Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maria Mena

Maria Mena, the Norwegian pop star, has a voice that you must hear! I have been in love with her since I was in high school ever since I saw her as a featured artist on MTV back in the early 2000's.
She's beautiful, kind of resembling Sarah Silverman, and immensely talented. Coming from a family of artists, she writes most of her own songs and performs full of passion. Below is video of her singing "Just Hold Me," one of my favorites :)


Omg! What? Wow! Well, ok. Sorry about my nonsensical jabber just now. I guess I'm a little stunned by this movie. Daybreakers, starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill was wonderful. As an avid vampire book/movie lover, this was a treat. I truly appreciate it when someone takes the whole vampire theme and put their own twists and portrayal of it. True Blood brings vampires out of hiding and has them living amongst humans, while Daybreakers goes much further.

Picture a world where vampires are the majority, ruling the earth and farming humans for blood, for their survival. Well, that's pretty much what Daybreakers is about. Too bad the human race is endangered. This causes the vampires blood supply to dwindle, causing them to slowly starve, resulting in a creepy mutation that makes them into vicious, mindless, creatures that become cannibalistic.

I am a fan of Ethan Hawke. No, not because of his looks, although that is a plus. He has been in some amazing movies and has stared along some movie legends, such as Denzel Washington in Training Day and Umma Thurman (also his ex-wife) in Gattaca, along with others like Angelina Jolie in Taking Lives and dozens of others in the movie New York I love You. He plays a hematologist who refuses to drink human blood and searches for a safe alternative. After a run in with some humans he joins forces with them and discovers that they actually have a cure, that can change he and all the other vampires back into humans!

The visuals are pretty good, except I think it's weird that all the vampires have the same colored contacts in, there are plenty of ways for them to display that they are vampires, abnormally pale skin is enough. Not to mention, all vampires wear only black in this futuristic movie. Nonetheless, it all added to the overall tone of the movie. Despite all of that I especially loved the intro and the wonderful, surprising twist at the end. I love a good twist, I hate formulaic movies that don't even try to surprise.
If you don't like blood and gore, stay away, there is a fair share in this thriller.
See it this weekend :)

Favorite little things I noticed:
Will work for blood- sign on a homeless guy
Join the vampire army, hunt humans, Uncle Sam needs you!-poster for the military

The Book Of Eli

A few weeks ago I posted an article on the most anticipated movies of 2010 and The Book of Eli was listed. Well, this movie was what I expected it to be, and more! Denzel Washington has been a favorite of mine and millions for many years. I first saw him as a young kid in Glory and even I knew he'd be a star. His acting ability is top notch, his looks stunning and add some martial arts inspired fighting and you've got the total package. I've seen Denzel fight before, but nothing like this! Amazing choreography! I'm telling you, his moves are quick, you'd think he and Wesley Snipes trained together!

The story was something of perfection!

There are no holes in my opinion. I'm not going to reveal any secrets to the movie or anything but here's a brief synopsis. It's 30 years after a terrible war and blinding flash of light from the sun, or maybe from effects of nuclear weapons, and most of the worlds population has died. A year later, after living underground, the remaining survivors walk the earth again. They must fight for clean water and supplies and little things that we take for granted now, like shampoo and chapstick, are like gold in this post-apocalyptic world. People either live in small groups of bandits, or shanty towns.

Except Denzel Washington, Eli, he is cool enough to travel solo, and can destroy anyone who gets in his way! He has something that will change the current situation of the earth and can help rebuild it as well. Then comes someone who knows the power of Eli's secret book, Gary Oldman. This guy is a wonderful actor and his role, as the villain, is totally believable. He is the ruler of a town that he built up where his henchmen have big weapons and control the people that inhabit the place. He wants Eli's book.

Remember, "it's not a book! It's a weapon!"

Also starring is Milla Kunis, and I have always loved her, but we get to see a different side of her, something that seems more real than her other roles. She truly shines. Grab a partner and quickly head to the theater to see this movie. You'll be impressed on many levels, especially the twist at the end ;)

Favorite Quote:
"You got any toys?" asks the shop keeper Denzel is bartering with.
"No, I don't play," responds Denzel.

