Friday, 31 March 2017

Life (Review) 👽

I usually do, what I consider to be, very detailed reviews of films. This time around I'm not. I went into the movie, Life, with very little knowledge of the film and I think it's actually really important that that's how you watch it. Go in with an open mind and explore the world for yourself.

Click here to watch the trailer or see below.
A multinational six-member crew aboard the International Space Station performs a successful capture of a space probe returning from Mars with a soil sample. British biologist Hugh Derry, extracts a single cell and revives the dormant organism with adjustments to atmospheric pressure and glucose concentrations. This extraordinary film explores the discovery of the first living being on Mars.
I loved the scientific influences with true-to-fact experiences, actions, messages and procedures.

Honestly, all I can say is that his movie is an absolute must see. I was blown away by the acting, storyline, filming and plot itself. The acting is sublime and the story flows beautifully with the perfect balance of backbone, storytelling and personal information. I loved that the filming and camera angles were interactive. It felt very much as though it was on board the ship, especially at the beginning with the upside down scenes. But the incredible writing of the script was...wow.
You couldn't have asked for anything more with the simplest of lines capturing the audience. It told the story unlike any other film I have scene and evolved throughout. I loved all the twists and turns. The shocks and cliffhangers. Thank you for opening my mind. Go watch!

Monday, 27 March 2017

STUDENTS KNOW HOW TO PARTY! / Year 2 Term 2 Bonus Clips 💃

This term has been another fun filled university adventure. Despite my warning of not uploading every week, I have once again exceeded my own expectations and upload every single week except one! Head over to my YouTube channel to catch up on any that you've missed.
After throwing extra clips into a little video after first term, I thought I would do that again. This weeks video is Year 2 Term 2 bonus clips! Click here for the video or see below.
I actually don't go out that often but when I do of course, everyone does little Snapchat videos so here's to the last ever free ULU night out before The Venue started charging £5 entry and made it clear you have to book it advance. Shock horror!

I've said before but I feel so lucky being able to live with actual friends who talk to me! My flatmates are the best and so far this year we've done lots of Karaoke, late night, deep meaningful chats and with a few surprises along the way.

We also celebrated Valentine's Day with takeaway and fun games. Plus, how could I leave out my beautiful niece, Hallie. I did a day in the life the day before and didn't record much the following day so I thought I would throw in this little clip here.

I also recently headed to Shoreditch to the Shoreditch Platform venue to celebrate my friend Khushboo's birthday. She's also really into social media and YouTube and has been in quite a few videos, especially the Colour Run. It was so much fun and I had lots of fun using her DSLR Canon camera to take quality pictures. Here are just a few of my favourites.
 Spot my fingers!


Of course, another friend, Roshni, made an amazing cake! She is so talented and not only did she make a beautiful cake, but a delicious chocolate one too!

Until, next term, no more uni! I'm now on Easter holiday which should be fun but alas I have to revise for upcoming exams and then prepare for Year 3!

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Lego Batman Movie! (Review) 🦇

I'm not a fan of Lego or Batman so this defintely wasn't my choice of movie. I volunteer with a charity called Spectrum which I absolutely love but there are times when I end up doing things, I would rather not. This time was different!

Click here to watch the trailer or see below.
Batman continues fighting crime in Gotham City. During a mission to prevent the Joker from destroying the city, Batman hurts his arch-rival's feelings by telling him he is not as important in his life as he thinks he is, leading Joker to seek the ultimate revenge on him.
The film explores the difficult relationships in Batman's personal life and how few meaningful ones he has. Despite the loneliness, he doesn't see it until someone else introduces him once again to the power of friendship and family.
This is a very heartwarming movie and I love the humorous elements in it. It defintely lends itself to adult humour in parts but as someone who's not introduced in Lego or Batman, I thoroughly appreciate the efforts to bring some enjoyment to the experience.
I think the scenes of Batman as a man at the party were the best! Especially when he's trying to chat up a lady, the new Chief of the police force, who clearly doesn't not have the slightest intention to go anywhere with him. Or the Fifty Shades of Grey reference.
I loved how many different villains they brought into the battle. I thought it was a really clever way to make the film relevant by including a big range of characters, even Harley Quinn. Not only those normally linked Batman either, Doctor Who's Daleks were brought in which as British I really appreciated.
Having not watched the Batman movies or the prequel to this Lego Batman film, I didn't feel as lost as I expected, if at all. I think it's an easy watch and a nice end to a long day. I really liked the parts that delved into the past history of Batman, with his family. It's actually quite eye opening of his life choices and weirdly, in a way, remind me of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
I actually ended up really enjoying the film and would thoroughly recommend seeing it if you have kids but hate the boring and very repetitive normal children's film.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered" March Birchbox: Unboxing and Review 💄

