Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Wanna Marry Harry (Episode 2)

I Wanna Marry Harry is a 2014 reality television show about twelve women vying for the hand of who they think is Prince Henry of Wales. In reality, the bachelor whose affection they seek is Matthew Hicks, a Harry lookalike. The first episode premier on May 20, 2014.

Carley Hawkins
Rose Copeland 
Meghan  Ramsey
Maggie Toraason
Kimberly Birch
Kelley Andrews
Karina Kennedy
Jacqueline Conroy
Chelsea Brookshire
Anna Lisa Matias
Andrea Fox - Eliminated
Leah Thom - Eliminated

I give this episode 2.5/5.You know how the Bachelor is moderately interesting and you get to know people? I can't say that for I Wanna Marry Harry. There are about half the number of girls on this show but I don't know who is who. I don't want to be mean but all I see is -cough cough- American...and moderately attractive. Rose's date with "Sir" wasn't as nice as any of the Bachelor dates that I have seen. It was 'Meh'. Matt Hicks is growing on me - he's no prince charming but he'll get you there...on his bike. All the girls are so bland - someone do something already - Good early lead, Meghan! Whereas last week I felt that the girl that went home justifiably left, I kind of liked the girl that went home this week. Andrea had a bit of spunk to her - although she suffers from the same low IQ that the rest of the girls went through. "I am always first runner up....I am really competitive, I always come first." 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Wanna Marry Harry (Episode 1)

I Wanna Marry Harry is a 2014 reality television show about twelve women vying for the hand of who they think is  Prince Henry of Wales. In reality, the bachelor whose affection they seek is Matthew Hicks, a Harry lookalike. The first episode premier on May 20, 2014.

Matthew Hick is a twenty two year old British man who works for an environmental consulting firm. To become "Prince Harry", he dyed his naturally blond hair red and went through "princely" training. I am Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, born September 15, 1984.

The women gather at Englefield House. They include....

Carley Hawkins
Rose Copeland 
Meghan  Ramsey
Maggie Toraason
Kimberly Birch
Kelley Andrews
Karina Kennedy
Jacqueline Conroy
Chelsea Brookshire
Anna Lisa Matias
Andrea Fox
Leah Thom - Eliminated

I give this episode 3/5. I see how the ruse works. When you first hear the premise of the show, you think 'That is absolutely ridiculous' but how the show stops short of stealing Prince Harry's identity is that everything is implied. Could this ruse work on me? I'm just going to go out of my way and say no, given that this is a monarchist media blog. But there is 0.0000001% chance that I could seeing as - yes, I'm ashamed to admit it - I don't know what Prince Harry sounds like. Matt Hicks has a great name - but that's the best thing about him. He's a little bland but the British accent should clear that right up! The girls come to the conclusion all on there own - which makes things a whole lot worse for the twelve women involved in this show. Even though I don't know what the word 'ratchet' means, I think I can safely describe all twelve girls as 'ratchet'. Their sophistication level can be summed up in the sentence "I'm going to shank you in the night." - Oh Rose, you craycray. They all look like the real Bachelor rejects. In my honest opinion, I'm a little glad that Leah was sent home because her hair was nasty! It's certainly mind numbing entertainment. I feel the same watching this show as I would when watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians - Dayum girl! I can't wait for the second episode - I hope no one cancels this show.

Reign (Complete Season)

Reign is a 2013-2014 TV series, broadcasting on the CW network, on Mary, Queen of Scots stay at the French court during the 1550s. It premiered on October 17, 2013 to an audience of 1.98 million. The season concluded on May 15, 2014 with 1.24 million viewers. The first season of the show consists of 22 episodes.

On February 13, 2014, the show was renewed for a second season.

The French Royal Family
Adelaide Kane as Mary, Queen of Scots
Alan Van Sprang as King Henry II of France
Torrances Coombs as Sebastian "Basch"

Mary's Ladies
Anna Popplewell as Lola
Celina Sinden as Greer
Cailtin Stasey as Kenna
Jenessa Grant as Aylee

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 9
Episode 10
Episode 11
Episode 12
Episode 13 and 14
Episode 15
Episode 16
Episodes 17-22

I give the first season of Reign 2/5. First of all, I would like to apologize for not covering the last six episodes of the season but exams got in the way. Never fear, the complete season review is here! 

