Category Archives: That’s Entertainment

Fifty Shades Darker Premiere Event Recap & Movie Review!

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In celebration of the release of the highly anticipated Fifty Shades Darker, I’m posting pictures of the premiere event that I attended with my best friend, Janice!  I feel I should tell the story of what led up to this dream-come-true opportunity:  I follow a few social media accounts featuring Fifty Shades, including all of the official ones.  Those fan based social media accounts and blogs who have supported the books and movies since the beginning are a part of a select group called the “Official Fifty”.  I had read in one of the accounts that there would be a premiere party and masquerade ball where fans and those involved with the Fifty Shades franchise would be able to celebrate together then watch the actual movie.  The Official Fifty then started to let other fans know that we could also sign up to receive a special invite to join them at the event.  I took a risk and signed up, and then let my friend, Zach , know that I would take him if I were to be invited (I watched the original Fifty Shades of Grey movie with him in 2015).

As the time for the release of Darker drew closer, I started to see more and more of the Official Fifty post pictures of their invites, so I felt I was out of luck.  To my surprise, I received an email last Monday entitled “Your Invitation to Fifty Shades Darker Premiere”.  I opened the email and read the following:

Dear Cyrillynn Chen,

You and a guest are invited to the Fifty Shades Darker Premiere Event, and your RSVP IS REQUIRED to confirm your attendance.

Please RSVP no later than Wednesday, February 1st

Sincerely,

Universal Pictures

Stunned, I read the email over and over and just couldn’t believe my eyes.  I replied to ensure I would get into the event no matter what, then contacted Zach to let him know I received the tickets to the event!  Due to work and health reasons, Zach couldn’t make it, but Janice was more than happy to step in!  I made arrangements with my new job to leave early that day, and off we went to take part in an event to remember!

Janice and I made the trek from San Diego to Los Angeles and arrived just in time to get a quick bite to eat and change.  Thankfully, valet parking was provided for all guests free of charge!  The party itself started at 5:00 pm and was held at Vibiana, a wedding, events and performing arts venue.  The event was a beautiful masquerade ball made to emulate the one in the movie.  We were treated to delicious food, entertainment and lots of activities to participate in where we could take home souvenirs to prove it wasn’t all just a dream.  To our surprise, Eric Johnson (“Jack Hyde”) and Dana Brunetti (producer) made their way through the crowd and caused quite the stir.  I got the chance to say to Dana Brunetti how excited we were to see the movie, to which he replied “You will love it!”  Jose James, who appears in the movie in the masquerade ball scene, also entertained us for the evening.  The highlight was obviously when director James Foley and author EL James were joined on stage by the main stars Jamie Dornan (“Christian Grey”) and Dakota Johnson (“Anastasia Steele”).  They briefly thanked everyone for being there and headed to the theater to greet everyone and introduce the movie.  Right around 7:30 pm, fans were transported by shuttle bus to the gorgeous Theatre at Ace Hotel.


My Review of Fifty Shades Darker

(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD, AND REMEMBER TO STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS!)

What can I say about the movie other than Oh. My. God!  In hindsight, I see the initial movie of Fifty Shades of Grey was definitely a teaser or maybe a really well executed college project.  I have seen the first movie more times than I care to count, and I now see a bit of awkwardness between Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson that I had not noticed before, or maybe denied to myself because I wanted to defend my precious Fifty Shades.  But I attribute the awkwardness to being put in a situation where so much was asked of them physically as actors, before they really got to know each other as people.  I initially reviewed the intimate scenes as simply stylized to avoid being graphic, but I clearly was being too kind.  The more I think about it, the more I think the envelope could have been pushed in the first movie.  But again, being that Jamie and Dakota were “thrust” together and didn’t quite fully trust each other as actors and friends, they clearly made up for that fact in Darker.