You may or may not have noticed but I haven't posted a Birchbox review for a while. I personally don't like the new drawer box design and much prefer the traditional box. As such, I cancelled my subscription but I still love the products and idea behind the product so I have been keeping my eye open and waiting for the old box to come back. 
 So this month it did come back! The theme this month is Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Birchbox celebrated it's 7 year anniversary. I love that they've taken it back to their roots with this simple yet attractive packaging that reminds me of the old parcels wrapped in brown paper packaging tied up with string.
Benefit They're Real! Double The Lip: Lusty Rose - £16.50
This was the product I wanted so badly. We were allowed to pick between colours and I chose Lusty Rose over Cheap Thrills. It was a natural daytime lip rather than a hot and vibrant pink. After seeing this on ItsJudysTime YouTube channel, I was desperate to try this but the product itself is quite expensive and I didn't know if I would like it so I was so happy to discover Birchbox was including it in their box! I had to get it.
This version is a lot smaller than the normal product, probably about half the size so I feel like a lot of the application issues I had would be solved by the full size product. I thought it was relatively easy to apply, it's literally like a lip gloss. You have to make sure the lip liner is the at the outside of your lip so you need to flip it over for the bottom lip which is a little harder. Because of the small size, I did have to fill in my inner lip a little bit because the nib wasn't quite wide enough but in all, it was really ease to apply.
It can be left completely natural but if you rubbed your lips together after, it gave an ombre effect which I loved. Big downside was that it did come off with food and it does transfer but having said that, for a little daily product, this is perfect because it can be thrown on anywhere.
Balance Me Instant Lift Pore Minimiser - £22.00
 I have acne so of course I have lots of pores. Honestly, I have noticed much difference with this product and the only effect I've noticed is that it gives almost-primer like texture when applied.
Marcelle Gentle Make Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes - £14.50
 I love this! I recently went on a night out and when I came back, I headed to my bathroom with this in hand. It took all my eye makeup off quickly and easily with not too much pressure so my eyes didn't kill afterwards.
Batiste 2-in-1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner - Vanilla and Passionflower - £4.49
 As mentioned before, I don't use dry shampoo because I don't really need to but I also think it doesn't work very well in my hair. When I have used it, I've always turned to Batiste so this wasn't a new product for me. I think they're the best cheap dry shampoo and I would thoroughly recommend them in an emergency. This isn't my favourite scent but it does wear off quickly. I personally don't think it had any conditioning effect but perhaps while camping or something it will come in handy.
Korres Santorini Vine Showergel - £8.00
 I've actually got this product in my Birchbox before but I do really like it. I think it smells fresh, last a long time and works perfectly fine. There isn't too much to review on a body wash! Definitely the perfect size for a hotel or holiday trip.
Overall, it wasn't just to box that made me get this month's box but the guaranteed products, especially the Benefit product! I think there was a wide range of different products which I liked as they all had different purposes. I will defintely be using up all the products in these.

Do you get a Birchbox subscription? If yes, did you like this month's? If not, do you want one? Click here now to get £5 free to spend at the Birchbox Shop as a bonus!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Us the Duo @ Bush Hall 🎤

After being obsessed with their YouTube channel for years, I finally got the chance to see Michael and Clarissa live! Us the Duo were amazing at Bush Hall on their Just Love UK Tour!

Click here to watch the concert video/vlog or see below!

