A Review: The Great Gatsby

19 May

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What a night! After taking my sister to an interview and stuffing ourselves with copious amounts of delicious Italian delights I decided that we should go to the movies. There was only one movie I had in mind…The Great Gatsby. Now I hadn’t been to the movies in a long time. To be honest I was fed up with hollywood and its recycling of actors and unoriginal tasteless films. However there was something different about this film so I decided I’m out and about so let us see how this will pan out. (Rhyming unintentional :))

So we arrive at the theater for the 9:45pm showing and to  my delight the theater was pretty much empty. We sit there with the smell of popcorn and the fizzy sounds of soda as the previews spring to life on the screen. I sit there in anticipation and hope that my money will be well spent. The lights suddenly dim and the theater is dark. The screen is now glowing with golden designs and soft music fills my ears. For the next 150 minutes I am taken on a roller coaster ride of love, lust, obsession betrayal, finally tragedy.

 The Great Gatsby: A Break Down

Now this isn’t going to be too much of a story breakdown because I don’t want to give too much away but I will do my best to convey to you what I had experienced.

  1. Visual Styling/Wardrobe: The Great Gatsby was a visual masterpiece. Every frame was nothing but beautiful eye candy of every color and shade. Light scenes or dark it was so stunning in its styling I didn’t want to blink fearing I would miss something. The costumes from the normal everyday outfit to those worn to J. Gatsby’s extravagant weekend parties were absolutely stunning. The styling of the atmosphere from actual sets to those scenes aided by computer graphics were also completely beautiful. From start to finish you are drawn in and immersed into a world of excess and fantasy that actually helped you along in the story line. After all this was the time of excess, whether it was from drinking, money flaunting, or too much pleasure of the flesh.  5 STAR RATING *****
  2. Sound Track: For me the sound track for a film is super super important. I can not stress this enough. It sets the tone for every scene conveying and amplifying the emotion of the actors. For a lot of the film the music was actually modern hip hop music heavy on the rap stylings of Jay-Z. Now I like hip hop, but this for me is when the movie tanked. I had a hard time connecting to the film because the music was distracting and for me did not in any way fit the film. It felt as if what I was seeing on screen and what was playing along with it were battling  one another (all I could think of at those times was hot mess…yikes!).  As a side note I felt the film that did the modern music sound track well was actually Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst even though the story line was lacking. There was only one scene in the entire Gatsby film where I enjoyed this different soundtrack approach. The most famous of the sound track songs “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey actually saved this film for me musical wise. I absolutely adore this song and Lana’s unique voice. I enjoyed the fact that this song made its appearance several times in the film but in many different presentations. It was presented in an era appropriate way at a faster pace during a Gatsby party, then in its original form, and then in another scene it was no more than a whisper. I honestly couldn’t help singing this song when it played. But don’t worry I was pretty quiet as not to disturb the other movie goers. Please enjoy the song below. 3 STAR RATING ***
  3. The Acting Performances: Now me actually having acting experience I am always looking for that “It” performance. When I saw that this film starred Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio I was a bit skeptical. I have followed his career since he was young and I was never really impressed with his performances. I always thought though that he was often holding back (not hating on Leo at all by the way). I look for a complete loss of self and I feel that Leo exceeded my expectation as the Great J.Gatsby. He was strong yet vulnerable, mild-mannered then a flurry of emotions. He made me feel his pain. He truly was this movie and not just because he was the title character on paper. The rest of the troubled cast performed exceptionally well also. They were rich, wild, naive and I hated them and loved them all in one breath. 5 STAR RATING *****
  4. The Story Line: Let’s make this simple and sweet, shall we? J. Gatsby is a mysterious rich man living on the bay in Long Island NY in a huge mansion. Every weekend the people of New York city show up uninvited to the Gatsby estate for a roaring party that Gatsby hosts in order to get the attention of none other than a lost love named Daisy (Carry Mulligan) who lives across the bay with her super wealthy cheating husband. Gatsby and Daisy were in love before Gatsby was sent off to war and since Gatsby’s return home was delayed Daisy married her now husband. The narrator of this story is Nick Caraway (Toby Maguire). Who happens to be Daisy’s cousin and who also happens to live right next to Gatsby’s towering home. Nick sets up a meeting of the two long-lost lovers at Gatsby’s request and this is when the true story begins and then begins to unravel. Rendezvous of love that turns into lust and obsession. The hopes and dreams that get shattered lead to lives that will forever be changed. By the end you will realize whose love and loyalty ran the deepest and you will witness the true betrayal of the whole film. All in all this movie was excellent but it was definitely depressing . I would rank it along the lines of  Moulin Rouge and Atonement in its suffering. I will award this film only four stars for the story line because I will most likely never watch it again. One hundred and fifty minutes of such sadness is too much to do over again. But I’m glad I did it once. 4 STAR RATING ****

