Friday, 22 July 2016

Finding Dory - Movie Review

Who's In It?

Ellen DeGeneres, Ed O'NeillDiane Keaton, and Idris Elba

What's It About?

Dory has a dream about her lost family, and decides to drag Nemo and Marlin across the sea to find them.

Any Good?

I grew up on Finding Nemo and have seen it at least 20 times, so you can imagine I was pretty anti-sequel to one of the most important films of my childhood.

One of the things that swayed me was the return of the original voice actors - this is usually a good sign, and they didn't sound any less into it than for Nemo. One of the new highlights was Ed O'Neill as Hank the Septopus - he sounded even more exasperated and TV-style old man than on Modern Family.

This is very much a film of two halves - one in the water and one out. While out of the water does look good and has life in it, it has nothing on the sea of Nemo, but then again neither does the ocean unfortunately. The ocean itself only has about a quarter screen time, but it feels like a rushed checkup on familiar friends and tries to cram as many different water biome types in just not enough time.

Surprisingly for a sequel the story was great on it's own with vastly different locations and situations, as well as original characters. Some of the friends such as the sealions and Becky the bird are cleverly done, but my favourite has to be either Destiny the blind shark or the annoying clam (voiced by the director!).

A pleasant surprise from the land of cash-in sequels, Finding Dory felt like it had feeling put into it. The voice actors were brilliant and had not one phone-in, and for the first time in a long while I felt the heart of hand drawn animation styles in computer animation. 

Definitely go see it if you liked the original (who didn't???), and stay after the credits for a nice surprise.


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Things That Rustle My Jimmies ~ The Blogging Edition

It's been a long week, lads. I've been in the blogging game for years now & this has quite possibly been the most trying of the lot. Herein lie some of the worst jimmie rustlers I've ever encountered... 

1.    Being invited for an overnight in a hotel, driving 3 hours to find they’d advertised that I’d be there & had local press waiting. 

Spending 2 hours meeting & greeting their guests, while gurning for press with each of them.

Accepting an offer of a drink from the manager during the melee only to find it was billed to my room the next day!!

2. Being met with astonishment by the agency when I invoiced them for the above. 

3. Schlepping an hour to an event & realising they don’t have product. 

Lipstick can be swatched at any counter, even counters have samples to work with!

4. Suffering serious FOMO watching Snaps from a gorgeous event then remembering it had been in my diary for fortnight….

5. ‘Unfortunately we don’t have a budget for this campaign’

Tell me, can you relate? Please tell me no to the first two.... What's been rustling your jimmies this week, blogging or otherwise...

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The Importance of Clear Communication in Blog Collaborations aka THIS IS NOT HOW IT WORKS!

Many of you that have been following along for a while will know that I’m known for honesty and integrity when it comes to blogging, I've gone on record several times for that reason. I regularly work with brands, setting out digital strategies for working with bloggers and online ‘influencers’. I pride myself on the ability to communicate effectively and help other Bloggers do the same. It might be a surprise then, because it certainly was to me, that having worked professionally in the digital world for almost six years now that I can still be caught out.

I’ll err on the side of kindness and put my most recent debacle down to digital ignorance rather than deliberate misrepresentation but it’s a cautionary tale nonetheless and one that can be learned from. For the most part, the PRs and agencies in Ireland are some of the best in the world and adapt very quickly to our ever changing digital landscape; for the most part. 

What follows are some golden rules for professional blogging relationships, there’s something to be learned here for everyone (myself included): - I’d love to hear yours too – from either side of the coin…

Monday, 18 July 2016

Monday's Moments ~ 18/07/16

Can you BELIEVE that Irish weather? Glorious doesn't even begin to cover it. The world is a scary place right now but that sunshine goes some way to reminding us to be grateful for what we have. This week, the five moments I'm praising the powers that be for are: 

1. Bringing Heidi for her very first trip to the beach. 
She didn't like the water but loved the sand, was over friendly with the locals & ADORED the 99s! 

(she even makes adorable gifs like)

2. Managing to catch the Q&A with Director, Andrew Stanton at the screening of Finding Dory last week. 

One of the warmest, funniest and most engaging speakers I've ever had the pleasure to hear. 

Literally my face for the duration:

3. Driving to Athy to surprise the Niblings for a sleepover - it NEVER happens anymore!

4. Managing to drive Coast to Coast on half a tank of fuel for lunch in Enniscrone with my real life Bestie. 

We don't get to spend proper time together since she moved to Wexford so this really did the soul good, I haven't laughed as much in years!

5. Stepping on to the scales (after a further 3 weeks) and realising I've lost a full FOUR STONE now!! 

I feel better than I have throughout my thirties and quite possibly my twenties too. I'm not where I want to be yet but I'm 3/4 the way there & it's changed my world. CHUFFAGE!

I couldn't let today's Moments pass without mentioning that 3 of the above 5 moments are thanks to Linder's Renault in the Pavilions for giving me a loaner of the brand new Clio as part of their #retailrevolution campaign. As I'd said I wasn't paid for the week but I am more than grateful to them for turning my week around. You never know, they were such a delight to deal with that that might not be the last you hear of me with 'em yet!

Tell me, what's chasing away your Monday blues this week? It truly is cathartic to share. 

Friday, 15 July 2016

The BFG - Movie Review!

Who's In It?

Jemaine ClementRuby Barnhill, and Mark Rylance

What's It About?

Sophie is an orphan who's kidnapped by a giant at the witching hour of 3 o' clock, and discovers that not all giants are child eating brutes.

Any Good?

The trailers looked very dark for children, but it was Steven Spielberg so I kind of just assumed it was his style - and I was pleasantly surprised.

I absolutely loved some of the CGI in this, while it does try a little too hard to be Harry Potter in some of the scenes (including an odd, almost cheap, knock-off style HP song) but what really stood out to me was the dreams; bright and vibrant wisps that formed almost Zoetrope-style animations.

They have Zoetropes in Disneyland Paris!

The BFG himself was almost perfect, even his subtle lip twitches and eye movements were mapped really well, but his voice was incredible. The entire film I was repeating to myself to remember to Google it, and it was none other than the winner of last years Best Supporting Actor Oscar - Mark Rylance!

The actress for Sophie was good, especially considering her script seemed to be written to be as annoying as possible. In one scene her character asks about 4 questions in a row and starts EVERY SINGLE ONE with "Hey BFG". She was impressive for her age, even with the bar set by Neel Sethi of The Jungle Book.

Images really don't do the animation justice

The BFG was fairly new to me, when I was of age to read Roald Dahl books myself I was reading things like Goosebumps or The Hobbit (explains a fair bit tbf); so to me it was a bit all over the place for the first 3/4. The last quarter with the Queen however reminded me a lot of King Edward from MacBeth, and the idea he was God (thanks A2 in Leaving Cert English!). 

Overall the BFG was enjoyable - it was a little dark and Spielberg which made the story a bit odd, but the visuals were beautiful. Honestly I'd probably wait to see this in HD or on Blu-Ray just to see the animation and dreams in a more vibrant resolution.