Walking down to the venue, I was not convinced. It felt dirty, run down and somewhat scary. When I arrived however and walked in...it was stunning. It may need a touch of tender loving care but Bush Hall is gorgeous. All the chandeliers and the ceiling was stunning. I couldn't stop staring! 
I loved that they had this wall up for a photobooth background. Everyone was taking such fun photos but I kept in to a simple solo selfie. I love how the background showcases them, in a really unique way because it is only half a face but totally recognisable. From the lips to the hair to Clarissa's little beauty mark.
I swear, every song that came up I was like 'my favourite!' and then another one came. I just couldn't decide! I am defintely glad that they did their 2016 Mash Up though. It's such a great song!
I was a little disappointed that they didn't have an opening act. In fact, I was very disappointed. Doors opened at 7.30pm. I got there a little bit late and had to queue to get in and then we had to stand their in a massive crowd for an hour and a half with nothing to do. It was the first concert that I've ever been to that hasn't had a supporting act so it was a bit strange. It wasn't until after the fact, that I looked on twitter and saw that they had actually said there was no opening act just moment before so I'm assuming there was a last cancellation which is a bit of the same but nevertheless, the show must go on!
They're chemistry together is just incredible. You can feel the sparks coming off of them and it's honestly so lovely to see. Even being in their presence you can completely feel the romance. One of the questions was how they met and Michael told the story but Clarissa's eyes were just shining as he did. They were also playing with each other and bickering which I thought was perfect! Married life isn't a dream so eye-rolling is allowed...don't make fun of her dad! Aha!
I loved that they got people to write questions and put them in a fishbowl at the entry. They got a volunteer from the audience to come out and read them and they couldn't have picked a better person. George (I don't actually know him) went up and was absolutely hilarious! He was so cute being nervous; they made him feel very special. I recorded a couple of their questions.
One was about advice for singer-songwriters and they said to just write everything down whether you know where it's going or not. Another was about about their musical influences with Michael Jackson and John Mayer cropping up. Of course, one was their favourite country to which they replied ENGLAND! Did they have a choice?
I loved their interaction between songs too. I thought it made the whole experience feel very intimate and unique. I always love hearing the stories behind some of the songs and I hadn't realised that the song where she played the drum was their wedding vows. That was really special.

Everyone was wanting them to kiss so Michael said to wait 20 minutes as Clarissa had made him wait 6 months for their first! Haha. Someone shouted out to let them know it was over and they did a little peck much to everyone's dismay. Right at the end when I put the camera away, they smooched passionately to everyone's joy! It was so cute and I managed to snap these adorable, blurry story telling photos. I love them! 

It was such a good night. They are both so talented with all the instruments they can play, stage presence and...oh my...their beautiful voices. At one point, I got goosebumps.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out their Youtube channel at Us the Duo because they are amazing!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Beauty and the Best (Review) 💛🌹

The much anticipated and very highly thought of Disney highlight of the year was finally released yesterday much to everyone's joy. With most people, I was eagerly awaiting it's arrival and after having the afternoon off, I immediately booked the first showing and went in to the screening full of excitement and ready to experience the world of Beauty and the Beast once again.

Click here to watch the trailer or see below.

I came out reserved and disappointed. It's not even that I had such high expectations because I didn't. I didn't think I would go the day it came out and while I defintely wanted to see it, I didn't count down the days until it was released.

I think, as this is a remake, I won't be destroying anyone with the intention of going to see the film themselves if I explain the story. The age-old fairytale of Beauty and the Beast showcases a transformative love. The learning process to not judge someone from the outside is clearly the main message and Belle learns to see the Beast's inner beauty and embrace him for the man he is inside.

Opening with a lavish ball, it immediately kick starts the film by portraying the Prince as a flirty and outrageous partier with a horrible personality. Then the curse.

So frequently recently, Disney are reinventing many of the much loved classic tales of Princesses by casting a big-name celebrity and publically promoting a fan favourite. I feel like that's probably what I was most excited about.

I love Emma Watson. I love her as an actress (thanks to Harry Potter) but I love her as a person. I've watched almost everything she has been in and I love the way she portrays characters so delicately and purely. I thought her casting as Belle was perfect, especially when I saw the previews of her in the stunning yellow ball gown.

