Princess Jasmine steals spotlight in Aladdin

Disney’s latest female protagonist Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is a modern-day powerhouse as she enters a whole new world in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Aladdin.

The Princess of Agrabah returns to the big screen alongside Aladdin (Mena Massoud) to bring Disney’s animated classic to life with a freshness that fits the times.

Unlike the original 1992 film, the updated version gives the Arab princess a role as significant as her love interest and the movie’s title character.

The audience first meets Jasmine disguised as a commoner in the marketplace before Aladdin’s quick wits save her from being prosecuted from stealing.

On face value, she is a ‘damsel in distress’ rescued by a man, but upon her return to the palace, her true colours are shown when she is courted by yet another prince (Billy Magnussen) wanting to marry her.

She is strong-willed and bold, believing in her own ability to rule the kingdom without another by her side.

Disney’s princess culture has been criticised for being harmful towards young girls and promoting gender stereotypes.

But Jasmine is a great role model; she is ambitious in her hopes for herself and does not stop fighting for the freedom of choice in a place where the odds are against her.

She is respectful even when she disagrees with the Sultan, and empathetic and compassionate to the subjects of her kingdom.

The princess’ wardrobe in the film is vibrant, beautiful and includes her iconic blue-green two-piece, which is given a more modest makeover in the film negating views from the original movie that she is oversexualised.

Image: Disney

Princess Jasmine has an admirable depth to her and a character arc that is an enhanced reminiscent version of the character we already know and if you did not already, fall in love with.

Naomi Scott embodies Jasmine’s beauty inside and out. 

A pivotal moment is when she sings original song and feminist anthem, ‘Speechless’, about not staying silent and instead, speaking out against injustices regardless of the obstacles thrown your way.

Genie mentions early in the film, “The more wishes you have, the more you want.” 

Aladdin shows everyone young and old how there is more to life than power and fortune.

The film reminds its audience there is magic in friendship and staying true to yourself.  

The classic remake features original characters Genie (Will Smith), Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), Abu and Rajah, as well as its hit musical numbers like Friend Like Me, Prince Ali, and favourite A Whole New World.

Disney’s live-action Aladdin is in cinemas now.

Crazy Rich Asians From A Crazy Not-So-Rich Asian Perspective

Picture this.

You’re 5 years old: Your dream job is a princess but if that doesn’t work out, you’ll be an actress/singer instead. The world is yours and you don’t see yourself different from any of your friends. You love yourself and everyone else for who they are. Your biggest problem is deciding whether to colour in crayon or texter.

At 12: Still blasting Hannah Montana and the soundtrack of a very popular Disney Channel movie with a lead who looked kind of like you… But claimed for years she was Mexican/Hispanic… but you know for sure she’s half Asian hmm. You’re obsessed with The Twilight Saga and at lunch you and your friends role play but you can’t be Bella, or Alice, or Rosalie – you can be Leah (the Native American supporting character). Btw, bringing a home cooked lunch to school, especially if it involves rice is ‘different’, and not in a good way but your mama’s cooking is delicious so you let the haters hate. But the thought does creep in – sometimes you wish you were white.

At 15: Writing and telling stories is your favourite thing and you are still so in love with performing. You’re geared with dance, singing and acting training and experience. Sushi is now very cool and trendy. Your classmates make racist jokes because they ‘forget’ you’re a person of colour or because ‘you’re not like the others’. You audition for the lead of your school musical – that Disney one that you so dearly love that meant to display diversity. You lose out on the supporting lead to a stereotype white girl. You are an advocate for the most talented and therefore appropriate person doing the job… The lead cast is 100% white. Your favourite movies/TV shows consist of a Caucasian cast, if there was an Asian – they played a minor role, you don’t remember the character let alone the actor. When people hear you want to be involved in showbiz they give you a look (oooh, acting is tough, there’s not a lot of roles for…). You take a look at available jobs and they’re looking for white girls – blonde and blue eyes, brunette and big eyes etc. You want to be so proud of your cultural identity but still can’t help occasionally but imagine how convenient it would be to be white or at the very least, a natural blonde. You think they’re right. Maybe you’re not profitable as a lead. You think back to when there was an Asian lead character and besides London Tipton and Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels #badass, nothing really stands out. All the other roles seem to be martial arts, restaurant owner related or a friend to the lead.

