Links To Start Your Week

I’m starting a new job this week, and so time available for posting will be significantly declined. In lieu of all the posts I’d ideally like to get up this week (I will get some posted, promise), have some links:

Have a great week!

frangipani princess xoxo

Review: Sherlock – The Empty Hearse (Part Two)

On Thursday, I wrote about the problematic aspects of the first episode of Sherlock Season Three. After a rewatch, and some time to ponder and browse tumblr, here’s a more general review. 

The much anticipated return of Sherlock (which does not yet have an Australian air-date) occurred on New Years Day, UK time. Season Three promised to answer the much conspired about question: Just How Did Sherlock Survive The Fall?

Warning: Spoilers ahead: 

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Review: Sherlock – The Empty Hearse (Part One)

CORRECTION: In my haste to watch the episode and get a post up, I neglected to notice that the writer of this episode was Mark Gatiss and not Steven Moffat. All other claims made in this review stand. 

The Sherlock Season Three premiere episode, titled The Empty Hearse, aired in the UK this morning. I was hopeful that the episode would be good. That we would be given an explanation as to Sherlock’s survival, that the big reveals would be respectful, that John’s response would be realistic. And, as feared, I was disappointed.

Under the cut I talk about the aspects of the episode I found most problematic. If you’ve seen the episode, let me know what you thought.

Spoilers Ahead

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#Sherlocklives

After two years of delirious anticipation, Sherlock Season Three is set to grace our (computer) screens in half an hour. 

Putting aside how problematic the series can be, fans around the world are unbelievably excited right now. It’s been two years since Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman last graced our screens. Two years since we saw Sherlock jump to his supposed death. Two years of speculating about how he did it. Two years, and in twenty-five minutes, all will be revealed.

I’ll be posting a spoiler-free review of the episode once it airs.

Twenty minutes to go. Take a deep breath. We can do this, together.

frangipani princess xoxo

Book Review: Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone, Gemma Crisp

Last year, we followed Nina Morey’s rise and fall as a monthly magazine editor in “Be Careful What You Wish For”, and now she’s back in “Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone”, this time as the editor of weekly gossip mag “Juice”.

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After overcoming her battle with alcoholism and jumping back into the magazine sphere, Nina thinks her life is finally back on track. But all of a sudden her BFFs are all pregnant and seriously Baby Obsessed, while she’s still enjoying the single life. Throw in a reality TV show (hello, Park Street) and Nina realises life in the Editor’s chair isn’t nearly as glossy as it may seem.

Drawing on inspiration from her time as Editor of DOLLY and Cleo magazines, as well as her time working on weekly gossip titles such as OK! and NW, Gemma Crisp perfectly fictionalises the dramatic world that lies behind the covers of your favourite magazines. With a page-turning mix of relationship drama, and dealing with friends at different life stages to you, she absolutely encapsulates the life of a twenty-something Sydney girl, albeit one with a job we’d all die for.

One of my favourite things about Crisp’s writing is that she doesn’t shy away from serious issues. Her first novel dealt with Alcoholism and Mental Illness in a frank and real way, and “Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone” continues the trend. This time around, Nina’s glamorous stylist friend has a Self Harm problem, which is written about responsibly and realistically. Kudos to Gemma for tackling a subject that is often ignored, especially when writing about adults and not melodramatic teens.

You don’t need to have read “Be Careful What You Wish For” to enjoy this new novel, but if you’re looking for another excellent book to add to your Summer Stash, you won’t go wrong with it.

“Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone” is the perfect summer beach read, especially if you’re a total mag-addict like myself.

Warning: “Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone” contains numerous references to Self Harm which have the potential to be extremely triggering and confronting. Read with caution if this is an issue which may affect you. 

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Allen&Unwin
Pages: 279
RRP: $24.99
Author: Gemma Crisp can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @theshowpony

frangipani princess xoxo

Don’t Be Dead: Why Season Three of “Sherlock” Will Be A Complete Disaster

(This post contains spoilers for all seasons of the BBC series Sherlock, in particular season three, as well as the finale of season 6 of Doctor Who. This post also contains TRIGGER WARNINGS for discussions of suicide, trauma, and emotional manipulation.)

