Category Archives: student

Mango’s Killer Jacket Game

To all my peeps in London, with love, comes this highly targeted post on the topic of jackets! We have been experiencing what I could only imagine is an Arctic chill and there is no sweeter escape than spending some cash on a new coat. It’s a matter of survival, after all. Let’s be real.

Wanting to sniff some lucrative deals around, I embraced on a journey through the new collections. What I stumbled upon was a treasure chest. The same golden nugget we are sharing here today – Mango’s amazing spring/summer jacket line! Obviously by some sort of cruel mistake, I seem to have ignored this brand for a number of years, only to re-discover it this month. Just in time for the perfect, little splurge! Here are some of the apparel feasts, from the fashion gods, passeth down to us – mortals!

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What I’m looking for in a new jacket is specific shades and colours! This season I’m betting on the all-neutral wave with a random pop of colour, first of all, the black and white hype second, and thirdly – an unusual pattern style. As I mentioned in my “Fashion Block” this month, tiny, repetitive structures are in, being accompanied by equally exaggerated imagery. While the first set of coats were a more beige and brown tone, I’ve picked the second stack in greens. Both of them will give you a little elegant note, while remaining the signature fresh rebellion stamp.

Next, we move on to the blacks, followed by pieces with floral detailing. I think I’d be wise to invest in both. My finances argue.

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Top Picks: Topshop’s Karlie Kloss Inspo

Imagine you had a day off. Maybe it’s the weekend, maybe you called in sick so you wouldn’t have to face Susan from accounting, the possibilities are endless. It’s pouring rain outside, thus creating the conditions for a cosy afternoon in bed. You make an obligatory, slash complimentary, mug of coffee and sit on your computer. From then on, the browsing of clothing and make-up begins. Am I right? Totally.

So, having found myself in precisely that situation this morning, I went on Topshop. My intentions were to check what they have in the new collections. Turns out, to my excitement, that they are doing a Karlie Kloss collaboration! Without further ado, here are my top inspiration picks!

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Here we are. If only clothes from online retailers could magically appear inside of my closet, this world would be a slightly better place. By slightly I mean a lot.

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January Beauty Treats

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If you follow my blog, you know that I comfortably fall into the category of tomboy. That includes my use of make-up, which happens to be rather shameful. Foundation and eye liner are the only products I use on a daily basis. In the world of girls, this translates as medieval level of craftsmanship. As a part of my new year resolutions, I have vouched to pamper myself a little more and amp the stylish clothes away from teenage dirtbag. At least I can be a shiny barbie on the outside and still be the same reject on the inside, right?

So, in light of this, I went for a humble shopping trip in the mall next door. I ventured past jungles of bottles and things with scary pumps. They confused me, so I steered clear. Then, being five in the mental department, I saw shelves full of colours, so I thought – yep, this is my final destination. Long story short, I ended up with a bunch of lipsticks and nail polishes. So here are the chosen ones! Enjoy.

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My first pick was sparkles. There’s an eighties come back in the new fashion season, so I thought my nails should reflect accordingly. The Rimmel Love Glitter’s “All Glittered Up” (032) contains tiny shards of red, pink and blue. There’s a metallic finish to it, which is what you’d be looking for in a top coat.

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I didn’t stop with just one. In my defence, the Love Glitter line is entirely too addictive. It’s like sugar for my nails. So, I ended up purchasing “A Crush On You” (034), too. It contains the exact same shards, except in metallic blues and greens. Colourful grunge is making a return and I’m here to embrace it like a long-lost puppy.

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Making a nice segway to the topic of blues, here you can see Essie’s “Lapis of Luxury” (94). It’s a soft, ocean-like tint, which not only reflects the surfer chick in me, but is also trending. I’d pair it up with some of Dolce & Gabbana’s winter collection. If you need a block colour to invest in, any shade of blue is the way to go.