You’re now 20: Up until this point, you became increasingly disappointed with Hollywood and their casting choices that made Asian actors second class, casting white actresses in roles that should’ve gone to equally talented Asian actors. You first watch this movie with your best friend. The final scene plays out and by this point you have both cried from laughter (Awkwafina & Ken Jeong are gold wow) and gotten emotional (the wedding oh my), you are now crying tears of joy with the perfect ending to a wholly marvellous movie. We exit the theatre and she says “That was amazing, I forgot they were Asian.” We have become so accustomed to white people telling stories on screen, many people in the industry saw a movie such as this one high-risk but if you can imagine, on a world population scale, being Asian is the majority so it’s astounding the last American made movie with an Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club (1993) – 25 YEARS AGO?!?? You get home and begin to cry again, you cannot believe you just witnessed a beautiful love story for mainstream viewing loaded with a crazy talented fully Asian cast with an obviously incredible production crew. You watch it for a second time but now with your family. Your parents say they could watch this film over and over again.

You are so proud to be Asian, worthy of being represented as intelligent and eloquent, as beautiful and elegant, as sexy and well-dressed, as relatable and multidimensional, and just as a human with a great story. You hope everyone sees this movie. You never want a young girl who looks like you or the cast of Crazy Rich Asians to doubt her dreams are achievable because of a dry spell of representation. You are so much more than your race and to have a movie that displays that but happens to show the cultural side of being Asian is so important. You are so proud.

This is the movie you needed more than you knew.

With love and light always, M ♥️

 

A Rising Star Of Our Own

 

Aussie Star in the making Chelsea Glaw

Now living in Los Angeles, Gold Coast grown girl, Chelsea Glaw is making her mark in the world of film.

Having a strong passion for dramatic arts, in particular, acting for screen since a young girl, Chelsea continuously worked on improving herself as an actress.  In Year 11 (2012), she was successful at claiming a scholarship at the prestigious New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. At the opportunity, 4 weeks after her high school graduation, a young girl left her family and friends in pursuit of a big dream in the Big Apple.

 

Filming her American reel

Chelsea lived in New York, New York for two years whilst undertaking her Associates Degree in Acting which she completed last year. While studying she surrounded herself with means to better herself as a performer including learning outside of a school environment, she networked, went to live shows, filmed short films, attended multiple auditions and was an assistant at a acting and modelling agency in the city in 2015.

She also attended her first red carpet event in New York City last September where her close friend Alexander Flores stars in the movie Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials as Winston.

 

Red Carpet Lovin’

Chelsea commented, “It was a very overwhelming experience being on the red carpet and having cameras flash in your face every 2 seconds in every single direction. I had never been on a red carpet before so I was just posing for photos and then I got out of there. But I was so happy to be there supporting Alex and he handled it like a pro, as always. Dazzling the fans and doing interview after interview. It was great. Oh and I should probably say the movie was great too!”

She was also lucky enough to attend The Scorch Trials after party where she spoke with the awesome cast, including leading lads Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Although Chels has recently moved to Los Angeles where her dreams continue to be more of a reality, New York will always hold a special place in her heart. Chelsea said that it had shaped the person she is today; she learned so much from the city and made lifelong connections and the best friends she will ever have. Does she miss home? She misses her family big time, vegemite toast, and although she’s met a great bunch of Aussie performers in LA; she still misses being surrounded by the Aussie accent.

