I hauled these two ages ago (CoverGirl Star Wars Collection) and could’ve sworn I’ve already reviewed them but I can’t find anything on my blog so I guess it must’ve slipped my mind. In any case, I am not a Star Wars fan. In fact, I’m instantly turned off watching anything that has the word “star” in it (for example Star Trek). Unfortunately, my older brother is a super-fan and consequentially has been forcing us (friends&family) to watch everything and anything with “star” in the name, as far back as I can remember. As with most traumatic experiences, my coping mechanism was to block it all out. I vaguely remember a little girl with short blonde curls being fed something by Ewoks (I hate that I even know what Ewoks are) but that’s pretty much it. As such, when my younger brother and I decided to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we were pretty much lost for the majority of the movie. In hindsight, maybe we should’ve youtubed it or something to refresh our memories, before watching the newest one. I recognized Adam Driver (because he’s on another show I watch called Girls) as Kylo Ren, and of course Harrison Ford as Han Solo, but that’s pretty much it. The point I’m trying to make is I didn’t purchase these two lipsticks because I’m a Star Wars fan. I only purchased them because 1) Limited Edition and therefore Collectible 2) Possible dupe for my long-discontinued MAC Relic lipstick 3) The colors I picked up were pretty unique 4) Pretty cool packaging, regardless.
I’d purchased CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Silver 10 and CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Lilac 20 from drugstore.com (which was shut down) in the hopes that one of them could be a possible dupe for Relic (long discontinued MAC lipstick).
I like that there are color swatches at the bottom of the packaging. I mean, I automatically know what this is when I’m grabbing for it, due to the over-all unique (limited edition) packaging but still it’s a nice touch nonetheless.
The swatch on the left is Silver (10) and the swatch on the right is Lilac (20). I know what you’re thinking but I promise you, they are not identical.
Same order, different angle.
There we go! This should help demonstrate the iridescent quality of those lipsticks.
Okay, so both Silver (bottom) and Lilac (top) are actually pretty sheer, with Silver being the sheerer of the two. That’s actually perfect because I remember Relic being translucent enough that my natural lip color was always peeking through. However, I don’t remember if Relic was shimmery or not but these two are quite shimmery. In fact, Lilac is almost glitter-y and whenever I wipe Lilac off my lips, the shimmers migrate to my cheeks and refuse to budge. Unlike Relic which was a MAC lipstick and had that vanilla scent that all MAC lipsticks have, these CoverGirl lipsticks were unscented (unless you count the scent of lipstick which is a pretty distinctive scent) Interestingly enough, Silver wears off to a beautiful reddish tint on the lips whereas Lilac wears off to a berry tint.
Relic was a grey/silver lilac/mauve iridescent translucent lipstick (I dunno’, it’s been a while, just roll with it). I cannot in good faith claim that either one is a dupe for Relic because it’s been years since I’ve last used it (let alone seen a tube of it) but I’m happy enough with both Silver and Lilac (alternating between the two) as a substitute for Relic.
28 Days Later is one of my top three favorite movies of all time! In case you are wondering, the other two favorites are Green Street Hooligans and Hostel. I love all three of those movies, equally! I rarely re-read the same book, or re-watch the same tv show (can’t stand Friends reruns) or even watch the same movie twice. I’m not saying I never do it. I’m saying I rarely do it because I feel like it’s pointless (since I already know what’s going to happen). That said, I’ve re-watched those three a handful of times already. The fact that two out of three of my favorite movies are horror should prove to you how enamored I am by the horror genre. I figured I’d stick to the Halloween theme and review 28 Days Later. Incidentally, Danny Boyle’s Birthday was actually two days ago. Aside from directing 28 Days Later (2002), Boyle has also directed the movies Trainspotting (1996), The Beach (2000), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), 127 Hours (2010), and Steve Jobs (2015).
At the start of the movie, we are briefly shown a research lab where animals are forced to watch atrocities on several screens to be “infected” with rage, as the scientists’ objective is to cure it. A handful of well-meaning activists free the animals and that’s how the “infection” spreads. Not once are they called “zombies” in the movie because they aren’t zombies in the traditional sense. The idea behind the infection is that it greatly amplifies rage that’s already within us (road rage, etc…) and thus the “infected” start “raging” rendering them zombie-like as they display ebola-like physical symptoms (blood out of most orifices, etc…). Fast-forward to 28 Days Later and Jim is just waking up in a hospital, from a coma (sound familiar?), to an abandoned Britain. All I can say is Danny Boyle did a magnificent job because the chilling scenes of a post-apocalyptic Britain made my blood run cold! Watching Jim‘s lone figure walk around the empty streets, you instantly feel empathy for the guy. At one point, he starts scooping money into a plastic bag, bless him. Naturally, his first stop is his home, to check on his family.
