Fantastic Music Videos ALERT!

Hi guys!

There has been a lot of great music released in the past few weeks but I wanted to share my two favourite new songs with you. Two of my favourite artists released new music videos and they are both worth the watch! This week P!nk released a music video for “Beautiful Trauma” and Rita Ora released a wonderful music video for her new song “Anywhere” last month.

Let’s Break it down, shall we?

Starting with Rita Ora. Last weekend she hosted the EMA’s [European music awards]. She was GREAT! She was full of energy and had the most outrageous costume changes! On stage, her hosting never felt forced which can sometimes be noticeable with award show hosts. She was, obviously, passionate about the theme of the award show and was so supportive of all the nominees and winners. I really enjoyed the show. However, the highlight of the show was her performance!

Ora performed a mash-up of her widely popular songs “Your song” and “Anywhere.” It was awesome! Her voice is beautiful and her look was so laid back which added value to her performance. Instead of focusing on her appearance, you focused on her music and it was refreshing to see an artist perform without all the bells and whistles. She did have dancers included in her performance but what made it so interesting was that her dances were all dressed in the colours of the rainbow. The artistic direction of her performance was just beautiful and this beauty was carried over into the music video for “Anywhere.”

The video is simple. It is Rita and her music. She looks beautiful and you can see that this song clearly means a lot to her. She looks genuinely happy to be sharing this song with the world and it does not go unnoticed. This song has been on repeat for me the past week and I do not intend on stopping it anytime soon.

My next favourite song at the moment is P!nk’s “Beautiful Trauma.” Now, I cannot talk about this song and this legend without mentioning her performance at the AMA’s [American music awards]. Yes, it’s music award season if you have not guessed… P!nk sang the song ON THE SIDE OF A MASSIC BUILDING IN THE MIDDLE OF LA! She performed acrobatics, ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING, while singing! It was incredible! If you have not watched the performance yet…. Please Youtube it. You will not be sorry.

Here is a link: P!nk at the AMA’s

Her music video for the song was released today and I have one thing to say. Channing Tatum.

Channing Tatum waking up next to P!nk.

Channing Tatum dancing with P!nk.

Channing Tatum serving P!nk cocktails.

Just Channing Tatum in P!nk’s music video. What more do I need to say?

The video is beautiful and cinematically exciting. “Beautiful Trauma” is a great song (PG advised, however) The art direction of the video is on point. P!nk looks spectacular in her 1950’s inspired costumes and well Channing Tatum.

Go have a look at these two awesome videos and let me know what you think!

Rita Ora “Anywhere”

P!nk “Beautiful Trauma”

xxx

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Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Gru and the minions are back in the third instalment of this much-loved franchise. However, this time round the focus is on Gru finding out he has a twin brother. While the twist can be accompanied by an interesting story line, I found this film to be very predictable compared to the first two films in the series. Do not get me wrong I love the despicable me movies. The first two were fantastic and I still re-watch them on a regular basis, but there seemed to be something missing with this third film.

Let’s break it down…

There were some sweet parts that received a few chuckles from the audience but the humour was nothing compared to the first films. I was really looking forward to the film because of how much I love the characters. Gru is hilarious and no one can pull off an accent like that but Steve Carell. He always brings the best out of the character. A villain who has a good heart adopts 3 girls and forms a family… It is a fantastic personality to slot into an animation! It is part of what makes the franchise so successful.

Another part of the films everyone loves is the minions! These funny, cute, yellow little things who talk a language that no one understands. My entire family adore them. My father especially, it is part of the reason why the family outing was to see the movie. However, the minions had such a small part to play in the film. The little part that they received felt so disjointed in comparison to the rest of the film. It did not really fit. I feel there was so much more that could have evolved around the minion’s storylines and I feel that they deserved to be a part of the film more. I mean, who doesn’t love the minions?!