In her element: in front of the camera

Talk about timing – she’s hit the sweet spot at the moment for film as La La Land enters pilot season (peak time for casting, producing or preparation of TV pilot episodes). She’s been keeping busy with her application for an artist visa, auditions left, right and center, networking, and acting for short films. Chelsea’s upcoming projects includes a short film about her story  written by filmmaker and photographer Steven Leone who has just wrapped up shooting a range of models in Europe.  The short film will star her and begins filming very soon. This 19 year old isn’t slowing down anytime soon.  Watch this space and remember her name, this girl is going places!

@chelseaglaw

Images via: Chelsea Glaw

Where’s Dory?

The 4 beautiful new Finding Dory posters were released and if this doesn’t get you excited for the Finding Nemo sequel, well sorry, we can no longer be friends. I’m kidding… Mostly…

I was 5 when I watched Finding Nemo (2003) and remember crying and laughing and occasionally holding my breath and pretending I was swimming with the characters – the same case scenario for any cute/magical movies set in the sea *cough* The Little Mermaid *cough*. Where was I going with this? Right! 

Finding Dory focuses on our amnesiac blue tang friend, played by everyone’s favourite TV Show host, Ellen DeGeneres, as she recalls memories of her home and family. Dory remembers something other than ‘P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney’? MIND BLOWING!

The 4 new posters double as a game which the kids or your inner child will love! It’s not too difficult since Dory probably finds it more of a challenge to find herself than we do:

  
     

 You can bet I’ll be going to an advanced screening! I cannot wait for June!  In the meantime, we can listen to Robbie Williams’ smooth smooth voice and imagine somewhere beyond the sea 😉

Images via: Finding Dory (Disney)

Watch: In ‘Me Before You’ Daenerys and Finnick Find Love

 

The first trailer for “Me Before You” based on the best-selling novel by Jojo Moyes was released and fans everywhere are already crazy for the movie directed by Thea Sharrock. The film starring Emilia Clarke (Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark) and Sam Claflin (Will Traynor) is the story of a young lady who knows many things except what the future holds and a young man who knows since his accident his world will continue to be bland black and white but doesn’t know that his world’s about to pop with colour. Little do they know the impact they will have on the other.

The evolution of the couple’s relationship in this trailer is enough to well up my eyes. Forget the tissues, give me a towel!

Me Before You is set to be released June, 2016

A Feministic Take On A Classic Fairy Tale

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I can’t believe it’s nearly 2016! So, before the year ends, I want to share with you a couple of my favourite moments.  In March, I was fortunate enough to be offered to watch a special screening of Cinderella and write on how feminism fits in with the story and Disney princesses.  Anyone who knows me knows I may have a little obsession with all things Disney, so I leaped at the chance! 😀  This was originally written then published by my city newspaper in March when the movie released but as it’s definitely one of my favourite pieces this year, I wanted to share it with you.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” ❤ 

The world’s favourite fairy tale classic, Cinderella, returns to the big screen once again, but with Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.

When we think of fairy tales, we think of princesses, fairy godmothers, cute animals and ‘happily ever after’s.  Did you ever think that Cinderella and some of your other beloved princesses are actually feminists?

Feminism isn’t about thinking, acting and working like a man.  It’s about having equality amoung the sexes.  The women’s movements during the 60s and 70s was not for girls and women to turn into boys and men but for females to have the choice and the chance to choose our own destinies.

Yes, Cinderella obeyed her stepmother, was mistreated by her and was basically a maid for her and her stepsisters.  She could’ve run away or stood up to her stepmother but she chose to follow her, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming and using her imagination.

If that doesn’t convince you, though she may or may not be your favourite character, the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, shows her authority around the house, ordering Cinderella what to do all the time. Set in the 50s, men would tell their wives and children what to do, but Cinderella’s father doesn’t have much say in the story.  The power stays with Lady Tremaine, her stepmother, which shows that Cinderella portrayed a woman as a strong and powerful character.