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Next up, I thought I’d buy a necessary tone of neutral beige. Like I mentioned, beauty products have not been my strongest point the past years, so this January I’m starting from scratch. This shade of Rimmel Salon PRO is called “Soul Session” (237). It’s from the Kate Moss’s collaboration for the brand, which also has some of my all-time favourite lip sticks. This reminds me of Kanye’s Yeezy collection on the runways, which concentrated on beiges and dull tones. They have a lot of space for juxtaposition, so the options here are endless.

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Just when you thought I was done with the metallic obsession. Just hear me out here, why add shimmery specs when you can go all out on fabulous eighties? It’s a no brainer. But seriously, this would be a banger for extravagant client meetings and night life adventures around London. This particular bottle is Barry M’s Nail Paint in “Arabian” (549).

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We’re graduating from nail polish and entering the multiverse of lip sticks. I have here, in my magical hand, what is in fact a Christmassy shade. However, the saturated, dark scarlet is freckled with golden specs, which makes it rather timeless. Due to my Balkan complexion, which is unfortunate in most situations, I can pull off deeper colours better than lighter ones. L’Oreal’s “Cristal Cappuccino” (362) is almost a black bean colour, which makes it grunge-like, and therefore January approved!

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Second up, this is a lip stick I keep repurchasing, because of its versatility. It’s Rimmel London’s “Vintage Pink” (180) and it so happens to be a major keeper in my books. It’s lighter than “Cristal Cappuccino” with what I consider is very close to a dusted rose kind of tint. It looks great on its own for daily use, or layered on top of bright reds, turning them into a plum colour.

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Last on my list we have MaxFactor’s “Mulberry” (685)! I pulled away from the reds and decided on a pink addition to my newly-found collection. The name describes its shade perfectly, it’s a very berry colour, which has shimmer finer than “Cristal Cappuccino”. It would be great for afternoon errands out and about, especially complimented with a lighter outfit.

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I’ve been developing a scary perfume addiction the past week and this baby was on a sixty percent discount. So, it would have constituted as a sin not to invest in it. Tommy Hilfiger is one of my top brands for clothing, thus making my decision-maker confident in spending money on their fragrance. It’s a flowery smell, which I can best describe as a spring, countryside morning. I would suit everyday use best, although you could pull it off on any event!

Here we go, these are my beauty treats for week one of January. I’ll make these mini hauls whenever I invest some cash into pampering products, which I expect will be around twice a month. Hopefully, by the end of 2016, I’ll be an educated beauty guru to my best standards, which in the real world are probably entirely too low. Anyhow, have a grand day, have an amazing month! See you next Tuesday.

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Film Reviews: “Joy” (2016)

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“Joy” has been a very long-awaited drama by David O. Russell and his usual ensemble of screen favourites, which I am sure you’ve heard of by now. It’s been gracing every underground station and double-decker bus, after all! Jennifer Lawrence has taken on the eponymous role, Robert De Niro plays her whimsical father, and Bradley Cooper is a savvy, television salesman. What an intricate, delicately-woven story writers Russell and Annie Mumolo have given creation to! Although I can tell you right now, the film deserves a prime spot on your January must-do list, let me explain why that is.

Joy Mangano is a divorced mother of two, who lives in a house with ex-husband Tony, mother Terri and gran Mimi. Their domestic abode is a chaotic mixture of financial strains, zero sleep, cheesy television operas and a daunting lack of any perspective for the future. Life is a boring, customer service work and a messy, broken home. Her father Rudy circulates dating adverts and services, coming in and out of his daughter’s life. Thinking it must be destiny, he begins a serious relationship with wealthy widow Trudy. One day Joy and her family find themselves on Trudy’s yacht, where after a wine spilling accident, Joy is left with cut-up hands. This gives her the ingenious idea of a revolutionary mop, which doesn’t need to be touched to be washed. It becomes clear that Joy has had brilliant invention ideas in the past, primarily as a child, which however, would get shut down by unsupportive parents. This time she isn’t letting go of her talent. Instead, she is more than determined to use it. Joy crafts her first Miracle Mop with help from best friend Jackie. Trudy is slowly persuaded to invest money in the product, thus giving Joy a business of her own. Step-sister Peggy is outlined as the most unsupportive and selfish being in their midst, constantly envious of any success Joy might accomplish. What the airport-worker-turned-inventor doesn’t know is that she is falling on a path of disappointments. Trudy gets her a shady contractor in California, Peggy and Rudy coil together behind closed doors, a second mortgage on the house is on the way and other people are out to steal Joy’s clever idea. Tony, being a close advisor to Joy, pushes her a slot with Neil Walker – an executive at QVC. After a small trip-up, Joy decides the bets way to sell her mop is appear on television herself. The sales begin piling, numbers keep rising. The Miracle Mop becomes a triumph. However, the world is closing in and Joy is in the centre. Most people she has trusted seem to have ulterior motives, and there’s a bigger battle waiting to be fought. Will the Miracle Mop be the answer to Joy’s prayers? Will she save her family from homelessness and bankruptcy, or are too many people trying to destroy her way to success?