Picture courtesy of

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap the British pop star, formally of Frou Frou, is one of the most talented and creative musical artists I've ever had the pleasure of seeing and hearing. With her ethereal sounding melodies and breathtaking, yet, edgy look, she captivates every audience.

You may have heard the chart topping song Whacha Say, by Jason Derulo, well that chorus is Imogen Heap and it's a sample from her grammy nominated song "Hide and Seek." This was the first single off her album Speak For Yourself, which she wrote, produced and mixed. This is one talented woman and one of my absolute favorites.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

K. Nycole Lee is CouchSurfing Across the World!!

Why wait to follow your dreams?
This it the question I have been asking myself lately. After spending a wonderful, life-changing, month in South Korea this past year, I realized that there's nothing holding me back from pursuing my dreams of traveling this beautiful world. So I started making plans to do exactly that. I admit, I was afraid to embark on that 13 hour flight across the ocean to a country I had always been intrigued by, but knew nothing of what to expect. When I arrived, all of those fears were quickly forgotten and I had the best time of my life.
I really didn't want to come back to the states!
I mentioned a few posts back a wonderful program called the CouchSurfing Project. It's a completely free and safe way to find accommodations and friendly people who are willing to show you around their cities. Couch surfing is world wide! So really, what is stopping you!? Ok, ok, there is the cost of flights and food, entertainment, etc, but once hotel fees are out of the picture, those other things aren't so hard to come up with. You just need a little budgeting and a solid plan.
So, 2010 will be a year where I'll take you with me on my excursions across the earth. I will document every unique experience and photograph all of the beautiful people I meet as well as the sights and scenery. Also, I will provide detailed reviews on tourist attractions, local "hot spots", restaurants, airlines, etc. Follow me as I cruise with some friends to Nassau, The Bahamas, fly with my family to Hawaii, trek the island of Japan, revisit some friends I met in South Korea and embark on a journey of Europe, Barcelona the starting point!
This should be exciting! I look forward to telling you all about it :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thor & Spiderman 4

Today it's been released that Stuart Townshead will be replaced in the film Thor, by Joshua Dallas in playing the character called Fandrall. It's no secret that I am in love with these adaptations of mythological characters, comic heroes and fantasy stories.
Even more exciting about this movie is that Kenneth Branagh is directing it. H
e is a pure treasure in the film industry. He can do no wrong in my eyes. I am glad that he is taking this story about the Viking god of thunder under his gifted wing. I wish that he were in it as well, who knows, he may surprise me!
Oh wait, I almost forgot to mention a few names that will surely blow your mind. Well,
starring as Thor will be Chris Hemsworth (Captain Kirks father in the latest Star Trek, The Perfect Getaway) along with Natalie Portman(Love her!) Anthony Hopkins, Samuel Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, and Rene Russo. I predict that May 20th 2011 will have lines of comic fans awaiting their chance to view this film.

In other news, very exciting news, Spiderman 4 is going in a whole new direction. Forget about Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco. They are wonderful, amazing actors but this go around, the new director wants to use a new script by James Vanderbilt and take Peter Parker back to high school with a fresh cast, and focus on his life as a teen. This should be interesting. Sam Raimi, the director of the first 3 and the former cast will be missed, but I can't wait to find out which up and coming actors they'll use next.

Picture courtesy of

The Young Victoria

This weekend I finally saw The Young Victoria, the biopic of Queen Victoria and her romance with Prince Albert. This was just what I needed. There hasn't been a good period piece in awhile and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It's pretty impressive that this film was produced by Martin Scorsese and Sarah, The Duchess of York.
That just sounds cool!
Emily Blunt, the British actress who we've seen in films such as The Devil Wears Prada and Sunshine Cleaning stars as the queen of the United Kingdom. We can also see her in the upcoming movie, The Wolfman. Playing Prince Albert is Rupert Friend, also British, whom played a villainous character in the heartbreaking Boy in the Stripped Pajamas as well as Pride and Prejudice (where he met his girlfriend Keira Knightley). They were a great pair and the chemistry between them was unmistakable.
The writers and director kept to the historical facts pretty well and focused more on the story of her life before and just after her coronation as Queen. Visually, the costumes and location were beautiful and interesting. If you're looking for a lovely romantic, historical, period drama, then this is the movie for you.
Catch it in theaters now!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mommy Makeover!! Kate Gosselin!