The new antagonist “Balthazar Bratt” is such an entertaining designed character. His 80s persona is such a fun add on to the film. I loved watching the dance battles between him and Gru and for some odd reason I really enjoyed the destructive chewing gum which was his weapon of choice. He also came across as a personal challenge for Gru which added some depth to the film. It felt like if Gru were to finally catch him it would make all his own mishaps melt away and I would have loved to this play out. But I didn’t… does this mean there is an opening for a fourth instalment perhaps?

The animation is absolutely beautiful and it is always comforting to see loved characters return to the screen. This will be what carries the film. The film will do well because of the history that the characters already have with the audience, however, the story, unfortunately, is a weak spot for me. I would have loved the story about the minions needing Gru to have been developed further rather than this long lost brother plot. It almost felt misplaced. It was sweet, just rather forgettable. I doubt the third film will leave as much of as impression as the first two films did.

*lights out*

Natalia

xx

A Dirty Dancing Disappointment

Hi guys,

A few weeks ago the 2017 re-imagining version of the absolute classic Dirty Dancing aired on ABC…  Logic dictates that because of the wonderful cast that was cast in this adaption that it would be some sort of good, however, this was not the case at all. This version is a flop and just left me with a whole lot of questions beginning with WHY???

Question 1: Why did someone feel the need to remake this classic? It is a classic FOR A REASON. Not every movie becomes iconic and when one does, that should be a sign that it should stay exactly the way that it was intended to be. Dirty Dancing (1987) is an absolute treat of a film, it seriously did not need a revamp.

Question 2: Why did the creators of the new film feel a need to change parts of the original? Well, maybe they didn’t want it to be exactly the same? Well, in that case, they should have written a NEW STORY. A story that was not Dirty Dancing perhaps? Maybe something leading on from the original but changing fundamental parts of the original to fit into a 2017/ still in the same time frame just did not work. This leads us back to question number 1- WHY REMAKE A CLASSIC?

Question number 3: And this was probably the biggest issue I had with the film- Why remix the beautiful music that made the classic so iconic? The moment I heard “She’s like the wind” set to a kind of hip hop beat I wanted to cry! Music can make or break something and this case it only helped break this film even further.

Question number 4: Why cast two people who have no chemistry on film, as one of the most romantic movie couples of all time? Abigail Breslin (Baby) and Colt Prattes (Johhny) had no chemistry on screen WHATSOEVER! They sent no shivers down my spine and there was no spark. No amount of editing could have created a spark that just did not exists.

Question number 5: Why change the ending? When I read about this major change in the film, I thought that maybe it would help establish a different type of Dirty Dancing. Maybe it would bring closure to fans of the film and give us some sort of view into the future of such loved characters. But to no avail. The ending of the new film is somewhere between a bad flashforward or a bad flashback, I am not sure as to which suits the part better. It was just weird…

The part that bothers me is, are people who have never seen the classic going to think that this film is what Dirty Dancing really is? Because if so then they would be missing the magic that the original brought to the screen all those years ago. I just hope this version does not turn people off the original one.

The acting was stiff and the creative direction was just in the completely wrong direction. Even small things like editing the lip syncing audio in sync with the visual picture were off. It was just a really bad situation. But I guess there is always the next time and one should always try again… Just please do not try and experiment with such a classic. Let’s leave iconic musicals to be enjoyed as iconic musicals. Please and Thank you!

*Lights out*

Natalia

xxx

 

Boss Baby (2017)

In a world where animation films can be of the highest quality, is there really space for a mediocre film driven by a baby in a suit? I am not convinced…

I recently watched the newest Dreamworks animation film “Boss Baby” and I, unfortunately, need to report that I was not impressed. I got it but I didn’t love it. The film is about a baby who runs a baby company. The company is responsible for sorting through all the babies up in heaven (I think) and sending them to the right families. However, certain babies are not suited for family life and are sent to management. It already sounds implausible right?