Firstly, let me start off by saying this tandem is not a newly-found one. Last time we saw David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, they were sitting at the 85th Academy Awards. “Silver Linings Playbook” was a cinematic victory among audiences and critics alike. “Joy” pulls on some of the same strings – damaged families, broken people, subjectivity to a seemingly hopeless protagonist, who receives a chance to become their best self. In that aspect, the production is once again successful in its predecessor’s strongest points. That’s one of the reasons we’re hearing heaps of Oscar nods this year, “Joy” happens to be a safe guess for most.

Jennifer Lawrence is gentle in her madness, gracious in her blinding disappointment and fearless in the matters of her business. She is a well-developed character, who sees a lot of change and transforms along with it. Although she isn’t a glamorous, flamboyant and gorgeous figure, we still cheer the rugged housewife on. She makes the working class easily relatable, which is one of Lawrence’s greatest strengths. There is a quality in her acting, which combines the girl next door and the female warrior, intertwining their best and worst features together. In that way, she is unvanquished in “Joy”.

Virginia Madsen plays mother Terri, whose fear of bracing life after divorce is more than evident. She barely leaves her bedside and involves a great amount of time in a soap opera show so outrageously exaggerated, it manages to seep into Joy’s dreams. Madsen crafts a pitiful look at an older, single woman, who suffers in finding happiness. She manages to create an easily dislikable woman and parent, who steps up to redemption in the very last second.

That’s exactly the opposite of what I can say about Robert De Niro’s Rudy. He starts off being in the focus of better parenting. He has moved on with life, being humorous and enjoyable in light of his own, failing romantic chaos. However, as our story progresses, we peel away the layers of caring father, and reach an oblivious and reluctant man, who makes a show of love that isn’t there. We learn to feel disgusted with him and instead, realise how important Terri really is.

If this were a Shakespearian play, Peggy and Trudy would be the vile witches, while Tony and Jackie’d fill the shoes of queen guards. Although all four roles are secondary, that does not reduce their influence in the story. We connect to the sides they represent a lot better with the strength of their characters.

Over all, “Joy” is a film, which portrays struggle to regain lost hope and the possibilities life holds for those willing to enter the battle. David O. Russell tells this true story with a diverse glimpse at filmmaking and a first class script. Jennifer Lawrence is truly bathing in positive recognition for it, which is well deserved. A great January watch and perhaps even a DVD collection entry. As far as dramas are concerned, “Joy” pushes its way through to the finish line.

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Monthly Favourites: DEC/15

Looking back on December, there isn’t much that I would change. My favourite holiday of Christmas surrounds the world with joy, I get to give and receive presents, decorate the old house and drink extra-alcoholic egg nog. I get to compose myself a nice Spotify playlist, including the most shamefully hipster and comfortingly classic tracks. I also get to devastate all bank accounts with vigorous purchasing and a distinct lack of logical thought. During the process this month I separated all products, which stood out to me in one way or another. I’d like to share them with you and even open up a conversation, should that happen. So, here we go – my top December favourites!