James Foley is known for movies like At Close Range, Fear and the series House of Cards.  He definitely brought forth a different style and directorial maturity than Sam Taylor-Johnson, the director of the first movie.  I felt this was more of a suspenseful movie with a plot that revealed Christian Grey’s complicated life behind his alternative lifestyle.  I could feel the desire and love between Christian and Anastasia, despite having to navigate through all of the craziness in his life.  With Niall Leonard, EL James’ husband, as screen writer, James’ vision was more clear in Darker, and this movie catered to what the fans wanted, which was lacking a bit in Fifty Shades.  At the premiere, I could tell that there was more of a partnership and trust between James and Foley, which ultimately made this sequel far better than the first.

When I compare Darker to Fifty Shades, Darker is paced more quickly, which allows time for more of the scenes we as fans wanted to see from the book.  Fifty Shades had longer scenes, but not necessarily of the ones I wanted to see.  For instance, quite a bit of time was spent on the interview scene, but not enough time in Georgia.  Christian seemed to be more aloof in the Fifty Shades movie than in the book, which is where I think Jamie was criticized for being a bit stiff in his initial portrayal.  Again, I think the chemistry is a bit off in the first movie because Jamie and Dakota did not know each other well enough to be as comfortable with the more intimate scenes.  In Fifty Shades, Jamie skimmed Dakota’s body rather than ravage it as Christian does in the books.  In Darker, all that has gone away and I do recall Jamie saying in an interview that he and Dakota decided to just go for it, since they had time to build up a true friendship which created the trust needed to go as far as they did.  To me, that’s what shows in this movie, a definite closeness between the two main characters, which makes for hotter scenes that pleasantly shocked me.

I also noticed gaps in Fifty Shades that I filled in myself because I know the books so well.  For instance, Christian says in the elevator right after their first kiss, “What is it about elevators?”  Although that’s a line straight out of the book, what’s missing is seeing a couple who was giggling in an elevator after also getting caught kissing prior to them going in.  Later, when Christian and Ana are getting ready to go to dinner at his parents, he asks Ana “Do you got everything you need?”  She remarks knowingly “Yeah”.  Well, what movie-goers don’t know that fans do, is that Ana’s panties are missing, which means she is going to meet his parents sans underwear, which drives him crazy throughout the evening.  Darker is more of a complete movie that can actually stand alone if needed.  Christian’s horrifying childhood is more fleshed out with flashbacks and they refer back to the original movie by mentioning why Christian was so eager to get out of Georgia (Leila), why he can’t bear to be touched, and the actual introduction of Elena.

I also found more humor and lightness amid the drama in Christian’s life.  Jamie mentioned in another interview that the funnier moments are now evenly dispersed between the two, and I find myself so drawn to their cuteness as a couple.  In one scene, Anastasia wanders into The Red Room and Christian catches her there.  He said that Ms. Jones must have left the door unlocked and Anastasia says something to the effect of “What does she do in here…dust?”  In another funny scene where a certain piece of sexual paraphernalia is finally introduced (true fans will know what I’m talking about), Christian gives Anastasia the “second chance” Cartier earrings he meant to give to her previously, prior to the masquerade ball.  Christian then says “Don’t worry, these are for your ears,” much to Ana’s relief!

Still apparent in Darker is Anastasia’s strength.  Despite all that happens with her boss Jack Hyde, meeting Elena Lincoln and her run-in with Christian’s ex-sub Leila Williams, Anastasia provides the emotional stability Christian needs and desires.  Most of the scenes that we love from the book showing their developing emotional intimacy come alive on film: the “road-map” scenes, Christian as submissive, their confrontation with Elena and the proposal scenes are all present and accounted for.  In all of those instances, it is Ana who is the most honest because this is her first real relationship, where Christian’s relationships were always premeditated and outlined in contracts that eventually terminated.  Ana knows that does not a relationship make, and Christian eventually comes to that realization as well.  What Foley does well in this film is marry all of Christian’s past with their sexual and emotional discovery, creating a nicely packaged erotic thriller.