The beautiful mother of 8, changes her look for the new year! Recently divorced, this hot mama decided it was finally time to update her look and have a fresh start. Now that her children are all in school, she should be able to take more time out for herself and keep her look up. Good job People Magazine, she looks great!

Picture courtesy of

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Robin Hood

Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Addy, and Matthew MacFadyen, in this 2010 remake of the classic tale, Robin Hood.

I can't wait!

We all love Russell Crowe in epic movies, Gladiator is one of my favorites. There's speculation that he'll 'toughen' Robin of Loxley up! I didn't want to see him in green tights anyway. He was originally supposed to play the Sheriff of Nottingham, but I am glad they didn't go that direction.

Then there's Cate Blanchett, oh my, I'll let you in on a little secret. This is the woman that has a secure role as a character in my latest novel. When it becomes a movie that is! She is remarkable. I love her small role in the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, and less known starring role in The Gift, opposite Keanu Reeves, Hilary Swank, Giovani Ribisi and various other stars.

Less known is Matthew MacFadyen who will play the Sheriff of Nottingham. I have a special appreciation for this British actor. His roles in many BBC masterpieces and in Pride and Prejudice opposite Keira Knightley as Mr. Darcy are wonderfully done. I am looking forward to seeing him in this big budget adventure. You can also see Mark Strong as one of King John's henchmen, you may know him from Stardust and most recently, the villain in Sherlock Holmes.

It has been directed by Ridley Scott, whom we can thank for such works as Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma and Louise, American Gangster, and Kingdom of Heaven. It's safe to say that this man makes amazing movies that can stand the test of time. This remake will be available for your viewing pleasure May 14th.

A Fine Frenzy- Almost Lover

Alison Sudol, known professionally as A Fine Frenzy, is a beautiful American singer/pianist and songwriter. She released her debut album One Cell in the Sea and gained many fans worldwide. I enjoy her melodic, almost ethereal sounding music. Check out her latest album Bomb in A Birdcage!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jennifer's Body

Jennifer's Body was recently released on DVD December 29th. I admit, I didn't feel it was worth seeing on the big screen, but I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I have a new appreciation for Megan Fox in her first starring role. She's OK in transformers, but everyone knows she's so famous and people love her because of her undeniable sex appeal. Also, congrats to Amanda Seyfried, she's gorgeous and her ability to express her emotional range in her roles is amazing.

I mean, really, this movie is about a hot highschool cheerleader who gets turned into a vampiresque-demon after a run in with an indie band that practices witchcraft. They take her against her will and attempt to kill her, but... the spell goes all wrong, because Jennifer lied about being a virgin! Uh-oh. Now she must eat the flesh and drink the blood of boys to survive and maintain her beauty. Now her best friend, oddly named Needy, who is a little nerdy and not as popular (all due to the glasses and a ponytail) must figure out how to stop her from killing all of the towns boys before she sets her eyes on her boyfriend Chip.

I love the dialogue, it's too funny. Being hot is referred to as being "salty" and being jealous is being "jello". I can see teen girls using these catch phrases all around school after this. Really, when Needy faces off against Jennifer, Jennifer says, "Don't be such a player hater!" Classic. Lol. Seriously, even Roger Ebert was surprised by this movie. You expect it to be another cheesy, slasher, teen horror flick, yet, it's so much more. Rent it, or buy it today!

This week in movies!

I'm a huge fan and follower of vampire movies. Growing up reading Anne Rice books, and having Interview With The Vampire being my favorite movie in elementary school, I love watching how other directors and authors portray these mystical, intriguing beings. This week we get to see Ethan Hawke(Before Sunset, Training Day) in the highly anticipated fang fest called Daybreakers.

Along with Sam Neil(Jurassic Park, Event Horizon), Willem Dafoe(Spiderman1,2,a
nd3), Isabel Lucas(Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen) and Claudia Karvan(Aquamarine) we get to see a world where, due to an unknown plague, most people have been transformed into vampires. The vampires rule the earth and the remaining humans are simply farmed for blood. With supplies dwindling, a small group of vampires have made a wonderful discovery that could be a way to save the human race.