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I have to give Lush a special nudge in the festive category. As well as relaunching their Christmas Edition soaps and bath bombs, they drew attention to a glorious selection of gift sets. If you are in need of a quick present, make sure to drop by and have a little browse. I have taken advantage of the deals a few times over the past weeks and admittedly, would spend a lot more on them had my bank account not been left barren. Dreamy smells, lathery gels and mesmerising scrubs to go, please!

 

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Yeah, you know above, when I say “Yule Log”? That’s actually Yog Nog! My laptop autocorrected it under my nose, silly thing… Anyway, carry on!

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In the book department, “Joyland” by Stephen King came closely third. I do adore my horror fiction. However, I was somewhat disappointed in the piece, so I placed the ones you see above up the scale. If you are interested in literature, please comment bellow and I shall make an all-time favourites post!

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With December being as exciting and awesome, I’m looking forward to what January brings! If you enjoy the monthly favourites column, be sure to click the like button as that shows me I should keep making it!

Share what your own winter favourites have been and we can have a little product swap! Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Neato burrito.

Megs x

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Christmas Film Reviews: “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Here we are, folks, at the very end of my December countdown. It’s Christmas morning, I have my trusty coffee and a slice of Alaskan bombe. Although the streets outside are devout of snow, today feels festive enough solely in spirit. True, I wouldn’t have minded a nice pile or two to dive in, but London persistently refuses to make a habit of that. Anyway, I’ll jump straight into my film recommendation for the big night.

“It’s A Wonderful Life” is perhaps the most well-known Christmas production of all time. Undoubtedly, a classic which has withstood the tests of time and the tidal wave of quality competition thrown its way. Released back in the cold winter of 1946, this film acted as a much needed reminder of life’s beauty. Ugly pictures of war and death had been showering newspapers and television programmes for too long. Hollywood’s first step towards reflecting this recovery came in motion pictures. “A Beautiful Life” was the only movie ever completed under director Frank Capra’s independent studio – Liberty Films. His desire to break free of the Golden Age’s repressive, Capitalist exploits, gave the project five Academy Award nominations and with a reason.

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Enter George Bailey – Bedford Falls’s most altruistic and kind-hearted resident. His only dream is to see the world, explore everything life has to offer outside the boundaries of New York. Every time a door seems to open and give him a glimpse of those desires, someone runs by slam it shut. Instead of leaving for South America before college, George stays behind to run the family business after his father’s sudden death. The boy manages to save up for tuition fees once more, but ends up giving the money away so that younger brother Harry could receive an education instead. He protects and helps Bedford Falls’s people agains the overhanging tyranny of loan shark – Henry Potter, whose cruel intentions benefit no one, but his egocentric self. However, things are looking up when George marries the love of his life – Mary, a girl he’s known since childhood. They create a family and nestle down in an old house. Years go by and children start spurting, four to be exact, their affordable housing business seems to be thriving better than ever, life is looking up. In the peak of his happiness, a disaster comes to tear the joy apart. George is painfully used to being ripped off in one way or another, he rolls with the punches and tries to keep walking. However, that night is particularly daunting, leaving him in a desperate and suicidal track. George decides to jump off a near-by bridge and end the hurt for ever. Little does he know, Clarence the angel is watching over him that night. An angel who will make a single wish come true – let George see the world as it would have been if the man had never been born. A picture of decay and misery unfolds, playing out every worst scenario the town could have imagined. George learns just how important his kindness was to everyone around and releases the tunnel vision of success for the bigger picture of humanity. Upon realising life is an amazing gift, which should never be wasted on cruelty and disregard, he begins being Clarence for a chance to go back. Once more hug from his children, one more kiss from his wife, a chance to apologise and re-estimate his values, that’s George’s biggest Christmas desire. Moreover, surprises come stacking when the man returns home, and the puzzle pieces finally fit together, because life is truly an amazing treasure.

