated befor the Tim Gunn save was used. Why would he do that? He's a nice person, but I have yet to see a true voice from him. He has such an interesting perspective of life and can literally see the world differently from the other designers in the competition since being deaf (or mute or another missing 5th scent) actually heightens all of your other senses. His visual capacity but be amazing, but he only ever uses blacks and greys. He only ever does knitwear with the occasional awful gown thrown in. He needs to learn who he is cuz he can express the world of a deaf man through his designs, and I think it would be beautiful.

G by GUESS Voxxi PumpLauren Ralph Lauren Vachetta Belt
Belk-G by GUESS $50        Lauren Ralph Lauren- $48
Poor Kate had the hardest muse, but she picked it. It was the girl who made the Coders club for computer science girls. Kate used the idea of binary code to make this print that you can't see. She got so obsessed with doing a dress that she lost her way in the challenge. She does so much better when she let's the challenge inspire her. She decided what she wanted to do before the challenge was presented and just kept with it. The print is ugly and doesn't represent her muse, the print is covered up when it's supposed to be the star, and there are fit issues. That dress itself might be cute in a different color of it didn't have a drop waist. Not flattering. The color palette also doesn't work with the inspiration. It's not cool enough for a tech girl.

Order: Alexander, Alexandria, Bradon, Dom, Helen, Justin, Kate


I was like WTF when they said she was safe. This is wretched in every conceivable way. The print is cool but doesn't look like her inspiration, the fit is awful, and it looks unfinished. She has been phoning it in the last couple of weeks. She's made some really cool things and has this unusual European aesthetic that I love. Snap out of it.


Alexander, Justin, Kate
I understand these for bottom 3. Alexander's had that weird cross on the front that made no sense, Justin's print was weird (the judges liked it tho) with fit issues and a throw away bottom that's similar to a past challenge that he lost. Kate missed the whole point of the challenge and has fit issues to boot.


Bradon, Dom, Helen
These were all great. All the prints were amazing, were the stars of the designs, and fit their inspirations.

My winner pick:

This was a beautiful print that matched her muse, but still retained her aesthetic as a designer that has blossomed throughout this show. I'm a believer Helen. Bradon's was cute, but the print still somewhat resembled plaid which he uses a lot. Dom's had some fit issues cuz of the weird shoulders and use of quilted fabric more suited for a duvet or outerwear.


The judges seem to go for the edgier designs. I don't want them to start picking the edgier collection at Fashion wk. Edgy doesn't always mean new. Stuff that isn't edgy doesn't always mean old. You can have a unique voice in fashion without making your models look like villains from a scifi movie. All in all I like this design tho and can see why she won, but Helen's is just my personal preference. I've; noticed last season the winner was edgy (though I loved Michele's collection and thought it was very interesting). The year before Demitri won. Also an edgy collection that was beautiful but not a original as Fabio's. He had that pastel artistic collection. Very original. Why didn't he win. I hope that's not the start of a trend. They've been doing a good job of picking winners each season that seem different from the previous winners in terms of aesthetic.

My elimination pick:

I see nothing salvageable in this outfit whatsoever. SO disappointing coming from such a chic, European woman that showed such promise. Out of the judges bottom 3, I'd say it's time for Justin to go cuz he hasn't been able to show any diversity or point of view.


Kate & Alexander
I'm disappointed, but maybe they were harder on Kate for the fact that she was already on PRRW just last season so being on this show already was her second chance. She needs to go on All Stars now. She really should've only been able to do that from the beginning. There was an inherit unfairness in letting her come back this season, but she won me over with her designs. Maybe that's also a reason they eliminated her. Maybe they thought viewers would think it's unfair. 
I liked Alexander's design other than the cross that just didn't go with it. The print and the silhouette were beautiful. I know they had to eliminate 2 at some point because of the Tim Gunn save from earlier. He really should've save it and used it on Kate. Alexander has had some great moments on this show (that purple plaid number for example) but he struggled with balancing his dramatic costume design background with wearable fashion. I'm very interested in seeing all the eliminated designers collections at NYFW. The season didn't match up with NYFW. In order to prevent spoilers they had all the eliminated designers from that point on and the finalists all make collections. 

Next week: The final five go to a butterfly exhibit to get inspiration for an avante garde outfit that will determine who will be going to NYFW. But, there's a twist.