Some wants that didn’t come to life on-screen:  They didn’t use the “Put the chicken in the fridge” line prior to their first sexual encounter in Anastasia’s apartment; the pool table scene, which was filmed and cut from this version (I hope and pray there will be another “extended cut” with that scene added); and Hugh Dancy does not make any appearance, nor is there any mention of Dr. Flynn.  Despite those missing parts, Darker was more exciting, thrilling, sensual and emotional than Fifty Shades of Grey.  Foley’s tenure in film far exceeds Taylor-Johnson’s and although she gave it the good old college try, it just doesn’t stack up to Fifty Shades Darker.  I cannot wait to see it again tonight (with Zach)!


Photos from the Masquerade Ball Premiere Party

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Our bracelets for the event, as taken by Janice.

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Our first selfie inside the ball.  Doesn’t it look like Christian Grey is walking behind us?

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We received free masks, along with our ticket for the movie premiere.

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Earl Grey Tea and Macarons

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We had plenty of food and drinks, some of it served by mysterious gentlemen in masks!

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Lovely “Shades of Red” lipsticks provided by Sisley.

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From the top left: Myself with producer Dana Brunetti; Eric Johnson making his way through the uber-excited crowd; Jose James performing.

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I had to include this picture as taken by Instagram user @fiftydornan because that’s me behind Eric Johnson…looking shocked that he just walked through the crowd!

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EL James, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and James Foley.  What a treat for them to be there!

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Fun souvenirs from the magical evening!

I really loved the 360 camera.  We were in quite a line, but it was so worth the wait!

Stop the Presses: "Grey" Will Be Released 6/18/15!

greyfullYou truly have to be living under the proverbial rock not to know about the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey.  If you are a devotee as I am (just type in “Fifty” into the search engine on my blog to see for yourself), then you’ve heard the wonderful news today that EL James has decided to release Grey, which is Fifty Shades of Grey as told from Christian Grey’s point of view (blog post of the press release here).

Fans all know that Erika gave us a tease of Christian’s POV at the end of Fifty Shades Freed, which left us all bereft and needing more (typical Christian).  So now here’s our chance to put down all of the fan fiction and read the real thing.

I’m beyond excited!  Thank you Erika for listening to the fans and giving us this wonderful present…on Christian Grey’s birthday!

(Photo courtesy of EL James Official Site)

We Aim To Please: My Review of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" Movie

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While it’s fresh on my mind, I would like to get my thoughts about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie out there in the open, since I’ve spoken about it so much on all of my social media and even this blog.  I want to start by posting links to two reviews I completely agree with.  While neither of them are completely favorable, they do explain why the movie works and why it’s such a phenomenon.

Bondage stakes its claim on the multiplex as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele transition steamily from best-seller to the big screen. – “Fifty Shades of Grey”: Film Review from The Hollywood Reporter

Why “Fifty Shades” is breaking records, despite the haters – The New York Post

I will say here and now that I really enjoyed the movie, and I had a great time going with my friend Zach, especially being amongst a sold out crowd of people who love the books as much as we do.  I have not been one to claim these books are a literary triumph, but I have stated in my original review of the Fifty Shades trilogy that this is pure escapism for me because I am able to become lost in the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.

And contrary to the many condescending reviews, women aren’t watching “Fifty Shades” for life lessons on healthy dating. They aren’t under the impression that it’s a documentary. And they aren’t overly concerned that its story line is flimsy; they’re watching “Fifty Shades” for plot subtlety just like men in the ’60s bought Playboy “for the articles.”

It’s called fantasy, and if you’re going to argue it’s the wrong kind, I’d like to see some equivalent write-ups on the appropriateness of the majority of the adult films guys watch online every day. – Sarah Stewart, The New York Post

Those paragraphs so aptly summarize why I went to see Fifty Shades Of Grey.  Critics and “haters” must really think so poorly of those of us who are reading these books (I hate the moniker “mommy porn”).  They can’t all possibly believe that myself and millions of others are reading these books because we actually look at these as guides to a certain kind of lifestyle or relationship.  I’m well aware of how Christian Grey appears in the book, and for the most part, I felt he was stalking Ana in the beginning.  What endears me to this trilogy is Ana’s ability to still be herself and that she “hangs on to her free will” throughout.  She beguiled this man who is as tragically handsome as he is damaged.  Maybe there is no possible way that someone like Ana could change someone like Christian in “real life”, but I love that someone has made up the fantasy that it could.