Then there's Leap Year! I admit I am a little excited. I can appreciate an occasional romantic comedy:) I absolutely love Amy Adams, she is so charming and versatile in her roles. She can adapt to family fantasy movies such as Enchanted, gritty dramas like Doubt, and indie hits such as Sunshine Cleaning. I even enjoyed her as the younger sister of Debra Messing in The Wedding Date. Her co-star is the gorgeous British actor Matthew Goode, who I couldn't believe played the smartest man in the world in Watchmen. He looked completely different with blonde hair. I also loved him in Match Point opposite Scarlett Johansson and Johnathan Reece Myers.
Following an Irish tradition in which a man must say yes if proposed to on a leap day, Amy Adams plays a women who travels to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend.
On the course of her journey she gets a local driver and guide, Matthew Goode to help and accompany her. Well the story is pretty formulaic to me and I can guess what will probably happen, yet, it should be a joy to watch.

Finally, there's Youth In Revolt. I like Micheal Cera in his previous roles, Superbad, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, Juno, but this movie I'm not so sure about. Honestly, if he and the guy from The Hangover (Zack Galifianakis) weren't in this movie, I probably wouldn't bother. Oops, did I say that? Lol. Well the premise is a little off, but who knows, we might get surprised.
The journal of Nick Twisp, an 18-year old high school student, who goes on a quest to lose his virginity after his parent's breakup, by creating a "supplementary alter ego". Give it a chance, these guys are usually pretty funny!

I look forward to this Friday! See you there!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Favorite Masterpiece Classics

My Favorite Masterpiece Classics

The BBC is brilliant when it comes to turning classic British Literature into timeless works of art on the screen. Without spending a ton of money on their productions they still manage to find the best actors and actresses to make these wonderful tales come to life. I love movies set in a different era, with all of the costumes, different landscapes and tales of love and triumph, wealth and poverty, and even tragedy. Here are my favorites!
Little Dorrit
Pride and Prejudice
Wives and Daughters
Wuthering Heights
Tess of the d'Urbevilles
Daniel Deroda
David Copperfield
Oliver Twist
Great Expectations
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sense and Sensibility

Welcome to 2010!

I know it may seem like I am only interested in big budget action/adventure or fantasy/sci-fi movies, but that's not the case. I am also passionate about foreign and independent films. My favorite foreign films are:

Lust, Caution
With newcomer Tang Wei, and Asian superstar Tony Leung, this movie was so good on many levels. An espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai, centering around Mr. Yee, a powerful political figure and Wang Jiazhi, the young woman who gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with him. With Ang Lee, the director of such movies as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain and The Hulk, this is a film that will stick with you long after the closing credits.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
An all star cast of Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang, this classic is such a visual masterpiece with an amazing story.

House Of Flying Daggers
Set in the year is 859 AD, as China's once flourishing Tang Dynasty is in decline, unrest is raging throughout the land. Another extraordinary movie visually, with wonderful martial arts and a tragic love story. Ziyi Zhang flourishes again in this treasure.

The Road Home
One of Ziyi Zhangs first films, and a timeless classic of a tale of love in a small village between a quiet shy girl and the new teacher from the big city. You will instantly see why I love her!

Raise The Red Lantern
With Gong Li, this is a film set in the 1920s, the film tells the story of a young woman who becomes one of the concubines of a wealthy man during the Warlord Era. It is noted for its opulent visuals and sumptuous use of colours.

Love Me If You Dare (Jeux D' Enfant)
This is a wonderful french film starring Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Cannet. It's about an energetic and brilliant young boy who meets a wildly imaginative young girl and their story growing up together as best friends and all the trouble they get into by playing this game they made up. Game or no game?

Who doesn't love Audrey Tatou? She is the Audrey Hepburn/Julia Roberts of France, and this is the movie that catapulted her to international stardom. Bursting with imagination and having seen her share of tragedy and fantasy, Amelie is not like the other girls.

Here are a few more Audrey Tatou movies I love, A Very Long Engagement, Dirty Pretty Things, and He Loves Me He Loves Me Not. There are many others, but catch her in Coco Before Chanel on DVD now.

These are the films I'll be watching this month and looking out for this year.
An Education
The Young Victoria
The Loss of a Tear Drop Diamond
The White Ribbon
The Maid