Take this as a promise from me – this film will melt your heart. The phrase “they don’t make them like they used to” is in full effect here, proving that old pictures have a quality about them that a blockbuster just cannot replace. Its script, written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett is romantic, funny, happy, exhilarating and painfully honest about pain and struggles. The dialogue flows like a river, turbulent with snappy George’s humour and rhetoric, yet calm with its authenticity. It manages to touch big themes will small sentences. “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary,” George said on his first date with future wife Mary. Infinitely beautiful their lines are to listen and see, about that there is not a single doubt inside my mind.

James Stewart is a name that should be a part of your film repository. An actor, father, war hero and generally kind human being, Stewart could not have been a better fit for the role of George Bailey had he consciously tried to be. He is absolutely extraordinary, quiet, but understood, funny, yet truthful and serious. Nothing more could I have asked from his character or portrayal, because Stewart masters both to perfection. His blue eyes stare at you through the black and white picture, digging holes inside your soul only to bury a seed of subtle positivity and joy.

Henry Travers is in the role of Clarence, who we only get to see for half the movie. In that time, however, he manages to become irreplaceable as a plot point and influence, creating an unshakable staple of the timeless tale. The angel who wants to get his wings and gives a small-town man a second chance at life, is the sidekick every person needs. Another supporting role goes to Donna Reed, who encapsulated George’s intelligent, funny and supporting wife Mary. The two’s connection shakes the ground with forceful tremors, leaving its audience wishing they had a romance of such proportions. From that first date, to their embrace over the phone and calm marriage that followed, a picture of an ideal is painted. Although critics gave Capra a hard time about his characters’ unrealistic idealism, they later re-visited that opinion, which was inevitable. It’s a chemistry and a love story, which surpass superficial expectations.

The theme of suicide is explored in one of the film’s culminations, which leaves spectators on the edge of their seat. George is someone we have created a relationship with and having to see him pushed to the limits of disappointment hits us just as hard. Capra does not simply gloss past the issue, dwelling into it through Clarence and George’s conversations. That’s partially what makes the recovery so powerful. We’ve seen the lows, we’ve hit rock bottom, so having a kick start back into happiness in its purest form feels exhilarating.

If you hadn’t figure it out by now, “It’s A Wonderful Life” could very well be one of my favourite films, period. It holds quality, which we rarely get to see in mass cinema nowadays, its cast is more than perfect for the complex set of characters we explore, and the rollercoaster of emotions leaves us gasping with overwhelming joy. There is nothing more that I could wish for in a perfect Christmas film. This is everything and more.

Now, have yourselves a very merry Christmas!

Thank you for following my blog this past year and hopefully I can continue to entertain you throughout the next one!

Stay amazing!

Megs X

Christmas Film Reviews: “Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas”

Long and furry fingers grace two horrid, bony arms,

in their middle is a tummy full of smelly, trash bin charms, 

when night fall comes, he watches all that sleep,

for evil plots are conjured in this green and spoiled creep.


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Jim Carrey is in the role of Grinch, Dr. Seuss’s beloved Christmas villain. Excuse my astonishingly bad rhymes there, but I thought the best way to start off a children’s character is by couplet-ing my way in. The film was directed by industry titan Ron Howard, who holds movies such as “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) & “The Da Vinci Code” (2006) under his belt. Now that we know both cast and mastermind are skilfully chosen, let’s venture into the plot itself.

Whoville lays tucked in the snowy mountains of a snowflake. Its people are polite and helpful, living together in their small town community. Towering above them, in the depths of a hill, is the Grinch’s dusty abode. He watches them throughout his days, as Christmas approaches, and makes evil plans to steal away the joy. That is until a little Cindy Lou Who, one kind and thoughtful child, remembers the lonely creature and decides to present him with a gift of friendship. She nominates the Grinch for a prestigious award, making him socialise with past family and friends in Whoville, rather than hide. We become acquainted with a past, which triggers sympathy and sadness, but can ego-centric mayor Augustus and his girlfriend Martha May turn their attitudes around? Can they right the wrongs of a childhood long-concealed? The Grinch isn’t willing to wait for an answer even a second longer, setting a plan to sweep Whoville’s houses of their precious offerings at once. It’s Cindy Lou’s last chance to change his mind and heart. It’s the final plea to make him see a light within the darkness.