IMG_4716So many reviews state that Jaime Dornan doesn’t posses the chops that it takes to portray the marred man behind the billionaire that is Christian Grey.  But I disagree and I believe that Dornan plays him just as he should be: aloof, dark and brooding until he is lust-struck by Anastasia.  No one can explain chemistry between two people, but it happens.  This is fantasy at it’s most appropriate definition:  Powerful billionaire falls for the unsuspecting everyday girl.  Outside of the sometimes hokey catch-phrases (“Welcome to my world” or “I’m fifty shades of f-ed up”), Dornan does do what he’s supposed to do, and that’s to portray Christian Grey’s struggle of why this sweet college girl has him all up in knots.

In that glass box, Dornan seems lacking as the stormy-eyed Grey, displaying little of the animal magnetism of the serial killer he plays on BBC series The Fall (indirectly referenced in an exchange of in-joke dialogue). But his performance quickly grows fascinating in its containment, revealing a disturbingly more animated side of Grey when he next encounters Ana. With a suddenness that wouldn’t be out-of-place in a horror thriller, he shows up in the aisles of the hardware store where she works and leaves her deeply flustered as she helps him with a shopping list of items — rope and cable ties among them — whose true purpose she’ll soon understand.

Except for his prowess at pleasuring women, everything is slightly off in Grey, from the not-quite-swagger of entitlement to the not-quite-revealed memories of a wounded childhood. In his first major big-screen performance, Dornan creates a remarkable range within Grey’s tightly wound intensity. When he takes Ana up in a magnificent glider, both characters let go, and the two leads wordlessly evince very different forms of unhinged joy, equally affecting. – Sheri Linden – The Hollywood Reporter

What has me wanting to see this movie again is the portrayal of Dakota Johnson as Anastasia.  Johnson portrays the best part of Ana and infuses strength into her innocence, yet provides her with a spunkiness that would absolutely draw someone like Christian Grey to her.  She seems a bit shy and a bit awkward at first in the interview scene at Grey’s office, but little bits of her gumption start to peak through.  One of my favorite parts is when Ana drunk-dials Christian while at a night club and does a funny bit where she asks about why Christian sent her the expensive books then proceeds to tell him how he pushes her away, then pulls her in, only to push her away again.  The other scene that I love is when they are discussing the contract and what she will and won’t do, and how she is completely disarming him with her ability to discuss hard limits, although he knows she doesn’t have any true perspective of what she’s getting into.  I absolutely felt Christian’s heat during this sexy exchange of words, which causes him to undo his tie slightly.

First seen looking in a mirror, Anastasia is a figure defined by self-discovery. She’s embarking on postcollege life at the same time that she experiences a physical awakening that she never would have imagined. Although the character’s literary leanings are as flatly drawn as Grey’s vague philanthropic undertakings and high-powered tech-biz talk, Johnson is captivating. Her facial features recall both her parents (Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson), but she’s very much her own actor.

With a loose-limbed naturalness, she conveys naiveté, intellectual curiosity and romantic yearning, and shows the unassuming Ana’s newfound thrill at being seen, however complicated the man holding her in his admiring gaze. She’s open and vulnerable but no fool. Best of all, Johnson and her director embrace Ana’s paradox: She snickers at Christian’s predilections, but they also turn her on. – Sheri Linden – The Hollywood Reporter

Finally, I like that the sex scenes and the playroom are stylized.  This is BDSM that is “safe” for consumption and isn’t meant to be hardcore.  I read a review that it’s a shame we never see Anastasia truly climax.  The intimate scenes are meant to show Ana’s sexual self-discovery and since I’ve read the books, I know how to fill in the gaps of what happens next without needing them to be gratuitous.  I watched the movie to see Christian and Anastasia’s romantic tension personified, which then allows me to re-read the next installment with them in mind, anticipating what director Sam Taylor-Johnson has planned next for Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed (now that there is confirmation that the trilogy will all come to life).