Some of you might turn around and tell me that other animated films include talking fish, Ogres and escaping zoo animals so how can I call a talking baby implausible? Well here is my issue; Animations these days are no longer solely designed for children. Within many of our favourite animated films, there are antidotes that appeal to adults. There are characters that children do not fully understand- there is simply something for everyone. This is achieved through clever storytelling, beautiful animation and relatable character profiling.

This film, although having potential, lacked these elements. The part of the film that drew me in the most, was Tim. The 7-year-old boy who receives this ‘Boss’ of a baby brother. His imagination and emotion were the only attributes that drove me to keep watching. However, even this character does not really go anywhere. No one really grows in this film and it results in the film feeling very predictable.

My 11-year-old brother found the film to be hilarious, which is good because ultimately, for a film like this, it is going to be children who drive the sales. But in terms of this film becoming legendary like films such as Finding Nemo, or creating a franchise like Madagascar, I highly doubt it. And to be frank I truly expect more from a cooperation Like Dreamworks Animation… The medium of animation is a powerful tool and it deserves to be treated with respect in order to create high-qualityy entertainment that the entire family can enjoy.

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

Hidden Figures

It finally happened! After almost a year of waiting, I got to go and see the film ‘Hidden Figures.’ I remember watching the first taste of a

After almost a year of waiting, I got to go and see the film ‘Hidden Figures.’ I remember watching the first taste of a trailer almost a year ago and running to tell everyone that Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Jim Parsons, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst were starring in a film all about Space and Female Equality. I was so Excited. The trailer was released not long after the series Astronauts wives club had finished airing and space was all the range, well actually not space but rather how the people on the ground prepared to make history. FASCINATING!

I always say that true stories fuel the greatest films and this was no exception. The film and cast also did very well this awards season and took home the golden globe for best film ensemble. After watching the film, I can see why. There was some sort of magic between the cast members and it made the film. In short, this film is about 3 young black women and how they overcame discrimination, stood up for themselves and got the first American astronaut into space. These 3 women were mathematicians, engineers and mechanics working for NASA. Except for the fact that in the 1960s America was still dealing with segregation and a black woman in high positions wasn’t exactly heard of. However, this film is so much more than just that.

The first thought that came to my mind after watching the film was is this the main issue in this film a racial one or a gender one. I thought about this a lot and finally came to the conclusion that even though the film is completely multi-dimensional the issue that came across the clearest to me was Gender-based. These were WOMAN facing major discrimination however they just happened to be African American during a time where America was still segregated.

I have watched many films that deal with similar issues since these are issues that transcend anything and everything, but sometimes I feel like it can seem overdone. In this film, however, it was done tastefully and even though I am not an African American woman, I still felt proud. Proud of the accomplishments of the three woman in the film, Proud to be a woman myself and proud to see such a powerful story being shown on screen.

It is amazing to think that NASA was able to send a man into space, however, they could not have done this without these exceptional women on their team. Even though we think that we are stepping over this mountain of discrimination, we haven’t really stepped that far over and we always need reminding of how far we have come as a human race and how far we still need to come.

In terms of the cinematic experience, it was a great film. The art department was on point considering the fact that this film is set in the 1960’s. The hair, makeup and wardrobe departments did a great job. The casting was done incredibly well and I cannot explain how wonderful it was to see such great actors play such different roles. Who knew Jim Parsons could play an antagonist? And who knew that Taraji P Henson could play a role so completely opposite to The Oh so fabulous Cookie Lyon? I loved watching her in this role. Taraji is so graceful on screen, she has such poise yet when she needs to make a statement boy, oh boy does she make a statement! Like I said before, this cast was exceptional!

