Oscars 2014: The Average Red Carpet

Once again kitties, it’s the mother of all red carpets…The Oscars! Watching with an analytical eye, my eyesight is scanning for the crème de la crème in fashion and the generous load of Jedidiah Atkinson comments when an eyesore walks by.

The red carpet started early with a previous nominee, Viola Davis wearing a stunning green gown by Escada. I agree with Davis when she said, “The color green is my go-to color.” By the way, it is a simple and an elegant gown.

Viola Davis in Escada Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Pint sized talent, Kristin Chenoweth in Roberto Cavalli. Honestly, she looks the perfect match of the Oscar statuette if it was female and in human form. Good job!

Kristin Chenoweth in Roberto Cavalli Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Frozen star, Kristen Bell in Roberto Cavalli looks beautiful; however, I’ve seen this gown incarnated in previous red carpets. All I can say is that this is a safe gown.

Kristen Bell in Roberto Cavalli Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

12 Years a Slave and Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o has done it again. She is wearing a custom made Nairobi blue dress by Prada. Nyong’o is a trend setter and I can see this upcoming spring this shade of island blue worn by many fashion lovers. Her Prada gown is one of the best of the night.

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Another safe and classic gown is worn by Oscar nominee, Amy Adams in Gucci. I do like that the dark blue makes an excellent contrast with her pale skin. She does stand out, but like Bell this gown is nothing new.

Amy Adams in Gucci Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Oscar nominee for her supporting role in Blue Jasmine, Sally Hawkins is wearing Maison Valentino. I have two concerns regarding this gown. First, it looks heavy and lastly, I’m worried she’s going to lose her balance. It is an original dress with various and intricate details, yet it’s like a wrap of massive amounts of old doilies.

Sally Hawkins in Maison Valentino Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Pitch Perfect star, Anna Kendrick in J. Mendel is a perfect fit. Her dress has several details that work in her favor. Her waist is accentuated with a floral design which draws the eye in both directions. I liked this dress.

Anna Kendrick in J. Mendel Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Naomi Watts is wearing Calvin Klein and the picture does not make justice on the several beadings her dress has. It does not appear, but it is a heavy dress.

Naomi Watts in CK Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Chrissy Teigen in Monique Lhuillier. Without a doubt, Lhuillier always brings fresh designs to fashion week and Teigen is the ideal girl to wear it. It looks great and it is an exciting dress.

Chrissy Teigen in Monique Lhuillier Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Jessica Biel shines in this Chanel gown; however, the camera flashes has blurred out the actual design.

Jessica Biel in Chanel Couture Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Bette Midler in Reem Acra. The singer/ actress shines in this two-toned dress. It is a fresh take on a night that demands for perfection and Midler breaks this rule in a precise matter. Brava!

Bette Midler in Reem Acra Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Charlize Theron in Dior is channeling a modern day Maleficent. She looks seductive and at the same time ready for several camera shots.

Charlize Theron in Dior Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Scandal’s star, Kerry Washington in Jason Wu. Washington knows how to look her best with this lavender gown.

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior. It is a vibrant red and it suits her well, but it lacks excitement. It’s similar to a mermaid shape gown without the exaggerated tail…again a safe gown. Ladies, you are really making this article hard for me because I’m yawning!

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Well…Anne Hathaway in Gucci. I find this hard to explain, but this gown ruins her stunning body. In addition, the unnecessary embellishment on the top portion does not help at all. This is not a gown for an Oscar winner.

Anne Hathaway in Gucci Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Kate Hudson in Versace…I think she took this dress from The American Hustle movie set.

Kate Hudson in Versace Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Angelina Jolie in Ellie Saab hopped from the black dress with the shaky leg to this gown. I could say so many things, but I will keep it brief. Her dress reminds me of Christmas tinsel just poured on her.

Angelina Jolie in Ellie Saab Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen looks stunning and a mile away from the dress she wore at the Golden Globes. The draping hugs her body in great way along with the dark blue gown. Now, this is a home run!