I would highly suggest that if you are going to see the movie and have not read the books, to go read the books first:  All. Of. Them.  Not only will it fill in some gaps regarding Christian’s company and Ana’s relationships with her roommate and other minor characters, but you’ll get a bit more perspective on Christian Grey in a few chapters that EL James provides at the end of Fifty Shades Freed.  While reading the trilogy, keep this at the forefront always:  This isn’t supposed to be Pride & Prejudice.  This is Fifty Shades of Grey, and I’m so glad it’s now on celluloid because not only am I going to watch it again on the big screen, but I’ll be purchasing the deluxe set once it comes out on DVD so that I can relive the experience again and again, just for my inner goddess.

IMG_4713FYI:  The soundtrack is fantastic!  I love listening to it while re-reading the series…

Mr. Grey Will See You Now…

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Can you believe it’s FINALLY that time for the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie?  I first posted my review of trilogy back in 2012 (original post here), and after much anticipation, my friend Zach and I are going to see it tonight.  We have been planning this for the better part of a year, and I bought our tickets over a month ago for the preview because we just couldn’t wait.  Are you going to see the movie?  Please leave it in the comments below. Laters, baby!

(My #fangirl memorabilia pictured from top left, clockwise:  Original movie soundtrack; ticket confirmation for the movie preview; buttons from Comic Con given to me by my sister; special Newsweek edition purchased last week; my original soft cover book prior to the new one updated for the movie.)

Lovely Las Vegas: Swingin' with Matt Goss

IMG_4316 (2)Does anyone remember Bros?  You know, the UK pop super-group featuring Matt & Luke Goss and their childhood friend Craig Logan?  No?  Well, I remember Bros very well.  My sister, our friend Susan and I were a part of thousands of  “Brosettes” back in the late 80’s, fans of the British sensation.  I even joined their fan club called “The Bros Front” because we were desperate to get any and all information on a band that was so scarce in the US.  After Craig left and after their second album, I sort of lost track of them.  It wasn’t until Luke Goss appeared in a few movies my husband likes that I wondered what Matt was doing.  Lo and behold, as we were driving through McCarran Airport with our newly born son in tow to show off to our Las Vegas family back in 2009, I saw a huge billboard with Matt Goss’ gorgeous face on it, larger than life.  I vowed that we would see that show one day.

Matt Goss Collage 2That day came last Friday, when I decided it was high time we take in Matt Goss’ show at The Gossy Room in Caesars Palace while we were on our Thanksgiving holiday with the family.  I was SO excited to see his show because I purchased VIP tickets to ensure we would meet him.  To really make the night special, I made sure my hubby and I were dressed in our retro finest.  As we entered, a photographer took our picture, which we could purchase at the end of the show.  Since we were VIP, we were treated to my choice of where I wanted to sit, so I sat us both right up front, taking in all of the musical action up close and personal!

I really don’t think words could describe exactly what we witnessed that night.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, except to see more of what Matt did on The Queen Latifah show when he performed the single, I Do, from his latest album, Life You Imagine, which I thought was brilliant.  Both my husband and I were in awe of what Matt brought to the stage.  To say his voice has matured is an understatement.  What I remember from the days of Bros has evolved into a strong, yet soothing voice where all of his feelings are reflected so powerfully.  The show was interactive, energetic, entertaining, funny, full of emotion and lots of respect for those who came before him in that very hotel.  His band was fantastic, back up singers were adorable, and those lovely yet sultry “Dirty Virgins” dancers complimented him perfectly, adding just the right bit of sexiness.

Matt Goss Collage 1I knew Matt would perform some Sinatra songs (he did Lucky Be A Lady and I’ve Got The World on a String), but he also played his own takes on Hotel California by The Eagles and Superstition by Stevie Wonder.  Matt also played songs off his new album, but what surprised me the most was hearing swing versions of Bros songs.  In fact, he leads into the songs by saying something about he’s not going to play Cat Amongst The Pigeons, don’t ask him to play Drop The Boy, but he may play I Owe You Nothing (all off Bros’ first multi-platinum album Push).  So in my excitement, I squealed out loud, “You have to play When Will I Be Famous!”  Without missing a beat, on came a swing version of When Will I Be Famous, followed by I Owe You Nothing.  It felt like I was a part of the act because it happened so organically, but I knew it was by design.  Matt definitely understands that British patrons would know who he is and where he came from, in addition to diehard fans like myself, from back in the days of Bros.