Having said that, despite adding a much deeper background to Belle's story, there isn't anything really dramatic to the film. The main difference is the musical aspect. The unnecessary addition of songs throughout actually bored me. Some of the scenes were so long and honestly did nothing for me except bore me. The opening song with the villages was downright annoying! I can't help but imagine what the film would be without the songs. One can only dream.

One scene I specifically remember is when Belle runs to the hills, the picture of A Sound of Music. I almost thought they were going to start singing their songs instead. It's a replica scene from the hills with a similar song message. Moreover, all of Belle's songs are completely over-autotuned. It's actually really disappointing and sounds utterly faked. It's all smooth and perfect and all completely unrealistic.

Dan Stevens who plays the Prince and the Beast, was for me, the real highlight of the feel. He outshone most of the movie and was the pull that kept me watching. I wanted him to keep talking and to share more. I wanted to hear more of his story. The brief introductory offer into his childhood was quickly skipped over and as hard as I hoped for it to come back, it never did. Similarly, the romance never really took off. I was waiting for the tears and the cuteness and the remarks but it just stayed on the same level and remained this causal relationship which meant I never got emotionally invested. The only time it felt even remotely involved was when he protected Belle from the wolves.

The wolves were actually a surprising theme throughout. They were really the reason for everything happened and yet completely full of plot holes. They were there one minute and gone the next. Only coming at the perfect times int he film. More importantly, after just being attacked, the Beast then lets Belle leave again - freely - with no protection. Confusing.

I think all the cursed staff/furniture pieces were really beautifully not only created but cast as well. I really liked the voices and on meeting them at the end of the film, I thought they were all perfect fits. Back as furnitures, it was very cleverly created. The furniture, while minutely cartoonish with the faces, remarkably they kept much of the real-life element. It was incredible how they created them based on antiques while allowing the movements and thinking about each one's own characteristics.

I can't imagine how hard it would have been to film something like this. With so many different parts being added in post-filming. One thing I am looking forward to, is the behind the scenes action and how they were all added in, in editing.

But personally, it's the questions and the missing pieces that left me feeling it was missing the big opportunities and wasting time. The addition of french was a complete waste of time. It was an English movie so stick to English. Plus, while half the staff spoke with French accents, the French Prince did not in the slightest. Annoying. I understand that they were paying homage to the background but honestly, it felt forced and didn't work. But how did they find the castle after being unable to find it for so long...just one of the questions that left me thinking how peculiar the film was.

The only link I did like between the villages and the staff at the castle was right at the beginning, during the opening song, the baker says he's forgotten something, but can't remember what. I thought that was a really clever link and one that only clicked for me, right at the end reunion.
I had no idea that the villages used to be a part of the castle until the very end. Admittedly, I haven't watched the animated film for a long time but I swear it was more realistically timed. I can't for the life of me figure out how much time had passed. I could swear it must have been years since the curse was put on the castle but then all the villagers were the same age as the staff so it seemed to have barely been a year. Similarly, the fashion between the villagers (much simpler) and the castle (ostentatious) were from completely different time periods.

One genre which was clearly enthusiastically infused throughout was humour. The directors and writes clearly tried so hard to add there own take on the script. While retelling, despite the reimagining, the story remains vastly the same. It's a shot-for-shot remake almost and because it’s so devoted to the original, every time it falls oh so often short of it, it’s hard not to notice. To make it more unique they added some new characters, made the villagers more part of the focus and created this forced comedy show that no one in the audience laughed at. The only thing I thought was even remotely comedic was the fight between villagers and the piano when he was spitting out keys. I was not expecting him to have lost all his teeth on return to life as a human.

I didn't realise how much I had to say! There's so much more I could go on forever: evil Gaston and his gay best friend, the homeless woman (secrets!) and even how annoying Belle's dress was being tucked into waist band. Why?!
Having said that, I did think it was a really nice sentiment with her father's interactions. I loved the backstory to her mother and how it was introduced plus the mechanism in which it was brought about. I liked how the staff/furniture were introduced, the whispers and the kindness shown.

Overall, I left feeling very lack-lustre. I don't think the movie ever really want anyway. It remained on the same level of pace and never got to the climactic ending that my heart oh so desired. I left feeling confused and while I did feel a little magical inside, I didn't leave with the overwhelming urge to go again.