This show is incredibly INCREDIBLY historically inaccurate. Mary, Queen of Scots is all wrong. Francis II is wrong. Catherine de Medici is all wrong. Henry II is all get my point. he biggest thing to keep in mind about this show is that it is targeted towards teens. All teens care about are pretty people and sex and that is pretty much what the show provides. Who cares about historically accurate clothing? Girls just want to see nice dresses so that's what we'll do! The acting is atrocious. I shudder thinking about all the confessions in this series. I think the worst offender is Adelaide Kane herself. The romances in this series are absolutely dreadful. Lola's 10 second marriage shocked me by its sheer stupidity. As a teenage, historically inclined girl, I understand what they are going for. I will admit that I enjoy the romance between Greer and Leith. I enjoyed the struggled faced by Greer between choosing between her heart and duty. However, I was disappointed that just when the show was dealing out a moral lesson it steam rollers itself. Is this series great? Hell no. Good? Meh. Decent? Yes. It's just something you watch to pass the time.  Will I watch season 2? You tell me.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


W.E. is a 2011 romance film written and directed by Madonna. The film splits between the romance of Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom in the 1930s and the story of a woman's struggle between her husband and a new romance set in the present day.

Abbie Cornish as Wally Winthrop 
Oscar Isaac as Evgeni
Andrea Riseborough as Wallis Simpson
James D'Arcy as Edward VIII

In 2001, Wally Winthrop is so desperate to have a child that she begins treatment for In Vitro Fertilization. Her doctor husband, William Winthrop, neglects her and she suspects him of having an affair. William later admits that he does not want a child. Wally travels to the Sotheby's auction of the Windsor's estate, show casing various items belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. 

In the 1930s, through her friend, Lady Furness, who is always the Prince's mistress, Mrs. Simpson meets the Prince of Wales, Edward, but known to his close friends as "David." They two are mutually attracted to one another and begin an affair while Lady Furness is away in America despite Wallis being married to Ernest Simpson at the time. Edward's family is critical of his relationship but he is so besotted with this American woman that he decides he wants to marry her with or without his throne.

Wally's reminiscent are interrupted by a Russian security guard named Evgeni, who begins to fancy her. He woos her with his piano and the two go out on a date. They talk about Wallis and Edward which causes Wally to ponder about her strained relationship with her husband. One night, Wally confronts her husband over his late night dealings leading to William violent assaulting his wife.

Wallis attempts to break up her relationship with the King of the United Kingdom but Edward cannot let her go. On December 11, 1936, Edward abdicates the throne, leaving it to his younger brother, Bertie, now King George VI.  Edward becomes the Duke of Windsor and they marry.  Edward becomes despondent

Wally makes her way to Evgeni's apartment after the fight where she recovers and the two consummate their relationship. She decides to divorce William and return to her work at the museum. One day, the newspaper publishes an article on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, saying that Mohammed Al-Fayed has private letters exchanged between Wallis and a friend. They reveal that Wallis feels trapped in her relationship with Edward, breaking the spell of the romantic story. Wally puts aside the story of Wallis and Edward to move on with her own. The film ends with Wally discovering that she is pregnant with Evgeni's baby.

I give this movie a 0.5/5. Why? I'm a big fan of Natalie Dormer and a few years ago, when I saw that she was in a new movie, I was excited. Even better that it was about the British monarchy. I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Wallis Simpson but subject is a little interesting. I don't think anyone could have avoided the negative reviews surrounding the movie so I did know about it but still Natalie Dormer is awesome. It took me two years to actually watch the damn thing but now that I have I just want to say: Why? Just why? 

Think of everything that could be interesting about the story of Wallis and Edward and throw it out the window because this movie doesn't have it. The split story line doesn't work and the editing is atrocious. I kept wondering "WHERE AM I?" throughout the entire film. The present story line was absolutely terrible in my opinion. Wally just walks around touching things and the entire time I kept thinking to myself, "Security! Tackle her already!" The Evgeni character was incredibly funny: He's a hunky security with a sexy foreign accent who plays piano and is highly cultured. There was a scene in the movie where Oscar Isaac was in a kilt (Don't ask) and he gave a flash of his ass and I shuddered inside. We presently have a queen on the throne, Mr. McDreamy, you need to wear something under that. The fight scene between Wally and William was so badly done that I couldn't help but burst into hysterical laughter. Whenever we were in the present story line, I wanted to go back to the W.E. timeline and whenever I was in the W.E. timeline, I just wanted to leave the room. 

The film is not in the least bit historically inaccurate. If it wants to be a revisionist piece, it did a terrible job at it. The news anchor called Edward VIII "David Windsor" and I couldn't help but think that Madonna came off a bit pretentious in her writing. I really disliked how they portrayed Bertie as a simpering fool. Yes, he did have the stutter but he was the man who's strength of will lead Great Britain through the Second World War. There was this really awkward dance-drug scene in the moving that made me very confused. Often times in the movie you will think to yourself, "WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS SCENE?!" Whoever did the soundtrack for this movie, I don't know if you took a drink of that drug-alcohol concoction but I have no idea what you were doing. It didn't fit in the movie at all. 

Now given all my complaints, why does this movie deserve 0.5 a mark? The answer is simple: Andrea Riseborough. She was very good as Wallis Simpson. She captured Wallis's Bohemian feel very well and I thought she looked the part. The costumes were nice and the settings weren't bad. All in all though, even with Riseborough's talent, I'm still left wondering, "WHY?"

Saturday, May 10, 2014

In Secret

In Secret is a 2013 film directed by Charlie Statton. It is based on the 1867 French novel by Emile Zola, Therese Raquin.

Elizabeth Olsen as Therese Raquin
Tom Felton as Camille Raquin
Jessica Lange as Madame Raquin
Oscar Isaac as Laurent

Set in 1860s, In Secret is about a sexually repressed young woman named Therese. As a child, her father took her from her native Algeria in order to live with her aunt and cousin, Camille. He promised her that he would return for her but he never does. And so, Therese grows up in the stifling environment of Madame Raquin and her sickly son. Therese and Camille are married before the little family leaves for Paris. 

Her marriage to Camille leaves her sexually frustrated. One day, Camille brings home a friend named Laurent. The family had known Laurent when he was younger but he moved to Paris to become an artist, after that endeavor failed, he came to work at the same company as Camille where the two were reunited. Camille soon requests a portrait from Laurent and the man comes to visit the Raquin family frequently. Laurent and Therese begin an affair shortly after the portrait is finished. 

Their torrid love affair continues until Camille announces that they will soon be leaving Paris due to her "health" problems. During an excursion, Laurent murders Camille. The news of her son drowning to death is devastating on Madame. Therese becomes haunted by the memory of Camille. Laurent connives to have them marry but they do not attain any peace of mind. Madame Raquin has a stroke over the pain of the loss of her only child, leaving her immobilized.

The lives of Therese and Laurent become hell together. During one of their fights, Madame Raquin discovers their murderous secret. She attempts multiple times to inform someone of the crime but fails. However, the consciences of the two murderers won't let them truly escape. They sink further and further into their gloom until they can take it no more. The two murderers take their lives while Madame Raquin watches. 

I give this movie 2.5/5. When I first saw the trailer for the movie, I absolutely couldn't wait to see it. I was so pumped that I even read the book (the English translation). Sorry to sound cliche, but the book was much better than the movie. If two years worth of English IB has taught me anything, it comes out in the viewing of this film. Sure, this is the story of Therese Raquin but it really doesn't capture the tone set by Zola. You don't get this slow psychological torture that Therese and Laurent go through. Lots of the action happens within the minds of the characters themselves - something that was definitely lacking in the film. Also, you don't get Laurent's deviousness at the beginning; he only began an affair with Therese because he couldn't afford to pay for prostitutes anymore. It is called an "erotic thriller" but the "R-rated" scenes in the movie aren't thrilling enough nor is the drama thrilling enough to capture our attention. The performances were decent although I felt like they were all modern actors pretending to star in a period piece especially in the case of Olsen (I roll my eyes, "Nevermind.") . The film would have received 1.5 however, Jessica Lange's performance in the movie was spot on. Three fifths into the movie, Madame Raquin has a stroke, making her eyes her only method of communication. She did it wonderfully! She was definitely the highlight of the film!