Signed Life You Imagine 11.28.2014There were definitely heartfelt moments, especially when Matt brought up the recent passing of his mother and that his step father was in attendance that night.  I could tell that there was a lot of emotion coming out of him during the song Strong and another lovely song off the new album called The Day We Met, which I interpret as a song of hope and regret: the regret of a past love, but the hope of moving on and finding love again.  The show ends with full energy with the song Lovely Las Vegas, Matt’s ode to the town that he has come to know and love in this stage of his career.

With Matt Goss 11.28.2014

After the show, guests who were VIP were treated to a meet and greet, where you could have items autographed and take home souvenir pictures taken by a photographer.  Originally, I was going to bring my old Bros 12 inch singles for Matt to sign, but I’m a bit glad I didn’t this time around because it gave us more time to chat with him.  Matt is kind, gracious, funny, confidently dapper (his Christian Louboutin shoes were to die for) and extremely good-looking in person (I’m sorry, but I had to state the obvious).  He was very complimentary towards us, mentioning to Deon and I how he really loved that we came dressed up to his show.  I explained that I was a Bros fan back in the day, and that I wasn’t sure what to expect, but that I was pleasantly surprised and thought his show was spectacular.  He thanked us again, and asked if we could spread the word about his show down in San Diego.  He and Deon had a bit of a discussion about their toppers, where Matt mentioned he was going to be dabbling in millinery, designing his own line of hats.  As we were leaving, Matt kissed my hand, did a double take and said, “Wait!  Your hand was on Twitter!”  This flattered and shocked me all at the same time because I did post a picture of my new manicure on Instagram (which is connected to my Twitter and Facebook accounts), which I did hashtag with his name!

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Although the show was simply amazing, and I will definitely be back to see it all again, the highlight of the evening was after the show.  First, I went back inside to get our picture with Matt autographed (pictured above), which resulted in another hug (*squeal*).  After we officially left The Gossy Room to go visit Deon’s friend Katie at Planet Hollywood, we sat down in the casino for a bit to recover from all of the excitement.  I went to take a picture of Matt’s poster when he and his entourage passed by us.  We waved at him, and he waved back, then sauntered over to us and said “Group hug!” embracing the both of us.  He asked what I was doing, to which I sheepishly replied “Taking a picture of your poster…”  He then suggested “Why don’t we do a selfie?”  REALLY?!  Of course, my phone took that opportunity to fail on me because I used up all of the memory.  I said exasperatingly, “My thingy isn’t working,” which prompted Matt to reply, “Your thingy isn’t working??”  In comes Deon to the rescue and his phone was used to take the AMAZING selfie below, which I immediately put on Instagram.  He then mentioned again how much he loved our attire and said we should dress like that every time we to out, and with a wave good-bye, off he went into the night.

What an amazing time, all thanks to an amazing man.  Thank you Matt for making us feel absolutely special.  You are a true entertainer, and an even truer gentleman.  To my readers: if you are spending the weekend in Las Vegas anytime soon, I highly suggest and wholeheartedly recommend seeing Matt Goss’ show.  You will be treated to one of the best shows on The Strip!

IMG_4323 (2)(Edited to add:  Thank YOU Matt for Tweeting this blog post…YOU are so sweet!)

Fashionable & Fun Events This Weekend!

Need “Something To Do” this weekend?  Check out some fun events below!

(Yup, I worked a Depeche Mode song in there…)


Grand Opening of George’s Camera:  Friday & Saturday, November 14 & 15 2014

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To celebrate the grand opening of George’s Camera on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, The Tamron Tailgate Tour will be stopping by for a “Fun Educational Photo Experience”, which includes FREE photography mini-sessions, answering all of your photography questions, test driving new products, and a luncheon on the first day of the stop.