I really want to go into all the wonderful moments that are in this film. They bare still going round and round in my head because of how powerful they were. Small gestures, short dialogue that just expresses so much more. However, I feel like no matter who you are, what race you are, which gender you fit into, everyone needs to experience them for themselves. It is so important. Films like this need to be taught to the masses because it is more than a 2-hour entertainment piece. It is a treasure. Something that will last for years and years and never age. I watched a film about 3 women trying to get a man up into space and I came out inspired. Inspired to do the right thing. Inspired to stand up for myself and for what I believe in. And inspired to treat everyone equally because you never know what talents lie underneath the exterior.

Dorothy Vaughan: If you act right – you are right. That’s for certain”

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

The 2017 Oscars

 

Hi guys,

Ok so if you have been living under a rock, this past weekend was the 89th Academy awards. The Oscars are my favourite awards show of the season because it celebrates the best of the best in film. The celebrities are fantastic, the presenters look beautiful and the host needs to keep the audience awake for almost 4 hours!

There is so much to write about! But I will try to narrow it down to my favourite moments from the show…

This year, the show was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. The nominees included greats like Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and Denzel Washington. There were some awesome movies nominated too! Hidden Figures, LA LA land and Hackshaw Ridge were amongst the 9 movies nominated for best picture…. (yes I know the mixup of the century, I’ll get there later on) There were beautiful musical performances for best song. These included Lin-Manual Miranda for How far I’ll go from Moana. Two original songs from La la land performed by John Legend and Can’t stop the feeling from Trolls. The show actually started off with Justin Timberlake performing this song and it set the tone for a fun, celebratory show.

One of the most anticipated awards of the evening was the best-supporting actress… this category was tough! Nicole Kidman, Naomi Harris, Michelle Williams and Octavia Spencer were all nominated alongside Viola Davis. Viola won making her the first black woman to win an oscar, an Emmy and a Tony for acting. Her speech was brilliant. You could feel she was really proud to have won and I am really happy she did because she is wonderful at what she does. In her speech, she said something so profound and I would like to share it with you;

“People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artistand thank God I did—because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life”

I thought she expressed herself so well! And she was so correct artists are the ones who get to tell the stories that the world may have forgotten and it is a gift and a privilege…

The next part that really impressed me was the performance for the best original song for the film Moana. Lin-Manual Miranda (who is a brilliant man by the way) gave a lovely rap introduction to Auli’i Cravalho, the young woman who voices Moana in the film. She was wonderful! Seeing this song performed live made me like the song so much more than before.

A very sweet moment in the show was when Kimmel organised for sweets and treats to come down from the ceiling in little parachutes. There were kids in the audience since many of the films this year included kids in the cast and I feel that this little element helped them just as much as it helped the adults stay in tune with the show. The ceremony can sometimes be very drawn out and this was a nice break in between.

Kimmel also did a hilarious stunt. He invited a tour bus of tourists to the Dolby theatre and led them to believe they were coming to an exhibition of Oscar gowns. The whole tour bus walked into the theatre and once they realised what was happening were completely shocked. They got to shake hands with the front row and it was hilarious to watch how all the people reacted to the prank. Sadly, however, this was the end of Kimmel’s good moments for me since I felt he turned the rest of his hosting moments to a roast of Matt Damon. I didn’t get the humour of picking on Matt. Maybe I just missed that bit?

There were many great nostalgic moments too. Presenters like Charlize Theron, Seth Rogan and Javier Bardem got the opportunity to present with their role models. They each did a skit that explained their favourite movie memory and then appeared on stage with that person. The in the memorial was also done beautifully. Sarah Berellis did a beautiful tribute for that bit.

Next wonderful winner… Miss Emma Stone- she was up against MERYL! Can we just take a moment to let that sink in? She also delivered a very humble, well-said speech;

“I realize that a moment like this is a huge confluence of luck and opportunity, and so I want to thank Damien Chazelle for the opportunity to be part of a project that was so special and once in a lifetime. I’m so grateful to have been involved in this film and thank you for your faith and your patience and such a wonderful experience.”

