Monthly Archives

May 2012

Fashion Roundup: The Met Gala 2012

On Monday night, some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and the fashion world attended the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala in their fanciest duds. Some of the outfits were duds in another sense of the word, but there were also beautiful, edgy gowns on display. Check out my slide show below for a few highlights, then let me know what you think in the comments!

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First Impressions 5.4.12

May the Fourth be with you! You know I had to get that out of the way.

Now, for this week’s First Impressions, let’s add something new. After reading the following opening passages, leave a comment saying which ones would compel you to read more, but also guess where you think the stories are headed. I love seeing people’s different interpretations, and how we pick up on different details. I don’t have any idea what the real plots are because I’ve read only these openers, so we’re all in this game together.

Here goes:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Hyperion, out May 15

I AM A COWARD.

I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was. I have always been good at pretending. I spent the first twelve years of my life playing at the Battle of Stirling Bridge with my five big brothers—and even though I am a girl they let me be William Wallace, who is supposed to be one of our ancestors, because I did the most rousing battle speeches. God, I tried hard last week. My God, I tried. But now I know I am a coward. After the ridiculous deal I made with SS-Hauptsturmführer von Loewe, I know I am a coward. And I’m going to give you anything you ask, everything I can remember. Absolutely Every Last Detail.

 

The Demands by Mark Billingham, Mulholland Books, June 12

Chewing gum and chocolate, maybe a bottle of water on those hen’s teeth days when the sun was shining. A paper for the journey into work and half a minute of meaningless chat while she was waiting for her change.

Nothing there worth dying for.

Helen Weeks would tell herself much the same thing many times before it was over. In the hours spent staring at the small black hole from which death could emerge in less time than it took for her heart to beat. Or stop beating. In those slow-motion moments of terror that measured out each day and in the sleepless nights that followed. While the man who might kill her at any moment was shouting at himself just a few feet away, or crying in the next room.

It is not my time to die.

Or my baby’s time to lose his mother…

 

The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow, Simon & Schuster, June 19

[The numbers denote chapters.]

1.

Fuck me.

2. Laguna Beach, California

2005

Is what O is thinking as she sits between Chon and Ben on a bench at Main Beach and picks out potential mates for them.

That one?” she asks, pointing at a classic BB (Basically Baywatch) strolling down the boardwalk.

Chon shakes his head.

A little dismissively, O thinks. Chon is pretty choosy for a guy who spends most of his time in Afghanistan or Iraq and doesn’t see much in the way of anything outside cammies or a burqa.

Actually, she can see how the burqa thing could be pretty hot if you played it right.

Did, you know, the harem thing.

Yeah, no.

OK, have at ’em!

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Movie Review: THE AVENGERS

My greatest concern about having so many superheroes crammed into one movie was that it’d be a disjointed mess, but Joss Whedon has managed to justify—for the most part—each character’s presence in The Avengers, and create a reasonably coherent summer blockbuster.

I’m not sure how important the plot is to you with this type of big action movie, but it involves Thor’s brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), being hellbent on ruling Earth and stripping earthlings of free will. He’s helped by a powerful energy cube called the Tesseract—also seen in last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger—and the alien race called Chitauri. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, manages to convince Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and eventually Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to band together as The Avengers to fight the evil invasion. Much action ensues, with lots of special effects, especially if you see it in 3D.

One of the best things the movie has going for it is Whedon’s trademark witty dialogue, with Downey Jr. getting the bulk of the funny lines, even though after a while, he does start to sound one-note with his endless snarky remarks. Ruffalo is my favorite movie Bruce Banner/Hulk yet. His soft-spoken manner contrasts nicely with his giant green angry guy, who has some funny scenes when he just won’t take any more bullsh*t. And thanks to motion capture technology, Ruffalo actually got to play the Hulk, who resembles the actor in facial expressions and hair.

Johansson has one badass fighting scene (you’ve probably seen it in one of the trailers) and is quite effective despite being the most petite team member with no actual superpowers or fancy costume. Hawkeye doesn’t get to do much, but Whedon does take him in an unexpected direction for the first half of the movie.

At two and a half hours, Avengers takes a little long to build up to the climactic battle, with a few pissing contests between the dudes before they agree to come together. And the finale looks a little like something from a Transformers movie, but these superheroes are a lot more interesting than robots, and with Whedon as their leader, they manage to save people’s brain cells from exploding by delivering an entertaining popcorn movie that doesn’t make you feel stupid.

Nerd verdict: Entertaining Avengers

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