Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I'd like to start out by giving a shoutout to my friend Jennifer R., who got us free passes to a pre-release screening of this movie. Thanks Jen, you rock!

For a free movie, it didn't suck. Actually, I'd pay to see it again. In the reality known as Naud's World, there's a saying, “I've paid more for less.” Snarky? Maybe, but it means I have paid good money for total crap, so getting something great for free is even better!! Yay!!

It was a fine movie. A happy mix of British and Indian.  If you, like me, love Downton Abby, you will love this too. With Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and Tom Wilkinson you can't go wrong! All four of them could be making a movie about, I don't know... ex-lax? and do it with such style that it would win awards.  But back to the movie THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL.

Basically, it's a “Awwww! So cute!!” sort of movie. I was kinda worried going in since it's a movie about old people in an retirement home. I brought a friend and I had a twinge of worry that the movie might be bad, and then I'd have to apologize for the waste of time. Blah blah blah... But guess what? No apologies needed, it's a great movie! My friend loved it too!

Compared to a blow-stuff-up type of movie, it is kinda slow, but it's slow in a stately British / Downton Abby sort of way; not in agonizing “stabbing yourself in the eye would be funner” or the “I'll fall asleep for 30 minutes and not miss a thing” way. For being slow, it clips along quite quickly in the story.

It's Indian in the traditional Bollywood way, but without the singing and dancing. There is a street band that plays some music, and all of a sudden some random hands are waving around bolly style, but that's about all the musical you get. Speaking of music, I really enjoyed the subtle background instrumental “Strangers in the Night” mix at the beginning of the movie, when they all first meet at the airport. (maybe cause it's one of the handful of songs I know SOME of the words to? -- Strangers in the night, exchanging underwear. This one's much to tight, I think I'll try another pair. This one fits just right, I think I'll wear them ToNIIIIIIIIght!! ) 

OK, enough of that.. back to Bollywood.  There is the traditional star-crossed lovers with the impending arranged marriage.  Also, the beautiful profession of love which makes everyone cry and love the hero more, 'cause as we learn in every Bollywood movie, love conquers all, everything works out at the end, and it's happily ever after. The takeaway phrase is “it all works out in the end, and if it didn't work out, it's not the end”

Now for the technicalities: Dame Judi Dench, and Dame Maggie Smith are fabulous as always. All the cast is fabulously amazing for that matter! I didn't see anything wrong, no hanging sound booms in the shot, no distracting night-to-day-to-night editing faux pas, and consistency was good. (All those small things glaringly stick out for me, and happily, nothing did here!)

The director is John Madden. My friend Suzy M, (who went with me and cried at all the mushy love stuff -- well, it was beautiful)  insisted that it was THE John Madden, from football, cause she met him/talked to him on the phone before. But I really doubted that THAT John Madden now does movies. So, I looked it up. Its the OTHER John Madden, director of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, THE GIFT, and HER MAJESTY, MRS BROWN.
I'd like to add, that I forgot how much love LOVE Bill Nighy. (note to self: I need to research him more) he has this lanky, loosy goosy way about him. Not quite wet noodle annoying, but more of a endearing, quirky body movement to him. It's very interesting to watch. I don't know if he's like that naturally, or if it was all a part of the character he created. It's fun, either way. He does have interesting hands. I can't decide if he has a physical handicap or an affectation so he won't have to touch anythign with more than 2 fingers? In other scenes, he uses the entire hand fully extended. (so if anyone knows..)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Of course I liked it -- it's a Bollywood movie!  No, really, the director is from India.  MIRROR MIRROR is fanciful, colorful, and funny. It has a pretty girl (who has gigantic eyebrows), ornate clothing, neat-looking scenery, scary monsters, and a happy ending!  
This dress is a wonder of engineering.  Seriously.
Was Julia Roberts totally boring as an "evil" queen? Yup.  
Was the dashing prince, at 6'5", so tall he made EVERYONE look like a dwarf? Yup! 
"I look down on everyone, including my horse."
 Did it underutilize Nathan Lane? Totally.   
"I would complain about the state of my career but I'm not an animated animal so, really,  it's a win."
Did the costumer rip-off every known historical fashion up to and including 1960's Mary Blair? Yup!
Don't worry, it doesn't need to make sense.
Does any of this make it a bad movie? Nope!  Do you know why?  Little people.

