My (extremely negative) review of the Glee 3D Movie

I had the displeasure of watching this film on Thursday when it opened here in Australia. I was quite surprised to find that myself and my boyfriend were the only people in the cinema (perhaps I should have taken that as a hint!). As demonstrated by my previous post (An Analysis of Glee’s Fall from Grace) I have mixed feelings about the show – specifically, that it has disappointed me since the start of its second season, and that it tries too hard to send corny messages which, in my opinion, it doesn’t effectively portray. And yet people obsess over it anyway, go figure.

Anyway, I was excited about the film because I like watching the cast perform, and because from watching the trailer I gathered that the performances would be intercut with footage of the cast. I must say that watching the cast performing was not a letdown. It was great to see that they are all talented, and much to my relief, the performances were not overly cheesy nor were they too long.Whoever your favourite cast member or character is, I doubt you will be disappointed by their performance. And despite being a 3D hater, the 3D was quite good for the performance segments because parts of it enhanced the feeling of being in attendance at the event.

Those are my positives. Now, onto the good old negatives. The cast was obviously supposed to be in character, and whilst they were reciting lines that their characters are likely to say, there did not seem to be any real conviction behind them. This weird hybrid of the cast being half in character does not bode well – it makes one wonder why they couldn’t make a decision to be either a) their character or b) themselves, in order to make it seem more real. The dialogue appeared heavily improvised, so perhaps having scripted dialogue would have improved such scenes. Springing a camera on the cast and expecting them to recite lines that sound like they could have come from their character’s just didn’t work.

Predictably, my least favourite part of the whole film was the ‘real life’ stories of Glee fans which were thrown in at various times throughout the film. I had no idea that the film would feature storylines like this, and this was definitely a clever move on the part of the makers, because it would have certainly made fans like me think twice about seeing the film. You want the truth? I just don’t care. I can enjoy Glee (sometimes), but it doesn’t affect me in any way, and hearing people discuss how its changed their lives makes me feel like an outsider, and truly makes me think they’re a little sad. What made these storylines worse was that they came across as disgustingly orchestrated as though they were some kind of advertisement or marketing campaign to sell the show (as if they aren’t making enough money as it is!) To top it off, these scenes had no 3D effect whatsoever. I don’t mean that the 3D wasn’t particularly good, I literally mean that they were not 3D at ALL. So not only do you fork out extra cash to see the film in 3D, but half of it (and the worst parts too) aren’t even 3D!

Ultimately, the film is a shoddy marketing ploy that is getting far too much attention than it deserves. I sincerely hope that Gleeks everywhere will be able to step outside of their Glee bubble long enough to realise that they are being played for fools.

 

 

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Who do you consider to be your role model?

This prompt by WordPress was too interesting to ignore. I find that having a role model is a strange thing – as far as I know, none of my close friends have any. Then again, they are not as into pop culture and entertainment as much as I am. The truth is, ever since I was a little girl, I had a tendency to get obsessed with people I liked. My friend and I used to make our parents call us by whatever name my favourite movie character of the month was called, and we would attempt to dress like them on a daily basis, whilst I (in secret because I must have known this behaviour was a little odd) would spend hours thinking about their personal traits and how I could go about adopting them.

I have always felt that it is a dissatisfaction with oneself that spurs a need for a role model. However, as I am much older and much wiser now, I think role models can certainly have a positive influence on your life, and I know that I for one will never go without having one. Currently, I would say I have many. My role model for singing? Lea Michele. My role model for life? Kate Winslet and Troian Bellisario. My role model for fashion? Rachel Bilson. People I will forever admire with all my heart? Emily Bronte and J.K. Rowling.

It’s interesting how these role models come and go, and even more interesting for me to ponder why these different people, who have done different things and come from different backgrounds all have well, ME, in common. Who are your role models and why? I’d like to read many peoples posts as possible on this topic!

 

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Style: How to dress like Spencer Hastings

The preppy look can be a difficult one to pull off. It requires a balance of prep and class to keep it from veering off into dorky territory. Drawing inspiration from Pretty Little Liars character Spencer Hastings, I’ve put together an outfit on Polyvore that attempts to bridge that gap and leave you looking ‘preppy’ damn fabulous.

Product Info: cardigan, jeans, shoes, shirt, bangle

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Online expression – how far is too far?

I was inspired by a recent blog post written by Troian Bellisario (star of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars) who expressed her mild disgust at the amount of dangerous images found online, specifically, on Tumblr. The truth is, Tumblr is made up of 90% images and although you’re most likely to find cutesy picture quotes, fan-made photoshops of celebrities, and fashion photography, there is a current trend known as ‘thinspo’ emerging which is rather alarming.

To those who have never heard of ‘thinspo,’ no doubt the name says it all. In essence, ‘thinspo’ is a shortened form of the words ‘thin’ and ‘inspiration’ so – you guessed it – ‘thinspo’ images consist of emaciating figures that could unfortunately inspire some to attempt to reach that dangerous level of thin.