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

The surprise of the night is Lady Gaga! She is wearing a Versace pale rose with mixed metals with creative lines that is impressive considering her usual over-the-top costumes. No Kermit, no gimmicks for Gaga. Although, I would remove the long scarf.

Lady Gaga in Atelier Credits: Tom & Lorenzo

Uncharacteristic of me to say this…it’s Pharrell. Enough said.

Pharrell Credits: Getty Images

See you in the next award season opening 2015

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A Pilot’s Vision, A Masterful Farewell

*This article contains spoilers*

Out of all the nominated films, coincidently I’ve invested my movie tickets to watch animated movies. It pains me to say this possibility; however, Frozen (by the way, I did watch it) might win the Oscar although The Wind Rises has a superior story and an audacious mixture of 2D blended with 3D. Yet, if it was up to me, Miyazaki deserves the award because the film brings to life many emotions that could easily be done with human actors – in other words, the film would work in any form of reincarnation if executed as Miyazaki presented to us.

Now, The Wind Rises openly narrates a time during the young life of Jiro Horikoshi (Gordon-Levitt). As a young child, Jiro wanted to become a pilot, but he cannot do this dream because he wears glasses. Still, this did not detain his goal because he followed the footsteps of his hero, Caproni and pursues a degree in engineering.

The Wind Rises (GHIBLI) Facebook

Years later, an older Jiro is returning to the University of Tokyo after a holiday break. During this train ride, he survives a horrible earthquake where he meets his future wife, Naoko, but their story develops years later. In the meantime, Japan is rebuilding after the earthquake. Then a glim of light occurs, Jiro and his college friend, Honjo (Krasinski) obtains a job despite of the economic crisis in the country. Both men head to an interesting assignment in Germany to learn about the latest German aeronautics technology. Their visit is successful and stressful because the German soldiers were apprehensive to show their aircrafts to the men. In reality, they feared the Japanese would improve their design. As time passed by, Jiro is send elsewhere in Japan where he reunites with an older Naoko (Blunt). At first, he didn’t recognize her because the last time he saw her, she was a teenager. Their affinity is mutual which leads to an engagement.

Although their love is fruitful, Naoko has tuberculosis and she wants to marry him after she feels better. Because of the time period the story takes place, Naoko’s health does not improve. She goes to  a sanatorium to heal. Suddenly, Naoko calls Jiro because she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. As a result, they have an impromptu wedding, since Jiro’s boss did not want to have an unmarried couple living under his roof.

While Jiro’s career lives trial and errors, his friend, Honjo share the same vision – they want to create beautiful planes, but not bomber planes; however, as stated many times in the film, creating planes is a blessing and a curse. Months later, Jiro’s younger sister (who is a doctor) visits him. She has mixed feelings about Jiro’s marriage. She likes Naoko very much and because she likes her new sister-in-law, she knows her health is deteriorating; nonetheless, Jiro stands strong and stays with his wife knowingly what will happen in the future.

The Wind Rises (GHIBLI) Facebook

Towards the end of the film, Jiro survives success and sadness at once. His plane, Mitsubishi A5M tests triumphantly for the first time. Then, there’s a silent gust signaling Naoko’s death. At the end of the movie, Jiro dreams about Caproni and his wife, Naoko. In his conversation with Caproni, they say that creating planes is like the pyramids. Every creation has a price, at the same time; no one can control the destiny of these creations. His goal was to create planes and he achieved that dream even though the Navy transformed the plane into a war machine.

The Wind Rises brings a story of ambitions and sorrows. It is artistically presented with sequences foreshadowing the future technology and the structures of planes. Ergo, Jiro has a personal life that is brief due to his demanding job; however, he manages to have a loving marriage.

The Wind Rises (GHIBLI) Facebook

It is a touching story that is superbly told. Miyazaki finalizes his successful career with a fictional vision of Jiro’s childhood into adulthood and creating beautiful planes. The film demonstrates that every dream leads to a result; therefore, be careful what you wish for.

My final grade…the film deserves the Oscar!

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Thanks For Sharing: Not a Romantic-Comedy, It’s a Realistic Film

In the last five days, I have been hunting down the DVD rental of Blue Jasmine and it is a Woody Allen film…enough said; however, even though I have failed to find a copy that has not been rented – I found Thanks For Sharing. I know it makes me sound like I’m calling it a runner-up choice, yet I am glad Blue Jasmine was out. Otherwise, I would have missed this gem by the acclaimed director, Stuart Blumberg (The Kids are Alright).  Now, my overall impression of this film is that critics have misplaced the core message of the story. Critics categorized this film by calling it a “romantic-comedy.” Thanks For Sharing is a dramatic film with few brush strokes of comedic lines, but it is not sufficient to reach the levels of other well known rom-com movies like You’ve Got Mail.

Still, Thanks For Sharing is an observant film that analyzes the lives of sex-addicts and their struggles to survive without falling into their old habits. With a stellar cast, Thanks For Sharing follows four story lines involving Adam (Mark Ruffalo), Mike (Tim Robbins), Neil (Gosh Gad), and Dede (Pink as Alecia Moore).

Adam is seemingly the ideal man, but he recently celebrated his fifth year of sobriety from his sex addiction. Afraid to fall back into his old habits, his sponsor and good friend, Mike convinces Adam to go out and start dating. So, he eventually does and meets Phoebe. She’s athletic and takes her food intake to the extreme; however, she quickly reveals that she had breast cancer five years ago. As a result, her breasts are implants. They quickly start a relationship, then Phoebe says that she would never date an addict again – Leaving Mark uncertain if he should reveal his own addiction. Meanwhile, Neil is a doctor that must attend the meetings for sex addiction because of his court order.

At first, Neil did not take the meetings seriously and lied about his sobriety. Soon-after another incident at his job, Neil is fired and he realizes that he has to take the meetings seriously. Within these meetings, a new girl joins the group and her name is Dede. Although she looks tough on the outside, Dede is vulnerable and broken because her addiction made her loose her best friend. Hence, Dede wants to change.

Meanwhile,  Dede fails to reach her sponsor and calls Neil for help. It is the first time that Dede actually has a male friend which she does not have intercourse with. Yet, not everything is roses and celebration because Mike and Adam are facing major problems. Mike is highly respected by everyone and he’s a former addict. He’s a role model, but he fails to trust his troubled son, Danny. Out of the blue, Danny returns home and claims he has not been drinking or taking pills. In other words, he has been clean in the last eight months. Sadly, Mike quickly thinks Danny is lying. Lastly, Phoebe lacks the patience to understand that a relationship with Adam is about to take-it real slow with him. As a result, their relationship ends abruptly.

Collectively, Blumberg brings a film that is grounded and perceptive. The goal of Thanks For Sharing is not a love story about a troubled guy and a naïve woman, but it exposes the complicated life of a sex addict trying to live a normal life that is filled with sexual ads, pornography, and dirty magazines available within seconds. It is unfortunate that it did not gain critical appraisal from major critics to gain nominations for original screenplay at least.

 

That’s Life: Song Review

Aaron Carter drops a new single called, That’s Life. With the soft beats of pop-tempo along with its memorable lyrics – That’s Life works perfectly for anyone going through a sour day or hoping for a second chance on life. After all, haven’t we all gone through harsh moments in life? Therefore, Carter’s new song offers this message in a positive matter. I have played this song over and over. It’s a sweet treat for anyone’s music repertoire. My grade for That’s Life deserves a perfect 10/10. Do not waste time and listen to his latest single, That’s Life on Soundcloud on https://soundcloud.com/aaroncartermusic

Aaron Carter’s Photograph appears on Soundcloud

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Golden Globes 2014: The Red Carpet

After surviving the grueling polar vortex in my hometown, watching the Golden Globes red carpet gave me a breath of fresh air that I need it. Some stars superbly walked the red carpet with stunning gowns, while others missed the mark.

Second time Golden Globe winner for a second year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence appears in a effortless, yet chic Dior gown. A perfect gown for a winner.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Meanwhile, another Golden Globe winner, Amy Adams in Brian Atwood didn’t hustle in this gown. In fact, the top portion is too exposed. Causing a drift of the likeness of this dress because the skirt on the other hand flowed perfectly.

Amy Adams in Valentino, Brian Atwood Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Narcisco Rodriguez. Her gown I’ve seen a billion incarnations of it in different colors; however, it’s a safe dress.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Narcisco Rodriguez Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Kerry Washington in Balenciaga. Truly, this leading lady glows with this white dress.

Kerry Washington in Balenciaga Getty Images for the Huffington Post

I know when Nickelodeon decided to re-air 90s shows – it never intended for certain fashion comebacks like Heidi Klum’s dress. The Marchesa gown along with the chocker screams 90s like a Walkman playing The Real McCoy.

Heidi Klum in Marchesa Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Lena Dunham in Zac Posen. Her gown is a great choice for the bubbly leading actress of the HBO series, Girls.

Lena Dunham in Zac Posen Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Sofia Vergara ditched her favorite mermaid dress for a classic gown by the amazing Zac Posen. The elegance of this dress matches the boldness of the large turquoise necklace.

Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung. This dress looks like a project that took the wrong turn. I see so many ideas that are well executed, but sadly they were all added in one dress.

Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Oh, boy! Gravity was not the factor of this crash and burn worn by Oscar winner actress, Sandra Bullock. This kind of patch work gown is not glamorous.

Sandra Bullock in Prabal Gurung Getty Images for the Huffington Post

On the other side of the spectrum, Taylor Swift wears a stunning dress by Carolina Herrera. With a similar idea that Prabal Gurung had, but in a coordinated matter.

Taylor Swift in Carolina Herrera Getty Images for the Huffington Post

The newly married actress, Kaley Cuoco appears in a printed dress by Rani Zakhem Couture. This gown is neither horrible, but is also not the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen either. Therefore, it is a dress that gets an OK.

Kaley Cuoco in Rani Zakhem Couture Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Paula Patton is an amazing actress and without a doubt gorgeous; however, this gown did not make her one of the best dressed of the night. I had so many thoughts when I saw her gown and coincidently I was watching an anime show called Princess Jellyfish - immediately I jumped from my seat and thought she was a wearing one giant jellyfish in her dress. I believe the dress without the attacking ruffles would have worked perfectly.

Paula Patton Getty Images for the Huffington Post

Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren is a fab dress. Although, the dress is similar to the Tom Ford Gwyneth Paltrow wore for the Oscars I believe – still, Lupita manages to own this dress beautifully. The brightness of the red complements her beauty.

Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren Getty Images for the Huffington Post

American Horror actress, Gabourey Sidibe looks amazing in a gown by Michael Costello. Fits her nicely and one of my favorite of the night.

Gabourey Sidibe in Michael Costello Getty Images for the Huffington Post

I know this is not exactly the red carpet dress, but I do point out that I loved Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s hosting dress more than their red carpet gowns. Also, I take this opportunity to request for this funny duo to come back as hosts for the 2015 edition. Please Foreign Press take this plead a year ahead of time in consideration.

Getty Images for the dailymail.co.uk

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The Spoils of Babylon: Honestly…

The Spoils of Babylon starring Tobey Maguire and Kristin Wiig

On Thursday night, I sharply sat on my bed and waited to watch the premier of the mini series, The Spoils of Babylon on IFC. The mini series that aired two episodes composed of 30 minutes each with a stellar cast would certainly satisfy any crowd that hails for comedic spoofs; however, I did not expect this premier to be an absolute disaster with a few memorable comedic lines. How can I explain how bad this was without rolling my eyes every two seconds with disappointment? Before the premier, I read a quick summary of what the series was about; therefore, I already knew its a full blown mockery of dramatic soap operas of the 70s through the 80s. I point out, this is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of comedy. I thought that it would be no different of the level of humor from The Carol Burnett Show episode based on Gone with the Wind. Another example is the French film, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies which mocks spy films of the 1960s or any of the sketches from SNL,but an extended version of this kind of parody is effective when is perfectly executed.

Although the writers tried their best to over exaggerate dramatic scenes into humorous ones; however, the lack of a comedic script was largely missing throughout the episodes. Only few instances were truly worthwhile, yet I shouldn’t be able to count the funny punch lines. For example, the mannequin wife, the pocket watch scene, or Wiig’s crying made me burst loud chuckles and that was about it. Still, I do recognize the effort of the cast and at the same time is a pity because the cast is a great one. It wasn’t like Lifetime’s film starring Lindsay Lohan as Liz Taylor bad; nonetheless, The Spoils of Babylon is in a close race of awfulness. At least, I credit that The Spoils of Babylon is a parody in comparison to Lohan’s acting skills.

Overall, I’m not tuning in next week. I hardly think the next chapters would improve. In terms of the actors embracing their characters and their commitment to be intentionally bad is excellent. The downside of this series is the deficit of laughter. The script missed several opportunities to create one epic spoof.

That’s the Dandy Way! (Contains Spoilers)

Toonami starts the New Year with a bang! The world premiere of Space Dandy airs on January 4, 2014 in America first before hitting Japanese television sets. But, before its premiere, FUNimation uploaded a nine minute sneak peek of the series. From those nine minutes, I already knew I am correct about it…Space Dandy is out of this world. And I openly admit when I heard that Shinichirō Watanabe directs the series, for sure my bets would have turned into a hefty jackpot if it was the lottery. (Yes, the pilot episode is that good, folks!)

Now, if Watanabe’s name doesn’t sound familiar, he is responsible for directing acclaimed series such as Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Therefore, the mixture of jazz, space, and unique characters did emerge much like his previous works. However, some might be asking what is Space Dandy about? What made episode one: “Live With the Flow, Baby” memorable?

Bones/Project Space Dandy From the New York Times Article:The Alien Hunter as Lounge Lizard ‘Space Dandy’ Makes Its U.S. Premiere on Adult Swim By Mike Hale

Space Dandy starts with an Elvis wanna-be type of character known as Dandy. He’s the protagonist of the series and much like his name, Dandy is well-groomed; he’s obsessed with hair gel, and “Boobies.” (By the way, “Boobies” is the space version of Hooters) Yet, Dandy is no millionaire. His job is to capture new alien species and if indeed is a new species – Dandy gets paid. But as I mentioned before, he’s broke because his trusty robot companion, QT mentions their lack of funds. Dandy still has dated technology which is slow including QT.

Throughout the episode, QT spots a rare breed that is similar to a well-known alien cat, but the spotted cat has a mark on his face; ergo, it might be a new species. In a speed of light with stunning visuals, Dandy captures the cat until he notices the cat only has a sticker on his face. In other words, the whole chase is futile…well not exactly. Dandy didn’t waste his time because the cat offers his knowledge on unknown species throughout outer space.

Yet, the space cat is re-named by Dandy as Meow because he fails to understand the pronunciation of his real name. FYI, Meow dislikes his new name, yet he still goes for it anyway. In end, Meow is the third character that joins Dandy’s troop. In the meantime, a mysterious character called, Dr. Gel follows the strict orders of his boss to capture Dandy.

The show left the audience with an immense thirst for the next episode. Overall, Space Dandy is funny, adventurous, and highly entertaining…I do have a minor concern. The majority of Watanabe’s series are notoriously short, so will Space Dandy be the same in that aspect? Obviously, the viewers and I will find out soon, but I cannot wait for next Saturday. Great job, Toonami!

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