Also, there's a dance number.  It may just run through the closing credits but there is a DANCE NUMBER!!!  Here, let me show you...

 MIRROR MIRROR is a fun film that is 100% family friendly.

Interview With A Hairdresser: Hunger Games Edition -- by Nat Hall

 Well hello!  I am so happy to see you!  Have a lets talk about what you are thinking for your hair and yourself...Lie back while I wash you.   
I am a modern hairdresser, who does modern things!  I am a part of several Facebook like'ings.  I have taken part in several webinars for haircuts, color, and updo's.  I have educational access to several hair product companies.  One of the greatest thing about being a modern hairdresser is that you get to see what others are doing or working on.  What an opportunity for inspiration and education!  Joico has been such a great place for me as a modern hairdresser.  They post daily on their facebook, for future education, but for the last several months I have witnessed how a book has inspired a hairdresser, or several hairdressers.( NO LESS THAN 16 HAIR STYLISTS. )  

 I am sure that when you are approached by someone like THE HUNGER GAMES Director Gary Ross and make-up artist Ve Neill you immediately agree to participate in a collective inspiration to bring fiction to life. Cherry Petenbrink , colorist for Joico, co-created wigs and hair pieces for 500 extras

"Well, that's three done..."

 I can't imagine how exciting it was to go to work every day and think, "What character am I going to be working on?  What color would they be wearing on when they go to watch Katniss being interviewed with Cesar?  Where will they be going to dinner after they watch the episode of the Hunger Game?" 

I think that I am not the only hairdresser that carefully followed these pictures, studied them. I love that there is a lot of imagination going to each hair piece.  NONE of these colors were accidental.  EACH extra had a specific look and color and each hair piece or wig was lovingly colored and styled.  This LOVE and PRECISION and ATTENTION that every extra set in the Capital received on their hair made each person stand out individuals and not just a group.

Though maybe this is a guy you DON'T want to notice...

Katniss, (Jennifer Lawrence), is a ACTUALLY a blonde who was already nominated for an Academy Award already, and last seen and a VERY YOUNG Mystic in the X-Men:First Class.  

She might not be naturally as blonde as been sporting but this makes for a VERY interesting color(correction). The character in the book has long dark (some say black) hair, gray eyes, and olive sunned skin.  As your hairdresser, if you come in, sit in my chair and and say "I want Black Hair. Put black - straight Black from roots to ends!" then you, in MOST cases, will look pale, and your facial features (which are beautiful) will just fade behind that color rather than letting the color highlight those features on your face that need to be seen (your eyes, your nose, your cheeks, your chin).  This is even more tricky when you are dealing with someone who is going behind the camera.  When you are going darker on pre-lightened hair you have put back the pigments that are lacking.   Cherry Petenbrink took this on, and her task was going to be seen -- VIVIDLY SEEN.  

The hair on screen was BEAUTIFUL, it was a natural color, with movement.  There was a point in the movie where I looked at that color and thought to myself, that is the most beautiful brunette that I have ever seen.  I made a point that when the Filler, Tinting, and Refreshing formulations were published in all 3 of my professional publications, I copied them for my personal clients. 

 It wasn't just Katniss color that I watched in awe.  Peeta's character is naturally a darker color, and to take him to a believable lightness for a male is a careful balancing act.  You can go from natural, and beautiful 

to Backstreet Boys via 1990's super quickly. 

I did not expect to see the hard work that I witnessed through photos come to life.  My sister, the English teacher, accompanied me to a showing the Saturday after it opened.  She had expressed her concerns that I would not be able to follow the story seeing how I had not read the book.  Seeing the work that went into the picture for each actor, I honestly didn't care if I ever read the book.  I could VISIBLY see the story through the people and their make-up and hair.  My sister watched Effie, and turned to me and said "She looks just how I thought she would, who is it?"

 When I told her it was Elizabeth Banks under the wig, she was floored.  Ms. Banks wore her hair proudly, and it looked like it was her own.  

 When the movie ended the English Teacher turned to me and said "Can you imagine how amazing it would have been to do hair and make-up for this??"   I nearly cried.  She finally understood where I was coming from!