Whilst this is not always the case, as many Tumblr blogs are dedicated to losing weight in a healthy and safe manner, and their version of ‘thinspo’ generally consists of slim celebrity images, there is no denying that the dangerous trend does exist. The sad truth is that the internet not only has the ability to display unhealthy images, but it also has an immense power to convince and influence. When something (like ‘thinspo’) becomes prevalent online, its sheer presence and popularity makes it seem like it’s okay. After all, common thought usually goes like this: ‘if everyone else is doing it, it must be fine.’

As Bellisario pointed out, we each have a right to display whatever we wish on our own blogs. That is an indisputable fact, and censoring is not an option (nor should it be). So what then, is the solution? How can we avoid being affected by images we see online in our day to day lives? Perhaps we can’t. The logical move is to unfollow or delete those who promote images we don’t appreciate, but what if we stumble across them?

Ultimately, Bellisario got it right. She writes:

Take one moment before you ask for encouragement to lose weight in an unhealthy way. Just one moment before you search for images that make you hate your already beautiful bodies. And maybe, in that one moment, maybe you decide not to. Maybe there is something better we can be spreading around. Something that makes us smile instead of cry and feel proud instead of ashamed. Let’s take responsibility for ourselves and for our actions. Starting now.

The power is in our hands. We so often confuse the internet for some kind of alternate universe where our actions are not important, where we can bully people anonymously and confess our darkest secrets without consequence. Considering that the internet is used by so many, these views we possess of the online world are very unreasoned. We are as much a part of a community online as we are in ‘real life,’ and the same responsibility must be exercised in both communities. Otherwise, we face the danger of becoming resolutely careless, and let’s face it, how long before that carelessness creeps out from our online lives and into our regular ones?

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An analysis of ‘Glee’s’ fall from grace

If you’ve ever had fond memories of the Fox television show Glee, those memories probably involve the witty, entertaining and promising show that it once was. Some will undoubtedly argue that the show is just as charming now as it was back in its first season, and that it has in fact taken a step forward by addressing the issues of homosexuality and bullying that were covered quite extensively in its second season.

This is not my opinion. Being a seasoned television viewer with a vested interest in musicals and singing, Glee’s first season was introduced to me as the show of my dreams. And indeed it was. Yes, it was full of stereotypes – the bossy Broadway diva (Rachel Berry), the snarky fashion loving gay guy (Kurt Hummel), the sassy black girl who sings Aretha Franklin (Mercedes Jones) – but it was all in good fun. You didn’t have to love any of its characters to appreciate the show’s humour and storylines. In fact, it wasn’t until my third viewing of the first season that I realized I loved Rachel Berry.

Yet even without a vested adoration for any of the show’s particulars, I enjoyed it immensely and thought it a ‘quality’ show. This was due greatly to the humorous aspects it introduced, from satirical elements such as the Christian cheerleader being impregnated to the hilarity induced by the ultra competitive cheerleading coach who hates everyone and everything (portrayed impressively by the fantastic Jane Lynch). Since the end of its first season, the dynamics of the show have been radically altered, and instead of occasionally adding in some dialogue that is heartfelt, the show is mostly comprised of charading some kind of bizarre ‘help the children’ campaign.

I ask myself: why does a television show feel the need to reach out a ‘helping hand’ to young people, to try and become some kind of therapeutic voice to them? I am a young adult, and I am perfectly fine with being spoken to as an adult – through a funny and satirical look at the ups and downs of high school life. There are plenty of teen dramas that address the kinds of issues that Glee tries to, and I must say, they all succeed at doing so in a much more sympathetic, human and believable way. Why? Because they were created with that purpose. Glee, on the other hand, was created with the purpose of mindless entertainment and yet due to popular demand and pressure from Glee fans, the writers decided to turn it into something it was never meant to be. Do I blame the fans? Of course not. These are television writers and for them to lose sight of the show they originally wrote shows very poor form.

To top it all off, the songs were always excellent renditions of Broadway classics, classic rock songs, or pop/rnb songs that were released at least a few years back. Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find a Glee episode that doesn’t cover a Top 40s hit. Personally, I am not prejudiced against any form of music the show chooses to perform. Yes, I get most excited by Lea Michele or Chris Colfer’s renditions of musical theatre classics, but I can still enjoy just about any sort of music that has been featured on the show. However, when I hear songs like Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream,’ Justin Beiber’s ‘Baby’ and the horrendous Rebecca Black song ‘Friday,’ I am forced to think: So what? These songs are too recent and too fresh in our minds to produce the excitement and joy that they should. Sure, you can appreciate a new version, but it truly takes the joy out of the performances that the show relies so heavily on. When the songs are older classics it is far easier to appreciate hearing them again, and fondly being reminded of an old song that you used to love. Maybe it will even cause you to pop in an old CD and reminisce.

The same can be said for the show’s newfound habit of writing original songs. Not only are these songs simply not very good music by any standards, but the presence of them within the episodes them takes the fun out of watching a Glee performance. Quite simply, you cannot sing or dance along to a song you haven’t heard before. It is a different experience, and in my humble opinion, not a very fulfilling or enjoyable one.

I assure you, I am not the only one with these opinions. Fan sites, forums, Livejournals, Twitters, Tumblrs – they all contribute to the immense hype that is Glee, and yet, if you ever investigate any of them, you will find that they are greatly comprised of disappointed fans who come together to express continued disappointment over each new episode that fails to meet their expectations. Issues of continuity and lack of character development are especially prevalent, while storylines that fall apart before they’re resolved have been embraced as being part of the norm. These are the fans concerns, and they are perfectly right to raise them.

But are the fans a little to blame? After all, co-creator and writer Brad Falchuk recently stated that it was hard to ignore Twitter responses to the episodes, and thought of them as ‘notes’ for each episode. So there you have it, the writers have been influenced by the fans. They’ve tried to please as many fans as possible and perhaps that is why every member of the Glee Club has basically dated every other. Ultimately, it is my opinion that the writers intended to write a harmless comedy encompassing the simple theme of being yourself. Unfortunately, the show’s success became its downfall when it had to be written to please an entirely different type of audience who wanted more drama and more themes, which would be fine, but only if the writers had the talent to pull it off.

And yet the sad truth remains that I, like many others who have been disappointed by the show’s demise will continue to watch, to buy, and to generally keep up the hype over a show whose success would be much better attributed to a television program that actually deserves the awards and fame that Glee has in its grasp. Despite our logic and better judgment, we are helplessly compelled to watch the show that succeeds only in disappointing us. At the end of the day, it is terribly hard to extinguish that little glimmer of hope that keeps whispering ‘don’t stop believing.’

 

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DIsney – Belle

DIsney - Belle

White top
$8 – target.com

D P Shop light blue skirt
$38 – yesstyle.com

Cooperative oxford flat shoes
$30 – urbanoutfitters.com

Kawo pointed pumps
$25 – yesstyle.com

Disney Couture clear jewelry
$40 – endless.com

Disney Couture gold plated bracelet
£29 – mylabel.co.uk

American Apparel headbands hair accessory
$14 – americanapparel.net

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Disney Inspired Fashion (Part 1)

Who didn’t want to be a Disney princess at one time or other? Being the huge Disney geek that I am, I still often watch all my old favourite Disney classics, and embrace the new classics like ‘Tangled’ with open arms. It recently occurred to me that considering how inspirational the Disney princesses were to me when I was a little girl, why not explore their fashion? Naturally, I became inspired by that, too. I’ve tried to choose outfits reminiscent of five of the Disney princesses (the other 5 will be in a separate post coming soon!) and made a serious attempt to not allow the outfits look too ‘costume-y,’ because that would create a far from attractive look. Each character is also paired with some Disney Couture jewellery (a brand inspired entirely by Disney)Enjoy!

Belle happens to be my favourite princess. Beauty & the Beast is my absolute favourite Disney film, and I always felt the greatest connection to her, possibly because I too grew up in a small town and was a total bookworm. I’ve tried to imitate two of Belle’s central outfits in the film, her blue and white dress, with simple flats, and her long flowing ball gown (although here it’s a super cute yellow dress from Urban Outfitters). Yellow and blue are often considered very ‘preppy’ colours. But what truly inspires me about these outfits is that yellow is such a fun, bold colour and should really be worn more often, whilst blue and white together have always reminded me of that ‘fresh’ and casual yet still incredibly stylish look (think blue jeans and a tight white tank top).

Who knew a mermaid could be so ‘in’ with the trends? Ariel’s mermaid ‘attire,’ if you could call it that, makes great use of the current fashion trend that’s taken over the world, also known as colourblocking. This current trend involves pairing two very bold colours together, such as purple and green. The result? Perfection. I truly am a fan of this trend and by keeping your accessories simple (one coloured), you can effectively create an extremely stylish outfit.

Ah, neutral colours. We all need some of them in our closet, and this is a perfect example of how fabulous simplicity can be. Experiment with different shades of brown or white and you won’t be disappointed because, after all, outfits with predominantly neutral colours are always in style.

Sleeping Beauty, otherwise known as Princess Aurora, pairs grey and black in her most commonly worn outfit. This can be a bit tricky to pull off because you may end up looking rather drab (which is not a good look at all). Try experimenting with different shades of grey, such as the washed out grey pictured in the dress above. On another note, headbands are excellent accessories. After all, there’s a reason they have the Blair Waldorf stamp of approval.

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