(I am making this post not only as a fan, but as someone who has experienced situations somewhat similar to those John experiences in The Reichenbach Fall. I apologise if my take on these experiences is alienating to other survivors of emotional manipulation or abuse. I have tried to write not only from what I know personally, but from what I can objectively observe.)

I’m not usually one to cast aspersions and make assumptions beyond casual speculation about episodes of a TV show before they’ve aired—in fact, I’m usually the guy encouraging people not to. That said, I have spent the past few months deeply worried about the impending premiere of season three of BBC’s Sherlock, and I don’t think it’s without good reason.

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Movie Review: The Hobbit – The Desolation Of Smaug

In the second instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, we once again catch up with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his rag-tag bunch of accompanying dwarves on their quest to reach The Lonely Mountain and regain the Dwarves’ homeland. After two hours of being chased by White Orcs, a quick run in with some Elves (hello Orlando Bloom), and a detour through Lake Town, our heroes finally reach the mountain. Bilbo makes some small talk with Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), there’s some fire breathing, and then the movie ends. It goes for almost three hours, but both times I left the cinema, I felt like I hadn’t actually seen anything.

I’ve never read The Hobbit, but I do know it’s not exactly the largest book in the world. Why, then, it needs to be split into three incredibly long and rather dry movies is beyond me. The premise would make an excellent film, maybe even two. But three films pushing three hours each? Nobody has time for that.

The movie wasn’t terrible. The barrel riding scene was excellent. Smaug, as Bilbo said, was indeed stupendous. Stephen Fry as The Master of Laketown was brilliant. Peter Jackson’s beautiful cinematography is absolutely perfect. But, there just wasn’t a plot. Or, more fairly, a plot that couldn’t have fitted in perfectly with the first equally overly long film. If both had been purged of unnecessary scenes and been smushed into one more action filled film that began in Hobbiton and ended at The Lonely Mountain, I would be much more of a fan.

The film ends just as the action is finally beginning to get exciting, which gives me hope for the third and final instalment. Unfortunately, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, is still a year away. So for now, you can either sit through nearly three hours of film in which nothing really happens, or just know that the film includes some walking and a bit of a dragon, and skip straight to number three.

Rating: 3/5

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is in Australian cinemas now through Roadshow Films.

frangipani princess xoxo

Frangi Chats To…Jai Waetford

Jai Waetford was the youngest contestant on this year’s X-Factor. At just fourteen, he drew immediate comparisons to a young Justin Bieber. It wasn’t long before Mr. Bieber himself heard about Jai, and during his Australian tour he organised a backstage meet and greet.

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After coming third in the competition, Jai’s first single, “Your Eyes”, was released at the beginning of the month, as was his debut self-titled EP.

I spoke to Jai earlier this month about meeting Justin, the X-Factor experience, and what’s coming next.

Frangipani Princess: What have you been up to today? 

Jai: We got to spend the night at home last night for the first time in a few weeks, a few months, so it’ s good to be able to just come home and relax

What was it like meeting Justin Bieber? 

It was really good, it was awesome. We were just at his concert and Scooter Braun came out and found me and mum, and took us backstage. I had no idea who he was, and he said “hey, I’m Scooter” and me and mum just tripped out. And then he introduced us to Justin, and then we chilled backstage. He showed me some new music, we met his dancers, his producers and stuff, which was really cool. It was good fun. 

Did he have any advice to give you? 

He said stay humble, which is cool. He is the most humblest guy, and I have never, ever met anyone as passionate about music as him. 

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Movie Review: American Hustle

Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his mistress Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are con-artists, and they’re good at it. In a time of financial crisis, they prey on desperate victims and scam them out of thousands of dollars. And then they try to scam Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), an FBI agent. Richie offers them a deal: they help him bring in five names, and they avoid jail. However, what begins as a small scale operation soon turns into a con within itself, and the trio find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water. When you add in Irving’s volatile wife, Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence), a family centric mayor – Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) – from New Jersey just trying to improve the quality of life in his community, and a frustrated FBI boss, Stoddard Thorsen (Louis C.K.), you have the potential for a lot of things to go wrong.