Ok, this brings us to the mixup that will last a century… When it was time to announce the best picture AKA the biggest award of the evening. The presenters announced that La La land won. The whole cast and crew ran up onto stage and excidely started thanking everyone involved, mom, dad and G-D for this amazing oppotunity. They couldn’t have done it without the hard work of the entire cast and crew… a dream come true. HOWEVER, backstage hands started looking around for the enevelope becasue the envelope that was given to the presenters was in fact the envelope for best actress NOT best picture. PROBELEM! The producer of LA LA land then graciously announced that there had been a mistake and that Moonlight had actually won the award. This was an unfortunate mistake however I feel that all involved handled it well. I mean what were they meant to do storm off stage and have a temper tantrum? La La land still did exceptionally well at the awards and came home with 6 out of the 14 nominations.

Overall, I think it was a great show. I enjoyed it a lot more than last year’s ceremony and I think there was some wonderful talent celebrated! So with that being said, I would like to thank the academy for all their hard work and for bringing us the biggest awards ceremony of the year! Till next year :p

(p.s if you want to watch all these wonderful moments, have a look on the official Oscars website)

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

 

 

 

Collateral Beauty (2017)

Hi everyone,

So last night I got the chance to see a preview screening of the film ‘Collateral Beauty’. I was really excited to see the film even though I had heard some mixed feedback about it. Online, people were saying how sad it was. How much they cried. Other people were saying it had ‘weak’ performances. However, I went in with an open mind…

For starters, the cast is brilliant. Will Smith, Kiera Knightly, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren to name a few. You can’t really get a better cast than that! Is this a nice film- not really. Is this a good film- yes! Reason being is that the movie is sad. The film is about Howard (Will Smith) who has suffered a tragedy and to try and deal with his feelings he writes letters to Time, Love and Death. It sounds kind of cheesy right, but the twists within the narrative are wonderful and give the film a much-needed lift since the theme is rather intense.

I thought that Will Smith was brilliant in the film. His performance was so intense and you could feel how deeply he connected with the character however it wasn’t overbearing. He had just the right amount of emotion and I didn’t get frustrated at his hesitance, it worked. Helen Mirren’s character (Death) added a touch of comedic value to the film. Her character was deep as it was intended, but there were moments when the irony of the ‘thing’ she was playing was funny. I enjoyed her scenes a lot.

I actually enjoyed all the actor’s performances. Kiera Knightly was perfectly cast as Love and Edward Norton was a convincing best friend to Howard. The only criticism I have is that I felt Kate Winslet’s American accent was a bit forced. Maybe this was because I am so used to her speaking voice that I wasn’t used to it but something felt disjointed for me. However, this didn’t stop me from being drawn into the film.

I do however feel that it was the narrative that kept my attention rather than the cinematic elements. The film takes place in New York and although there were certain moments where the scenery of New York was beautiful, I didn’t feel like they were ‘IN’ New York. Maybe it had to do with the colour palette of the film. The creative team used duller colours and it felt like the grade for the film was used to make the colours look even duller. Maybe this was to mimic the emotion of the main character, which would then make sense? I understand that this is traditional when it comes to the Genre of Drama but I felt it was too emphasised.

There was an interesting element of the creative side of the film was the contrast of time and place. The film takes place over the holiday season. But the cheer of the holidays is contrasted against the inner turmoil of Howard. I found this to be interesting and it really showed off the idea that life goes on. The protagonist was going through this awful tragedy and yet, the world around him was still turning. He was suffering but the people around him were taking part in the annual holiday traditions.

Overall, this film is exceptionally thought provoking. I do not want to give away the ending but I will say this; If you find yourself losing interest towards the middle of the film, stick with it! The ending makes it worth it. There is a wonderful twist that to some may seem obvious but to others will be a lovely surprise. This film makes you want to hug the people you love and it makes you miss the people you have lost. It is a journey through every emotion. Love, happiness, sadness, anger but most of all it leaves you wanting to notice the Collateral Beauty…

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx