Monday, November 29, 2010

Movie Stuff: Red Hill

Shock horror! Ryan Kwanten has taken on a role where his character isn't required to be naked in every scene. While this may be disappointing (especially for us True Blood fans) Kwanten really shows his versatility as an actor in Red Hill. Plus it's especially nice to hear his native Aussie accent again- does anyone else remember his Vinnie days on Home and Away? He's certainly come a long way from Summer Bay. (Which is something I'm sure he's very thankful about). 

Kwanten stars as Constable Shane Cooper, who moves to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it outback town of Red Hill with his pregnant wife so they can get away from the stress of city life. The movie centres on Cooper's first day on the job, which can only be described as the worst first day ever. Things turn bad pretty quickly when escaped prisoner Jimmy Conway makes his way into town to enact some revenge on the police officers and townspeople- with a helluva big shotgun. But why is Conway so hellbent on revenge? You'll just have to see it for yourself to find out... 

Ryan Kwanten as Shane Cooper
Red Hill is a modern day western/revenge thriller with great action and plenty edge-of-your-seat moments to enjoy. It actually has a great storyline as well (unlike so many other films around these days) that keeps you guessing until the end. The acting is superb, especially by Ryan Kwanten and Steve Bisley, but it is Tom E. Lewis as Jimmy Conway who really steals the show. While the vast majority of his part is spent in silence, his on-screen presence is phenomenal.

Unfortunately the film hasn't made a huge amount at the local box office, which is such a shame as it really is a fantastic Australian production that's miles ahead of the majority of movies coming out of Hollywood. Red Hill is definitely worth the trip to the cinema, or at the very least would make for a great night in when it comes out on DVD.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

TV Stuff: Why I'm Lovin' Luther

Long time, no blogging! Unfortunately some evil uni assignments have been sucking up most of my time lately, as they will over summer (*sob*) and as a result my little blog has been sadly neglected. Hopefully I will be able to post a bit more regularly from now on when I have something at least vaguely interesting to go on about! Which brings me to my new favourite TV show which I just had to share with everyone due to its total awesomeness.

Luther is a new BBC series which started airing a few weeks ago on the ABC and it's definitely worth a look in. It stars Idris Elba (you might have seen him on US TV show The Wire) as the brilliant and somewhat tormented DCI John Luther. I know, I know- he may sound like he's the stereotypical tortured-detective-type but Luther is actually an immensely likeable and relatable character. The show starts after Luther returns to his job after a leave of absence due to the psychological fallout that resulted from a serial child murder case. Adding to the mix is Alice Morgan (a wonderfully cunning Ruth Wilson) a sociopathic genius who gets away with murdering her parents. Alice develops a fixation on Luther and the interplay between the two in each episode is great to watch. Alice is an awesome character (despite her being a bit of a nutbag) because you're never sure what she'll do next, so I really hope she'll be around for the rest of the season and the two movie-length season two episodes. Both Elba and Wilson play their parts magnificently and they have fantastic chemistry together, which would be a shame to lose.
Idris Elba as John Luther and Ruth Wilson as Alice Morgan
While the show might seem like yet another crime drama, the superb acting and the excellent script writing make Luther a definite standout in a sea of boring by-the-numbers cop shows. The writing deftly weaves Luther's private life in with the cases he's working on without resorting to the melodrama that so many other programmes do. Luther is a fascinating character, which combined with the intriguing murder cases, makes for some superior and entertaining Friday night viewing.

Check out Luther at 8.30pm Fridays on the ABC (It makes the perfect antidote for if you've been forced to sit through Better Homes and Gardens). 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Movie Stuff: Yet Another Lame American Remake

The 2008 movie poster
Why oh why do American filmmakers insist on doing remakes of already amazing movies? Let Me In is yet another sad example of a perfectly wonderful movie getting the bastardised American remake treatment.

Let Me In is based on Let the Right One In, a 2008 Swedish movie based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel of the same name. The book itself is an awesomely original horror story (and well worth a read) and the resulting film perfectly blends the themes of horror, love and friendship. 

Set in Stockholm in 1982, the movie tells the story of Oskar, an introverted, constantly bullied 12 year old boy who strikes up a friendship with his unusual new neighbour, the (supposedly) 12 year old Eli. As it turns out, Eli is a vampire and she's hungry.

The novel
What I love about the movie is how it doesn't romanticise vampires or make blood sucking look sexy- it makes it look creepy. The multiple story lines blend together seamlessly and the relationship that develops between Oskar and Eli throughout is completely touching and so much sweeter than Twilight could ever hope to achieve. The morse code scenes between the two children are absolutely beautiful. The story perfectly blends horror and innocence together to make for an unforgettable movie experience. The characterisation is perfect and the children playing the roles of Oskar and Eli are both flawless and give astonishing performances for their young ages. The cold, wintry setting of Sweden's winter lends both beauty and a sense of foreboding to the atmosphere of the film as well. Let the Right One In is guaranteed to stay with you for a long time after you've seen it (in a good way!).

Oskar and Eli
I just don't understand why on earth anyone would want to remake such an already perfect film. There is absolutely no way that the original can be improved upon. From watching the trailers for Let Me In, the movie looks pretty bad. Like a bland, unimaginative and inferior copy of the original. Basically, everything is too generic American looking and the story seems to have lost its heart. They've taken a unique little indie movie and turned it into a typical, boring, big budget flick. Ugh. Whatever happened to being original and coming up with new story ideas? I don't like the child actors they've chosen either- they don't fit the characters properly. Is it just that some American movie producers and viewers don't like to read subtitles? Come on, it isn't hard to read subtitles and watch a film at the same time people!

Luckily for us Aussies though, Let the Right One In is being shown on SBS One at 10pm on Saturday, October 9. So treat yourself by watching the totally rad original on TV and avoiding the disappointment of the dodgy remake showing at the cinemas!


btw: I'd love to hear other people's thoughts about movie remakes. Do you hate them? Love them? Or just don't really care?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Genius That Is Gaga

Since I mentioned the awesome-ness that is Lady Gaga in yesterday's post, I couldn't resist doing a post consisting solely of Gaga. I love how committed she is to her avant-garde outfits, she seems to live and breathe fashion 24/7. She stands out in a world of perfectly styled, boring celebrity fashion choices and you have to admit she's great fun to look at (and listen to). Enjoy the genius of Gaga!
Top & Below: Celebrating Hello Kitty's 35th birthday

From the Telephone video clip. She makes prison get-up fashionable!
Love the bow and the timeless Ray Ban Wayfarers
An interesting choice in head wear
Masquerade like for the Poker Face video
Just another day at the airport. I need those shoes!
A homicidal Mickey Mouse inspired outfit for the Paparazzi video
With Kanye West for The Fame Monster CD artwork

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blogtoberfest: Day Four

For today's post I think i'll keep it simple, so here's what i'm up to right now:

Loving: My newly painted room. It's a bright blue colour that will soon be joined by a pink on another wall. 

Not Loving : Uni assignments, the fact that Glee won't be on for two weeks because of the stupid Commonwealth Games (not fair!) Also, the fact that blogger keeps putting triple line spacing in all my posts which is driving me insane!

Doing: Working on Stuff zine.

Watching: The Delicious Miss Dahl, Parenthood, Fashion Police, Buffy (season 1: with some awesome late 90's fashion!)
How short are these skirts?! Gotta love the 90's!
Reading: The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do, Paradise Lost by John Milton, Yen, Harper's Bazaar and Delicious.

Eating: Swedish Daim chocolates. Little rectangles of crunchy caramel coated in milk chocolate- totally tasty and totally addictive. You get about a zillion of them in a bag for only $8. With thanks to the IKEA Swedish food section!
The totally rad Sia
Listening: Sia You've Changed, Lady Gaga Telephone and Just Dance, Katy Perry Teenage Dream, Madonna Vogue, Ke$ha Your Love Is My Drug, the Dickies Banana Splits (from the awesome Kick-Ass soundtrack), Professor Green/Lily Allen Just Be Good to Green. (And yes, I did actually list a song by Ke$ha, but there's no need to make fun!)
The totally avant-garde genius of Gaga. Love it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blogtoberfest: Day Three

Yes, I know, I missed a day of blogtoberfest. Already. On the second day. Oops.

I have been somewhat preoccupied with designing the first Stuff zine that i'm working on with my sister Sarah (shameless plug time: why not visit her lovely blog Box Brownies sometime?) and I also have to research and write two assignments for uni. Fun times. How I wish I could just work on my zine and blog instead! But hopefully I will still be able to post somewhat regularly and (fingers crossed) have a zine ready to be printed in the near future! Maybe I will be able to offer some sneak peeks of the zine in an upcoming post...

Head on over to Tinniegirl to have a read of some other awesome blogs.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Ah, another year, another Blogtoberfest! I just had to join in again with my new blog since I had such a great time last year discovering other people's awesome blogs and making some new friends too.

My first post comes somewhat late in the day but I put all the blame on a combination of IKEA fatigue (have you ever noticed after you leave that you've spent about ten times more money and stayed for three hours more than you intended upon entering the store?) and watching Jerseylicious with my Mum. Seriously, this show is completely addictive. I think it has something to do with the radioactive fake tans combined with overly teased hairstyles that somehow make for compulsive viewing. 

However, despite the IKEA fatigue I did end up buying some really pretty fabrics so i'll post some pics of them tomorrow. 

If you want to join in the Blogtoberfest fun, head on over to Tinniegirl!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Book Stuff: An Intro to Awesome Graphic Novels

I thought I would write a series of posts about some of my favourite graphic novels that have been turned into movies, as I was inspired by the totally sweet adaptation of Scott Pilgrim that hit the theatres recently. Plus I think that the graphic novels i'll be writing about also make for an excellent introduction for the comic book-shy people out there. So if you have previously shunned comics as purely for 13 year old super nerds- check out the ones featured in the next few posts- you won't be disappointed! So without further ado, here is the first instalment:

PERSEPOLIS by Marjane Satrapi: graphic novels (2000) and the movie (2007).
What It's All About: Persepolis originally consisted of two separate novels (originally in French) called Persepolis 1: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return that have now been combined into one book. I would define Persepolis as a "thinking persons" graphic novel and a perfect starting point for someone who thinks all comics are juvenile.

Persepolis is an autobiographical account of Satrapi's childhood during the Islamic revolution in Iran and her adolescent years spent in a boarding school in Vienna. Each volume is divided into smaller sections containing a small story. From being forced to wear a veil to school (The Veil), seeing violent political demonstrations for the first time (The Trip) to typical teenage rebellion (The Vegetable), Satrapi shares many intimate details of her fascinating, if somewhat frightening, upbringing. Persepolis is wonderful because even though much of it details the radical and sometimes violent changes that were occurring in Iran, the story retains a quirky sense of humour and sense of innocence throughout. Presenting her story in a comic book format is an awesomely unique way to bring Satrapi's moving, captivating experiences to life-which definitely sets it apart from your typical by-the-numbers autobiography.

The comic itself is drawn in a simple yet distinctive black-and-white style which seems to suit the story and convey the emotions of the characters perfectly. What I especially love is that the movie is actually animated (and therefore not your typical comic turned-into-a-live-action-movie-deal) in a perfect rendition of the comic's unique illustration style.

Quote This: Marjane's Grandmother: "Listen. I don't like to preach, but here's some advice. You'll meet a lot of jerks in life. If they hurt you, remember it's because they're stupid. Don't react to their cruelty. There's nothing worse than bitterness and revenge. Keep your dignity and be true to yourself."

Reading Persepolis you get a fascinating insight into Satrapi's life with a good dose of humour and a free modern history lesson thrown in as well. Both the book and the movie are well worth a look due to their story, heart and all round general awesome-ness.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Retro Stuff: Little Owl Teapot

Oh dear it's been a while since my last post! All blame must go to the impending due dates of some evil university assignments. Anyways, I managed to pick up this awesome little teapot from the local antique store and I just had to share it:

It's a little Japanese tower made up of an owl teapot and two little cups. Really, how could I ever resist a teapot that has a little winking owl on top? Plus it was only $23! What a cute little bargain. And a total hoot. (I'm sorry I just couldn't help myself).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Retro Baking With AWW Recipe Cards

Ahh, Sunday baking. Is there any better way to end the week then with a massive dose of sugar and sprinkles?

The awesome Pip over at Meet Me At Mikes had the sweet idea to start cooking recipes from those old school recipe cards made by the Australian Women's Weekly and luckily I told my Mum about about it and 'lo and behold, she whipped out her own little WW box of recipe cards that were hiding in the top kitchen cupboard!

While it isn't the complete collection of cards, there are still about 226 of them which isn't too bad! Thankfully, (in my sweet-toothed personal opinion) we have the best sections which are: Favourite Cakes, Popular Biscuits & Slices and Light 'n' Lovely Cool Desserts. However I particularly love the name of the section called The Important First Course. Like if you don't get the first course at a dinner party right you'll be doomed to be known as a sub-par hostess for all eternity or something.

I thought i'd have a go at baking the butter cake from Favourite Cakes section and it turned out pretty great. The batter is really thick but it turns into a lovely soft and crumbly texture once it's baked. I doubled the recipe and ended up with a massive square cake and a smaller loaf cake. I think the loaf cake will have to be frozen given the general hugeness of the square one!

I only ended up with one burnt finger in the process too (yes, contrary to personal belief I sadly do not have asbestos fingers).

All in all it turned out to be a successful retro baking afternoon with the Australian Women's Weekly! I only ended up with one burnt finger in the process too (yes, contrary to personal belief I sadly do not have asbestos fingers). Personally i'd love it if they brought out recipe cards like this again because the recipes tend to be pretty simple and uncomplicated, plus I just love the whole recipe-cards-in-a-box thing. It's how our Mothers and Grandmother's and Great-Grandmothers kept their recipes and I just think it's really awesome.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Movie Stuff: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

First blog post! Yay! In honour of this momentous occasion I thought I would do a movie review because I love movies so very, very much!

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is hands down one of the best, most original movies to come out in ages. Really, how could you resist going to see a movie whose tagline is "An epic of epic epicness?" (Much kudos to the genius who thought of said tagline).

The movie is based on the super-popular Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The series consists of six novels in total and the cute, manga style black-and-white drawing style is simple yet wonderfully effective. They would make an awesome addition to any self respecting book nerd's library.

The plot of the movie is pretty simple: somewhat geeky, bass-playing Scott Pilgrim (geek pin-up boy Michael Cera) falls in love with the quirky-cool Ramona Flowers. Unfortunately she has some major baggage in the form of seven evil exes whom Scott must fight to the death if he wants to keep dating her. Bring on the witty banter, rad music and completely, utterly awesome fight scenes.

By far the best thing about this movie is that it is just like a video game. Evil foes burst into a spray of coins upon death, points are scored for every baddie that is defeated and bonus points and free lives are up for grabs. If you ever loved playing Sega, Nintendo or vintage arcade games then you will go nuts over this movie. Gamer nerds will wet themselves with excitement when they see this, I guarantee it.

What I love about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is that it doesn't try to distance itself from its comic book roots. Instead director Edgar Wright (who also directed the hilarious zombie rom-com Shaun of the Dead- seriously, if you haven't seen it then rent it now!) goes to town and the result is a hyper-energized, somewhat insane comic book/video game brought to life on the big screen. If you are in any way a nerd it would be a betrayal of your kind if you didn't see this movie. Seriously!

If you're in the mood for some other (rather more questionable) video game adaptations check out these other movies:

- Super Mario Bros. (1993) Super bad. Really super bad.
- Resident Evil Series (2002-onwards) Dodgy, yet somehow watchable because of that fact. Milla Jovovich in tight outfits doesn't hurt either.
- Streetfighter (1994) It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme. So yeah, it's pretty bad. Yet also unintentionally hilarious.
-BloodRayne (2005) So bad it's just well....BAD. Worse than all the dodgy video game adaptations put together, which is saying something. YouTube it to see for yourself! I dare you.