Well, here comes our show-stealer – Grinch himself, who absolutely nails the eponymous archetype with flying colours. Although Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen) sticks close behind, it’s Jim Carrey’s slapstick movements and brilliant grump portrayal that take the prize home. Mannerisms are an important attribute to any good comedy and Carry is famous for his physical capabilities, so being able to transfer them onto the Grinch gives the Dr. Seuss creation an entirely new dimension. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline had been explored in a television series many a-year before that. However, live action gave both kids and adults a fresh look at things.

Taylor Momsen was fluid and clever – carrying the phantasmagoric Whovian costume as naturally as her own outfit. No teeth, ears or braids felt out of place, props to the six-year-old girl, who carried them like a champion. Although Taylor has changed direction with a singing career in rock music, the role will remain a part of her professional affiliations for ever. She was the sweet child who saved a hopeless Grinch and turned hatred into love.

As far as production design is concerned, it’s refreshing to see a physical set up, opposed to a green-screened computer animation. We see the convenience of manufactured graphics entirely too much nowadays, so a large part of “The Grinch”‘s charm comes from its adorable set. To kids, this wouldn’t make much of a difference, but trust me, grown-ups of the world, that fuzzy Christmas feeling will flow a lot easier after watching a throw back like this. Ron Howard’s vision of the production definitely surpassed any expectations Dr. Seuss fans could have conjured. The live action rendition of “The Cat in the Hat” (2004) proved to be another challenge, which, however, failed to please audiences and was generally received badly by both viewerships and critics.

In summary, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is an amazing, heart-warming tale of grand imagination and comedic threads. Ron Howard’s spin of the all-time book classic has now become a classic in its own right. Jim Carrey’s green creature is an image I grew up with and never want to part, Taylor Momsen’s Cindy Lou gives children an image of kindness to strive to. All of these ingredients combine perfectly in a Christmas dessert worthy of a film night home.

Stay awesome!

Megs X

 

Christmas Film Reviews: “Elf”

You didn’t think I’d get through the entire countdown and forget about Will Ferrell‘s syrupy spaghetti, did you? I mean, holy nutcrackers, what kind of blogger do you take me for? This A-lister went on the Jimmy Fallon show last week to excitedly announce his position as upgraded St. Nicholas, which surely tickles us all. From this point forward, Yule is expected to be equal parts exciting, hilarious and mildly inappropriate, so tuck in! It’s forming to be quite a ride.

“Elf” was released back in 2003, starring said comedy titan, plus the likes of James Caan, Peter Dinklage and Zooey Deschanel. At the helm of this ship stands Jon Favreau, who might ring jingly bells from the “Iron Man” franchise. However, during its relatively short life, the flick has managed to reach and surpass competitive heights in the Christmas film category.

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We start at the beginning of things. Buddy is a newborn baby, who accidentally hitches a one-way ride from the nursery to the North Pole in Santa’s slay. Facing no alternative option, Papa Elf (Bob Newhart), the head helper, raises him as one of their own with care and love, no matter how awkwardly tall Buddy keeps on growing. One day, the truth manages to escape. Buddy’s biological parent is a publishing magnate called Walter – a humbug, and a human one at that! A trip to New York City ensues, aimed to spread festive spirit through the force of family values. Buddy makes friends with younger brother Michael (Daniel Tay), kind of scores a job at Gimbles and falls head over heels for Jovie, a co-worker with a lovely voice. Although Walter is greedy, selfish and work-obsessed, perhaps Buddy will manage to get past his chilly exterior. Who said even the hardest of hearts couldn’t be melted with some Christmas joy? After all, the best way to spread cheer is sing it aloud for all to hear.

Not much of an introduction can be given to Will Ferrell. He has been in the television and film industry for over two decades, spanning between SNL glory and silver screen success. Audiences tend to recognise a comedic talent when they see one, which explains how he was spotted as early as 1997. Buddy is portrayed with such childlike naïvety and tireless positivity that no stone remains unturned on the feel trip of his family reunion. Ferrell has mastered an iconic blank expression, which is open to conveying every emotion a kid surrounded by infinite wonder would have. His performance, as usual, is tummy-turningly done, case and point being the gum chewing scene upon his NYC arrival. Pure gold.