Disney’s earlier princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora) may not have been as courageous and feisty as some of the later girls (Mulan, Rapunzel, Merida and Elsa), but they were not just pretty faces.  They were always kind and hard working which are positive values, making them great role models.  The message of being true to yourself and following your dreams is written all over the story of Cinderella.  This is what feminism strives for – girls reaching for their dreams and making decisions in their own free will.  Just a reminder: It’s okay to dream, in fact, some of your greatest ideas will happen in a dream.  Use your imagination, that’s how new inventions and creations, came to be.  And always be kind, a beautiful heart is priceless and gets better with age. 

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Images: Disney

Christmas Playlist

You know it’s Christmas when carols are playing in every single store, pumping on Spotify, Guvera and iTunes Music. Covers on covers of Mariah’s best seller and the classics such as Jingle Bells and I’ll Be Home For Christmas.

Here are my favourite 17 versions of Christmas songs this year in alphabetical order:

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  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  2. Auld Lang Syne
  3. Carol of the Bells – Pentanoix man! #majestic
  4. Christmas Time Is Here – Daniela Andrade
  5. Christmas Waltz – Frank Sinatra
  6. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid

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7. Feliz Navidad – Michael Buble

8. Grown Up Christmas List – Amy Grant

9. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon

10. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams

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11. Jingle Bell Rock

12. Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix

13. Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) – Jessica Mauboy

14. Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan

15. Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt

16. Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande

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17. The Christmas Song – Christina Aguilera or Nat King Cole

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Gifs via Giphy.com

 

A Walk in a Winter Wonderland


*We live in the sunshine state in the Southern Hemisphere thus faux snow ❄️❄️❄️

On December 10, Warner Bros. Movie World held their annual White Christmas Community Charity Night, that launched the beginning of White Christmas 2015, and I was fortunate enough to attend and bring along some company (ty Marina Mirage).

At admissions

 

 

Elf tip: Leave home early to arrive early, the traffic struggle is real!


It happened to be storming on our way there which was a little worrying but Mother Nature cleared the sky not too long after we arrived, just before 6pm.

O Christmas Tree

The gorgeous and ginormous Christmas tree greeted us as we entered the park – not even the rain could dull its light.  Colourful themed foil balloons and light sabers being sold on carts, the ‘snow’ falling gently all around and excited children and adults alike getting into the Christmas spirit. The entire Gold Coast SUNS Team also participate in the event; White Christmas being the the biggest community event of the year for them.  The event allows thousands of the disadvantaged on the Gold Coast and their families to enjoy free entry to Movie World for the night, a free meal, the chance to get autographs and take photos with the SUNS players.  I’m so glad I was able to go to this year’s Charity Night as you see how Movie World and their partners really give back to the local community; to those who need it most.

When the mascot has hair fetish?!

Okay, so maybe the regular White Christmas nights aren’t the same as the Charity night but there are still loads of the same cool things happening and mounds more to offer:

There’s heaps to see, such as the snow (don’t eat it, we’re not that advance just yet), the dazzling display of more than one million lights at 7pm, and the special themed parade at 8pm where all the Looney Tunes Charcters, The Gingerbread Man, Frosty, Santa’s little helpers and the big fella himself come out to play on spectacular Christmas floats and sing and dance to Christmas carols.

Elf tip: Grab a good spot for the parade, Santa’s helpers hand out sweet treats!

There are also heaps of magical things to do too which are included in your ticket: like visit the fairies in the fairy garden, take an Elfie, take awkward family photos with full on matching beanies, scarves and Christmas shirts – capturing the awkward is easier than expected, take pics with Santa and if you’re lucky, the Looney Tunes in their Christmas wear, and of course experience the best rides Movie World has to offer like the Superman Escape, Batwing Spaceshot, Scooby Coaster and the rides in WB Kids (weather permitting)!  For an extra $28 for adults and just $13 for kids, you can also enjoy a delicious Christmas feast at Rick’s Cafe for event nights before Christmas Day, which include a traditional roast and Christmas pudding.  You can also decorate a yummy gingerbread man for $6 – best part is you get to eat it and don’t have to clean up your mess! There’s also the Elf Club and the North Pole Pass that you can book! 😀

Elf tip: Go watch the Ice Age Christmas 4D adventure in the Roxy theatre – definitely one of the best 4D experiences.

