Thursday, March 31, 2011

Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung & Jena Malone - Nylon - April 2011

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Meagan Good - Men's Health - April 2011

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Emma Roberts - Women's Health - April 2011

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Miranda Lambert - Redbook - April 2011

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Kelly Brook - Health & Fitness UK - May 2011

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Nicholas Dane - book review

I'd like to think of this as a modern day tale from Dickens, but told in the street wise tone that nobody knows quite as well as Melvin Burgess from the streets of Manchester.

It starts out with a typical 14 year old bloke who is your typical "about a boy" nature. Living with his single Mom, who is doing her best to get him up to go to school. Nicholas needs his "Z"'s though. And that is how the story starts.

But once Nic gets out the door, everything starts to unravel. The story takes place in 1987. And I'm certain Burgess must have known an awful lot about the streets then. His narrative feeds into all the characters of the book as it progresses.

Unfortunately, Nic's life changes dramatically when his mother dies, and he is taken off to the boys home which is rather instutionalized. The place where criminals breed. Many of the characters are having a hard time in their own life. Like, Jenny, best friend to Nic's Mom, is hoping to be a drug counselor..only she has a bit of a drug problem herself. People at the institution have their troubles too. Like Mr. James and his depressed wife. Then there is the terrible Tony Creal. But Nic has found his fate. It isn't a nice one. Fighting among the boys, beatings from the prefects.

Then there is Oliver, truly, its like seeing a flashback of a Mark Lester pro-type. He's blond, pretty and of Tony Creal's favorites. Unfortunately, the line "more please"..doesn't ring out..but instead a line that you will think on long after you've read the book.."I don't like it..I don't like.."  Creal is the nice deputy. Or is he?

The thing about Nic, being raised by a single mother, is that he is loyal. He needs his friends, and when you don't have any..what's a boy to do?

So its bad on the inside. Is it any better on the outside for a boy they've marked as a hoodlum? From the social worker to the police. He's not to be trusted. Never.  It doesn't help any to even have a rich relative he's never met, either. This story has so many selfish endeavors on so many levels.

This is a book that looks at abused lives and what becomes of them. Its very emotional and so real. Burgess has a way of taking a reader there and then sorting it out, as well. I found myself wanting more about Nicholas. As all good books I have read, I have a hard time finishing them...because I don't want them to end. I had already consumed Burgess' MY LIFE AS A BITCH and I know how that ended. Not very happily..yet rather real.

Burgess' has shown us.. he knows what a dark world the streets can be in such novels as JUNK and SMACK. He's also did the novelization of BILLY ELLIOT, as well. Of course, my favorite book of his is DOING IT.

Truly, this is a novel that hits you with such an emotional impact. It leaves you, perhaps with a heavy sigh. It lets you walk a little while in the victim's shoes.. to show the reader how they tick and what a little hope might give them.

What can I say, I love Nicholas Dane, but I'm not sure I'd be ready to take a walk on the wild side with him. But who doesn't like a misunderstood bad boy? He's best to be read.

NO CHILD BORN TO DIE . Melvin Burgess held a blogger's writing conference about it back in February.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MAD LOVE - TV review

The show is sandwiched between How I met your Mother and 2 1/2 Men repeats on CBS. Its cast favors more of How I met your mother gang.

You've got the sweet Jason Biggs (who I must admit I grew up wanting to find my very own Jason Biggs. Yes, anything that was slightly Jason Biggs in a smile and those curls ..well, he was a hottie to me). Also Sarah Chalke. The creator from Scrubbs is bring it New York style. And you've got the cute Kate and Ben. They are so cute, Jason and Sarah. But that's about it.

Then you have wonderful Judy Greer who I think should be the star of anything since watching her in ABC's short live Miss Guided. She is Kate's roommate, Connie. She's someone who would rather be alone type. She's stuck most of the show with Ben's law partner Larry (Tyler Labine) who I don't think I've liked in anything since REAPER and maybe INVASION.

So its a bit of a standard fare when it comes to sitcom.

More Martin Starr please!

The only sure winner here that you want more of is the neighbor next door, Martin Starr as Clyde. However, he's only been in two episodes. Honestly, I'd rather watch his quirky, indifferent, slight stalkerish character grow as well as Connie giving him..a chance from time to time..or maybe they talk through walls to each other, already.

Hopefully, they'll tighten the laugh track and cuteness in this one. It might be a winner if they just give us something we can really want to savor.

STORYLINE: Revolves around a quartet of single friends in New York City-- two who are falling in love and two who despise each other, at least initially.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Marcelia Freesz - Numero Japan - March 2011

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Naty Chabanenko - Numero Japan - March 2011

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Anna Selezneva - Numero Japan - March 2011

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Alessandra Ambrosio - Numero Japan - Jan - Feb 2011

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Alina Baikova - Numero Japan - Jan - Feb 2011

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Carrie Underwood - Inland Empire - April 2011

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Sucker Punch - Ellie's movie review

don't forget the fashion in the movie.

OK, Ivy has had me pumped for this movie since it was filming. Granted, I'm a huge fan of Emily Browning. And she definitely worked out for this movie. She was the tiniest girl of the group. And I'm sure she must be a waif of a girl to begin with.

First off, this movie starts like a very epic music video. And surprise, Emily is actually singing "Sweet Dreams". I didn't learn this until later. Its also a very sad story, about a helpless girl sent to the insane asylum. So it is a world where a vivid imagination can grow. Its a place one doesn't want to be. So why would your mind want to be there too? With the help with a few other girls, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung, Babydoll (Browning) makes a plan to escape.

This is a movie brought to you by Zach Snyder. If you've loved his other movies, 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead, I'm sure this is on your list to watch. Although, some might say, what's the story here? Is there enough character development? Does there need to be?

This movie has many levels. As I heard one movie goer say to his son as they were leaving, "Some of it is real. Some of it just happened in her mind." He was discussing Babydoll.

So is it too complicated to enjoy? Well, that depends on the movie goer. Critics have not been a fan of this movie. Granted, Snyder is not going to spell everything out for you. The film is pumped, not only with glorious special effect, right out of a live video game, but it paints a picture with music as well, with songs like Sweet Dreams, and White Rabbit. Of course, I love the song in the trailer and wish it was included in movie, as well. But Bjork puts her signature spin on the movie too with Army of Me.

I wished the ending could be different. Its true. Its a very tragic story. Yet, it leaves us a hero, Babydoll. Only, I would have loved to seen their freedom in the real world. So many roads it could have taken, but didn't.

Anyway, the movie is quite a ride. Don't miss it.

STORYLINE: An action fantasy set in the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary. She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls -- the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) -- to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm). Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal. Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey -- if they succeed -- will set them free.