OVERALL RATING OF 4.25 STARS

I hope you enjoyed my first movie interview! Thank you all so much for supporting Salt Pepper Brilliant <33333333333333

***************I do not own any of the music, videos, stills, photography in this post.******************

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Happy May Everyone!!!

1 May

025 copyThis month Pixie will be celebrating her 10th Birthday!!!! Last year I pulled off an awesome gift for her so this year I will have to one up myself. So I have to figure out what I am going to do and fast.

Follow this link to see what I did for Pixie last year: https://saltpepperbrilliant.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/pixies-9th-birthday-surprise/

Happy Birthday Dad! Love you!

29 Apr

Today is my father’s 53rd Birthday! My parents have been married for 32 years now and the love and respect between the two of them is still as strong as ever. I hope that one day when I find the right person I am blessed enough to have a relationship as true and as long-lasting as my parents. This photo below was taken last year on my mother’s 54th birthday but they haven’t changed in appearance one bit. Again Happy Birthday Dad!—-Your Peanut ❤

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The Spontaneous Cook: Garaeddeok or Korean Rice Cake

26 Apr

So  I am a very spontaneous cook. If I see something on a cooking show or find a cool recipe on the internet and I realize that I have all the ingredients to make it; nine times out of ten I will be in the kitchen making it. It doesn’t matter what cuisine it is from or how involved the recipe is I will be in the kitchen making a mess. Oh yes I also haven’t mastered the “cooking clean” thing but that is another story. I love korean food (South Koreans not the ones who want to destroy us :p) so I decided I was going to tackle homemade Garaeddeok so I can make Ddeokbokki (like a rice cake stew). This became pretty involved rather quickly because where I live I have no international stores or markets. So I hunted down on the almighty YouTube a korean cooking superstar…Maangchi! I quickly fell in love with her channel and found all the necessary recipes I needed to make all of my Ddeokbokki dreams come true. So I actually started this project the night before by soaking my sushi rice to make rice flour the next day. Then in the morning I blended my rice to a flour by using my food processor and began making the rice cakes. For my fist time it came out really well. I don’t have all of the ingredients to make the ddeokbokki yet but that will be coming very very soon. So till then happy cooking—-CMY

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Maangchi’s Garaeddeok Recipe Vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMz4t12DIGQ

Maangchi’s Short Grain Rice Flour Recipe: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/mepssalgaru

Maangchi’s Ddeokbokki Recipe Vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA3Uo3a9674

Yummy Vegan Breakfast

22 Apr

Now I am not a vegan I like my meat every now and then but I love adding vegetarian and vegan meals to my diet especially when weightloss is the goal. I love tofu and other soy products so when I am chucking meat out I throw in tofu whenever I can. My Yia Yia (grandmother in Greek) made a delicious breakfast of eggs with tomatoes so I took out the eggs and added some firm sprouted tofu in its place and viola! A delicious and healthy breakfast.

Tofu and Tomato Vegan Breakfast

1-8 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 fresh tomato chopped

1-2 oz  can of tomato sauce (I used no salt added)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2oz of water

sea salt/pepper to taste

Half a block of extra firm tofu, cubed

Drain and rinse canned tomatoes add to a pan. Follow with the chopped fresh tomato, and remaining ingredients except the tofu. Stir ingredients to mix and turn pan on to medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced and tomatoes are soft. Add your cubed tofu and cook until tofu is heated through. Serve with toast and fruit if you like. Enjoy!

**I had my breakfast with Ezekiel bread and a few kumquats and it was definitely delicious**

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Guess who is a new Graduate?!!!!