Zooey Deschanel contributed to the visual ensemble, yet also landed a helping hand to the audio devision of this production. Her voice is the first sound that draws Buddy to a friendship. She’s the anchor, which keeps him from losing grip with optimism. The two quickly find chemistry together, even if it is not a sexual one, which throws a sprinkle of romance in “Elf”. Deschanel’s natural ability to impart sardonicism and do it with a charming smile really takes to the dark humour spectators, myself included.

I’ll keep this review a comparatively short one. After all, there’s only one more day until Christmas! You’d rather be re-pinning photographs of cakes and turkeys rather than reading analytical film articles, and you know what, I don’t blame you one bit. Christmas is a time to sit back and take a look at life’s bigger picture. Sit back and relax with a good movie!

Stay awesome!

Megs x

 

Christmas Film Reviews: “Home Alone”

This entry hardly needs an introduction. The “Home Alone” franchise made its start twenty five years ago and has become one of the most prolific Christmas traditions. Child star Macaulay Culkin graces its original instalment as young Kevin McCallister – an eight-year-old grump who has trouble dealing with an overcrowded family. Chris Collumbus, a known name in the world of production, made a step in directing this project and has harvested worldwide reputation from it. The very first festive video cassette I owned happened to be “Home Alone” and it brings me great nostalgia to say – here’s the long-overdue review.

The McCallisters are going on vacation to Paris and everything is set – luggage, cousins, aunties and pizza. A staggering fifteen people wonder about the Illinois home the day before Christmas eve, buzzing like bees for their big adventure. Among them is young Kevin, who seems to always get the raw end of the deal. Upon being punished for causing chaos, he wishes his family would simply disappear.That desire is fulfilled when the boy gets left behind next morning in the rush to a late airport drive. Life suddenly becomes a party for the kid, who has waited for an opportunity like this years in time. However, a pair of local robbers also have plans for Kevin’s home and they’d travel great lengths in fulfilling them. When nightfall comes, they make a move, not expecting the child to fight back in a determined attempt to defend his castle. From then on, it is a fast-track rollercoaster through laughter and excitement as both sides try to even the score. Will Kevin get his family back in time for Christmas day? Will he regret having pushed them away in the first place? One thing’s for sure, the Wet Bandits will receive everything they deserve that holiday, burns and bruises included.

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Macaulay Culkin’s star made a breakthrough with the “Home Alone” empire, launching the child’s career into A-list heights. It has since died down, but not before making his face a household image. Culkin’s performance has been appraised by spectators and critics for a reason. We see the innocence and naïvety of every child seep through, complimented by grand fantasies and painful realisations. A character and performance we can truly identify with, presented on a platter of catchy Christmas tunes and flickering faery lights.

Catherine O’Hara is a panicky, fidget-prone Kate McCallister, whose most memorable scene breaks the fourth wall of cinema. “We forgot Kevin!”, she shouts on her flight to Paris, having realised the unimaginable, yet hilarious gaff. That line has become so iconic, it has sprouted a boy band and a fandom.

Chances are I wouldn’t need to sell this film, because most of you have already fallen in love with it. However, it would’t hurt to try. There’s laughter, there’s tears, there’s the heartbreakingly sweet story of Old Man Marley and the adorable Gus Polinski’s polka group. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are the Wet Bandit duo, a thieving pair of dimwits, who get made into complete fools by young Kevin. Both actors are exceptionally believable, portraying finely grated stupidity and undying ambition for their task.

All in all, “Home Alone” has almost everything you’d need in a perfect Christmas film, albeit having missed Santa Clause himself. It’s a heart-warming reminder of our families’ importance in the homeliest celebration of them all.

Naturally, I recommend a cheese pizza with this gem, and maybe a cup of chocolate milk for the soul.

Stay awesome! Four days to go.

Megs x