Who: George’s Camera
What: Grand Opening at Clairemont Mesa location
Tamron Tailgate Tour
Tailgate lunch
Where:
7475 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92111
When:
Friday, November 14, 9am to 5:30pm.  The Tamron Tailgate Tour will be stopping in San Diego to provide guests with fun photography training and a tailgate lunch. Participants can get answers from experts and try out the latest Tamron technology. Amateurs, hobbyists and professionals are welcome.
Saturday, November 15, camera manufacturers will have representatives on site. Free classes will be ongoing from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., as well as various photo booths for guests to get behind and in front of the camera.

GRACEDbyGRIT x Core40 Trunk Show:  Saturday, November 15 2014
Graced by Grit

GRACEDbyGRIT is teaming up with CORE40 to bring you another trunk show, and you’re invited!

Based in San Diego, GRACEDbyGRIT gear is designed with a combo of form and fashion, making it the only workout gear you need. Our apparel is multi-functional, meaning you can wear GRACEDbyGRIT to a Pilate’s workout then go for a swim at Solana Beach right after.

GRACEDbyGRIT understands what it takes to be a woman and through their apparel, they celebrate the strength behind every woman’s story.

Attendees will enjoy a raffle, champagne, and more!

Who: GRACEDbyGRIT x Core40
Fashion Week San Diego Wearables Workshop: Sunday November 16, 2014
Wearables Workshop Event
Imagine a purse that charges your phone, or a watch that changes your life. These fashionable accessories will be trending in our society sooner than you probably even realize, and FWSD wants to give you the exclusive insider scoop!
Note:  This workshop will feature San Diego Style Bloggers – Vanessa Balli and Maria Von Losch!

Shaken, Not Stirred: 50 Years of James Bond

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It’s crazy to think that super spy extraordinaire, 007, has been shaking and stirring things up since Ian Flemming created his James Bond character back in 1953.  My mom has been a long time fan of Mr. Bond and I remember when my parents brought home “The Connery Classics” 007 video collection (part of it is pictured above).  I believe the very first Bond movie I watched was either From Russia With Love or Goldfinger, but I’ll have to admit that I only really started paying attention when the theme music started to include artists that I knew like “For Your Eyes Only” as performed by Sheena Easton and of course “A View To a Kill” by Duran Duran.  It was very interesting to read in John Taylor’s book In the Pleasure Groove how Duran Duran got involved with doing the theme for A View To A Kill:

I went with Janine [one of John Taylor’s ex-girlfriends] to a party Michael Caine was having at Langan’s in honor of that year’s Wimbledon tennis final, and I recognized Cubby Broccoli, the producer of the James Bond films, sitting at a table.

Janine introduced me and we got to chatting.

I said, “When are you going to have a decent theme song again?”

He said, “Well, do you want to write the next one?”

I said, “Absolutely.”

When I got home, I called the guys, told them “I think we have a crack at the next Bond film.”

– From the chapter “Megalomania At The Wheel”

I was just looking at the list of Bond movie theme songs and honestly, I completely forgot that A-Ha did the “The Living Daylights” theme (I’ll have to go back and listen to that).  I will have to say that other than “A View To A Kill”, Adele’s “Skyfall” is my favorite Bond theme. She was amazing on the Oscars.

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I’ve been thinking about “the spy who loved me” recently because of the 50th anniversary, and I just realized that my husband and I have seen the last three James Bond movies together.  We have really taken a shine to Skyfall, which we saw in the theaters last November (he loved it so much that he brought home the DVD, pictured below).  What I enjoyed about Skyfall is that it felt more like the old James Bond movies in that it had a bit of cheekiness to it.  Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace felt very heavy and dramatic compared to any of the ones with Pierce Brosnan just prior.  Skyfall had a touch of that cheekiness, mainly due in part to the interaction between Daniel Craig and Naomi Harris.  It made me finally believe that Daniel Craig was James Bond.

Cheers to James Bond and his adventures in the last 50 years and those to come.  I’m raising my martini in your honor 007!

(This post was written in collaboration with Veronica Stone.)