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I’ll be honest: I don’t completely understand the hype surrounding American Hustle. It was good, but not “holy crap that was the best movie I’ve seen this year/ever” good. Part of this feeling stems from the fact that the ending of the film is abrupt and in many ways, depressing. The film is, however, extremely powerful in its portrayal of reality; under the elaborate cons and huge parties, it shows real consequences and the stories behind many of the characters.

A recurring theme throughout the movie was Stoddard telling Richie a story about ice-fishing in his youth. The joke is that Richie always assumes the moral to suit his circumstances and leaves as quickly as he can, before Stoddard can actually finish telling the tale. But the movie ends before we actually find out the ending to the story. It’s a minor point that’s not at all relevant to the overall film, but it piked my curiosity and I left the cinema feeling frustrated at the teasing. It was things like this, and the too-realistic portrayal of some of the characters (especially Carmine, my heart broke at the injustice he faced), that made me not Love the film, rather than the overall film in itself.

Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as the crazy wife, as was to be expected. The film is directed by David O. Russell, who also directed Silver Linings Playbook  (also starring Lawrence and Cooper). While Silver Linings Playbook centered around mental illness, and American Hustle does not, I found that in many ways the pair played similar characters in both films.

There is a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding the film, and while I agree that some of the actors should win for their parts (especially Lawrence and Bale), the film as a whole is not Best Picture material (then again, I didn’t think Argo was All That either, and it won this year – maybe I’m just not a good film critic). Amy Adams’ boobs also deserve an Oscar, because wow she wore some plunging dresses.

If you want to see what all the Hype is about, go and see it, but at this time of year, you’re not exactly lacking other options.

Rating: 3/5

American Hustle is out now in Australian cinemas, through Roadshow Films. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Frangi Chats To…Third D3gree

Third D3gree auditioned for the X-Factor Australia as three individual artists: Jordan Rodrigues, Vanessa ‘Kelebek’ Skrypczak, and Jacinta Gulisano. They were placed together as a group during Boot Camp, and since then have performed as a totally awesome RnB/Pop style band.

I spoke to Third D3gree last week about what life was like during the X-Factor, what’s it like now the competition is over, and what’s happening next for the group.

Third D3gree: L-R - Jacinta, Jordan, Kelebek

Third D3gree: L-R – Jacinta, Jordan, Kelebek

Frangipani Princess: You all auditioned for the X-Factor separately, so how did you feel about being put in a band? Is it something you’d ever thought about? 

Third D3gree: 

Jacinta – We never thought we’d be in a group. Obviously if we wanted to be a part of a group, we would have entered the show in a group at first. So you know, all we were thinking about was being solo. But once we got put together, our initial thoughts were we didn’t think it was going to work, two girls and a guy, we’d never really seen that before so we thought it was a little bit weird, and we were all complete strangers to each other, so we were like “how are we going to bond with these two people that we don’t know?” But then we kind of saw that we all had the same interests and likes, and we liked the same genre in music, and it was a great choice by the judges.

What did you guys do to bond?  How did you guys get to know each other before you had to perform as a group? 

Jordan – I think we really started bonding at home visits where we went to Noosa, or Queensland, and we spent that full week together and I think spending pretty much every minute of the day with each other we just kind of learnt about each other, we learnt what our pet hates are, what we like, what we don’t like, and we kind of just had to get closer and closer through that experience, just being around each other all of the time. We did go out for a few dinners, we chilled a lot, things like that.

What made you all audition for the X-Factor? 

Jacinta – I think it was mainly just our families. They told us to give it a go, and it was also that X-Factor is one of the best talent shows out there, so why not? Why not give it a go? It’s launched so many great careers for people, everyone you hear on the radio has pretty much been on the X-Factor, or been on a show like that, so that’s why we thought we’d all give it a go.

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