Super Awkward Family Photo

Awkward fam photo round 2

 

Smiling’s My Favourite

Not now Arctic Puffin!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie World’s White Christmas began on December 11 and will continue on selected days until December 31. Pre-booked tickets are selling quick so book online to guarantee you get a hold of the experience.  For more information, check out their website here.

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. Excuse me while I turn on the a/c, make myself some good hot chocolate and watch Polar Express. 🙂

Until next time, stay fabulous ❤

Know Your Enemy By Tasman Anderson Review

Know Your Enemy Cover

“We’re going burning.” Australian writer, journalist and author, Tasman Anderson’s first novel, Know Your Enemy is a really good read! It was fast-paced, high action, and engaging – a top job for a debut novel!

Nicole is desperate to leave Silverlake, the small town she’s spent her whole life in, and her plans for escape and her future career are all falling into place. But when the local heartthrob Aiden points out the one thing holding her back, Nicole’s response sets off a chain of bad decisions that leaves her second guessing everything she ever knew about herself.  Does Nic have what it takes to survive in this unknown world, or is she letting her desires ruin her life?

To be honest, my favourite character was Libby; with Aiden being a close second (one to add to the fictional crush list). Not too often I find myself loving the ‘best friend’, but Libby played an essential role in my eyes and her character developed really well. Anderson did a fantastic job at creating believable characters with no two people exactly alike. As a teenager with big aspirations myself, I could relate to Nicole and sympathised when her and the group were in trouble.

I enjoyed the style that Know Your Enemy was written in and appreciated the use of tension and showing and not simply telling, which was effective. However, I guessed the ‘plot twists’ that arose throughout the book including the ‘major bombshell’. Although I tend to enjoy chick-lit and dystopian, I do like a good dose of mystery and action and was eager to finish the novel. I don’t know much about cars but I loved the detail especially when it came to the upmarket drives! Based on my knowledge, there hasn’t been a story like this published yet so it was great to read a fresh storyline that included common yet important themes such as whether the truth really sets you free. I would recommend it to high schoolers looking for something fun and intense but don’t mind a little teenage drama and romance. Anderson’s, Know Your Enemy is an exciting YA read and I do look forward to reading her future works. I would rate it a 3.5/5 but round that off, it becomes 4 stars.

Rating:

****

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

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Rated: M

J.R.R Tolkeins cinematic adventures have finally come to a close with the final Hobbit movie. Originally titled There And Back Again and renamed by director Peter Jackson as the Battle of The Five Armies was the nail-biting close for The Hobbit franchise.

I hate to say it but I didn’t leave the theatre thrilled. The first two Hobbit movies were definitely waaaayy better than this. I was so engrossed by the first 2 films and there was heaps to love! The actors gave wonderful performances again this time, but unlike the actors, their characters had very little character development throughout the movie. Besides Thorin who overcomes dragon’s sickness, all the characters are kind of just existing.

I know many fans were disappointed in the romance between elf Tauriel and dwarf Kìli as it wasn’t originally in the book, but I didn’t mind it and thought it added some substance to the story and the feels got real. I did think that significant deaths were rushed… SPOILER ALERT! Fìli was next in line for the throne after Thorin and his death was portrayed like a squashed bug’s: minimum sadness and importance. Both Fìli and Kìli were two of the favourite characters in the trilogy and I don’t think enough significance was placed on their characters role in the film and subsequently their deaths, which was the result of fighting for their uncle.

The intensity was high throughout the entire film. The movie showed off priorities, bravery, courage, loyalty, love, and friendship tremendously which I liked a lot. I was satisfied and enjoyed the happy ending amongst all the tragedy and grief.

Rating:

***