20 Apr

On thursday April 18th, 2013  I received my diploma in Professional Skin Esthetics and I am so happy! This week has been non stop action and a well deserved rest is in order. I tried to keep up with this blog while in school but it was pretty difficult. I am hoping to slowly get back to this blog because I really love this type of outlet and love interacting with SPB’s followers. I am also considering doing a skin care blog as well so this could be pretty exciting. Coming up next are my theory and practical state board exams in order to get my Esthetics License and then I will be set. Thanks to all who follow this blog that I love so much, lets welcome spring and summer together—-Love Christina

Sweet Dreams Everyone

5 Mar

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Sweet dreams from Pixie and me. Airbrush make up this week should be fun. Sleep tight don’t let the bed bugs bite.—-CMY

P.S. Who came up with that saying anyway? haha

A summer breakfast in the middle of winter…YUM!

27 Feb

I am nearing my graduation date in April and I couldn’t be happier except when I get screwed over by winter weather. I unfortunately am home missing a lesson because I couldn’t get out of my road due to ice. Not to mention I live an hour and fifteen minutes away from my school. So to cheer me up (because the winter blues are killing me) I decided to make a breakfast to give me summer dreams. So here is my recipe for scrambled eggs with scallion and sun dried tomatoes. Mmmmmmmmm……

Sun dried tomato and Scallion Scrambled Eggs

1 whole egg and two eggs whites

5 small sun dried tomatoes, or more if you wish

Handful of fresh chopped scallions

Cheese of your choice as much as you wish (I had some sharp American on hand so that’s what I used)

Some type of bread (It was delicious on an English muffin)

     Add a little bit of olive oil in a pan and heat for a minute or so on medium. Add your eggs to a bowl and beat then add cheese, scallions, and sun dried tomatoes, and mix until just blended. Add your egg mix to the pan and cook while constantly moving the eggs with a spatula until eggs are just firm. Toast up your english muffin and top with your scrambled eggs and enjoy. Serves 1.

Yummy summer inspired breakfast

Yummy summer inspired breakfast

What to do on a snowy winter day in? Learn/Practice how to draw!!!

28 Jan

I love to draw actually I love all art forms. I have been drawing since I was young and have experimented with pencil, pen, marker, pastels, paints, and more. So when I went searching on the almighty Youtube for drawing tutorials I discovered one awesome channel. The Shoo Rayner Drawing Channel! Shoo Rayner is and English illustrator who has some awesome tutorials on YT and his own website. You can find tutorials on how to draw castles, haunted houses, snakes, expressions, animals, popstars, and the list goes on and on. He has a fun and positive attitude that really makes drawing something challenging fun. So when the weather gets you down pick yourself up with some cool drawing tutorials. I will have another post for you guys shortly but for now I have a test to study for. Talk to you all soon!!!—CMY

The weather outside :(

The weather outside 😦

Photo of a tree I drew from one of Shoo's tutorials.

72 styles of eyes from the Shoo Rayner Drawing Channel. Some fun doodling in my future.

72 styles of eyes from the Shoo Rayner Drawing Channel. Some fun doodling in my future.

LINK TO THE SHOO RAYNER DRAWING CHANNEL:http://www.youtube.com/user/ShooRaynerDrawing

LINK TO HIS WEBSITE: http://www.shoorayner.com/

FOR MANGA LOVERS, LINK TO MARK CRILLEY’S CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/markcrilley/featured

*********WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DRAW THE 72 EYES? GO TO SHOO’S WEBSITE AND DOWNLOAD THE SHEET WHILE YOUR THERE CHECK OUT THE 51 NOSES SHEET***********

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TGIF! I will have a post for you all this weekend!

25 Jan

TGIF! I will have a post for you all this weekend!

Hey everyone I’m sorry I have been away for so long again but between school, a car that keeps falling apart, and winter weather I have been pretty busy. Good news I am in the advanced portion of my course as an Advanced Skin Esthetician and I can’t wait to tackle some advanced treatments. We did our firts Cocoa Enzyme Peel last week and it was awesome. (Anyone know what an enzyme peel does and how it does it?) I am having a great time and before I know it my graduation will be here! (April 15th) I am planning on a post for this weekend don’t know exactly what it will cover but it should be something fun. Thanks for sticking with Salt Pepper Brilliant even in my absence, 2013 is going to be the best year ever!!!!! <3—-Christina