Sunday, 28 February 2010

Kick-Ass: The Pre-Release Speculation

A lot has been made of the upcoming release of comedic, ultraviolent comic-book flick Kick-Ass (particularly in Empire: subscribers have been bombarded with images of the eponymous hero - pictured above - for months now). But will it live up to the wacky premise when the film is released on April 2?
It stars Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski, a hapless teen who decides to try and be more of a man by fighting crime as a costumed vigilante named Kick-Ass. He becomes an internet phenomenon and quickly finds that being a superhero can get you into some serious bother when he gets on the wrong side of a ruthless mobster. Luckily, he meets two genuine superheroes, Big Daddy (played by Nicholas Cage) and his eleven-year-old daughter Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz).
Just how hilarious and enjoyable it is remains to be seen but for those of us who have been battered with messages and advertising for Kick-Ass will be relieved when its release comes around - even if it's just so we can get around to the next big thing (Iron Man 2 or Clash of the Titans, anyone?)! Perhaps Kick-Ass will turn out to be Kill Bill with more laughs. You know, so OTT that it doesn't matter how violent the action is and so obviously a parody that it's oddly satisfying (even though it really is based on a real comic book). No doubt it will be one of those marmite films - true fans of the comic book genre will probably hate it for being so wildly different while others will love it for its bare-faced audacity. I hope I fall into the latter category, since I'm not overly convinced with the whole comic-book thing (it's a bit like the film versions of video games: will they ever make a good one?)

Stand by for more come April...

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Beige: Not the New Black?

Nude is back. Luckily this is nude shades and not the other more chilly kind. Nude can be described in many different ways: tan, sand, stone, camel, skin-tone, magnolia and, of course, beige. Yes, beige. How would've thought it? It's certainly not vibrant and it's certainly not, as they say in the fashion world, "editorial" (this means completely bonkers, in case you were wondering). It's really rather safe, as you can see above.

But "safe" does not necessarily translate in to meaning "wearable". Think about it: despite the many shades of beige that are on display above, the only model who doesn't look washed-out is the one second to the left. Now, models are classically a lot paler than average people because it's easier to work with a blank canvas, so you might say "so what?" Well, I think that beige will have the same problem as yellow - unless you've had more UV exposure than recommended, it's just going to make you look sallow and strange.

Beige trousers may be your best bet if you want to follow this trend - teaming it with something more colourful on the top will help to balance your complexion and not make you look like a ghost walking down the high-street. Unfortunately, I'm probably too pale to do this too! Shock!

Beige will not be the new black - everyone feels good in black, and anyone who says they don't must be lying so they don't look like they're following the crowd. Even pale little old me feels good in my black cocktail dress, whereas I'd just feel bare and need a bottle of fake tan to make me feel even half as good in beige, or magnolia, or sandstone.

Decide for yourself whether this trend is the best thing to ever happen: I know a lot of people hate bright colours with a vengeance so no doubt there'll be loads of peeps out there who'll feel comfortable wearing sand-coloured clothes. Just don't expect to see me stepping out in beige.

Saturday Cooking: Welsh Cakes

I've made these Welsh Cakes a few times now and they've always turned out perfectly. Sorry that this is on a Saturday: I made fish cakes yesterday but had no battery in my camera so couldn't take a photo to show that the recipe actually works! Don't worry, I'll post it in the near future when I make them again. In the mean time try these, they're absolutely gorgeous and the recipe makes around 15-18 for the thickness you can roughly see in the photo.


250g of plain flour
1.25 teaspoons of baking powder
125g of butter cut into small pieces
112.5g of caster sugar (I worked this out from a conversion but don't be exact, I never am and it's always okay!)
Sultanas - as many or as little as you want but don't go overboard or the mixture won't clump together
1 beaten egg
2-3 tablespoons of milk

  1. Sieve the flour, baking powder and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl
  2. Add the butter and rubb together with your fingers
  3. Add the sultanas
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients
  5. Add the beaten egg and the milk and using a bread knife 'cut' the ingredients together
  6. Flour a cool, hard surface and place the mixture on to it
  7. Roll out to your desired thickness and cut out using a cutter. Keep repeating steps 6 and 7 until you can't get any more cakes out of the mixture (we don't want any waste!)
  8. Dry cook on heavy bottomed griddle with a low heat until nicely browned on both sides. If you're unsure of when they're cooked, split one open to see if they're cooked through. Also, don't worry if they look a little burnt on the top and bottom - it doesn't make an ounce of difference to the taste!
  9. If you want, you could add a little cinammon or nutmeg for an extra kick. It's more traditional to dust them with caster sugar though!
Well I hope you'll be successful with this recipe as I have been!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Razzies: Time For the Anti-Oscars

The Razzies have been going for years now, "celebrating" the very worst of cinema, naming and shaming the worst offenders in many different categories. The Razzie Foundation has named 2009 "a banner year for terrible movies" and, judging by their nominations for worst film they're probably right. Here's their list, loving compiled. Have a bit of fun and see if you can guess just which one of these is truly the most awful film of the year.

Worst Film of 2009
  1. All About Steve
  2. GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra
  3. Land of the Lost
  4. Old Dogs
  5. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
Personally I would like to see Transformers "win" in this category - you don't even have to watch the movie to see that it's a shoddy attempt to get some explosions and rubbish jokes on screen. Of course, some people might really love Transformers and the first one isn't supposed to be that bad...

In a double-whammy of awfulness, Empire readers have also named Batman and Robin the worst movie of all time - it's strange how a film with such a lot of talent could turn out so... wrong. This is what Anthony Lane of The New Yorker said of the film:

"[The cast] is quite a line up, boasting a broad range of dramatic styles, and what lends the movie cohesion and intergrity is the fact that all those involved have come up with their worst imaginable performances... You sit there feeling brain-damaged and parying for the mayhem to cease."

Ooh, that's quite damning....