Even when Jim comes across an infected priest in a random church who attacks him, Jim fights him off, then proceeds to apologize to him, the poor dear! Here’s what I find especially interesting; unlike most zombies I’d seen in other movies (up to that point), the “infected” (not really zombies but close enough) were quite fast! It turns out Boyle had hired athletes to play the part of the “infected”. Zombies or “infected” are scary enough as is, but with the extra element of speed, they were straight up terrifying! It’s pretty much standard nowadays for the threat (zombies, infected, vampires, aliens, ghosts, etc…) to be speed-y but around the time this movie was released, it still wasn’t a “thing” when it came to zombies, so that was pretty cool to see.
Luckily, Jim comes across Selena who is much better equipped at dealing with this new world. I like to think of her as the O.G. Michonne (strong black woman with mad skills)! Selena and Jim go on to meet a handful of other survivors (friends and foes alike) but I don’t want to go into too much detail on the off-chance that you still haven’t seen the movie yet. Basically, the focus shifts from Man vs Infected to Man vs Man making you wonder who the real monsters are; the infected or the humans.
There’s something incredibly satisfying about watching Jim evolve from someone who actually apologized to an “infected” at the start of the movie, into a full-on bad-ass! That was the highlight of the movie for me! Cillian Murphy did a great job in his portrayal of the ever-so-endearing Jim. I also loved the shots of an eerily empty London! Can’t imagine that was easy to achieve. The scenes where the “infected” were charging ahead was also amazingly shot (handheld camera?) making the already tense situation even more terrifying! The soundtrack echoed the mood of every scene perfectly! I especially loved two scores in particular; the playful upbeat song when they were having fun shopping at the abandoned supermarket and the ominous thrilling tune that played when Jim went all ninja on them. All in all, the soundtrack was perfection! I especially love what the Brits call “banter” between the characters (everything sounds way cooler with a British accent)!
I’d rented a bootleg copy of the movie while abroad and instantly fell in love with it, to the extent that as soon as this was released on DVD, I quickly purchased my own copy (via Amazon) back in Kuwait. As I said before, I rarely watch the same movie more than once, but I’ll actually sit through this and watch the whole thing all over again whenever I catch it on tv (Showtime). That’s how much I love this movie! It also spawned a comic series and a graphic novel but I haven’t read either one. I would have included a trailer but Cillian Murphy is fully naked when he first wakes up in the hospital bed. There’s also lots of obscenities, blood, and violence in the movie so consider yourself warned. Some might argue that the “infected” weren’t actually zombies so technically this wasn’t really a zombie movie, but I classify it as such. I’ve always loved zombie flicks, always have, always will but in all honestly, some of them can come across as quite ridiculous and over the top. Over-zealous spraying of blood everywhere (just for the sake of having a gory movie), silly story-lines riddled with holes, zero character development, cheap scares, and lazy special effects are just some of the things that can ruin a zombie movie for me. This movie didn’t suffer from any of those faults. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the sequel 28 Weeks Later which was a mess (they had kids in it and everything, in their attempt to make it more mainstream). The result was something very different from the charming B-movie that was the original. That’s actually part of why I adore B-movies, as the focus tends to be more on the story. To tie it in with my earlier post (The Long Walk), Stephen King bought out an entire showing of the film in New York City, as Stephen King is a huge fan of the movie 28 Days Later and would even go on to paraphrase Selena‘s lines in his novel Doctor Sleep. If you still haven’t seen it yet, you must! 28 Days Later was such a sophisticated zombie movie!
On Sunday October 19, 2016 I was invited to watch the 10:15pm showing of Deepwater Horizon in 4DX at 360 Mall. The last time I’d experienced anything remotely similar was back in the summer of 1997, at a Honey, I Shrunk the Audience 4D film (spin-off of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series) at Epcot in Walt Disney World (near Orlando, Florida). I can’t remember much from that specific attraction because I was a kid at the time but I do remember wearing the 3D glasses and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Also, I distinctly remember being sneezed on which was the grossest thing ever, as water was lightly sprayed on us (the audience) in correlation with character sneezing on-screen. We were also jostled around a bit in our chairs. Based on that experience, I figured Deepwater Horizon in 4DX would be more of the same; being lightly sprayed with water, slight jostling of the seats, etc…
Deepwater Horizon is yet another Hollywood Distaster Movie (which I actually enjoy). We’ve got a star-studded cast from John Malkovich (who is a pretty decent actor and incidentally was also featured in my favorite video game franchise Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare), Kate Hudson (adored by all girls alike for her roles in popular romantic comedies a la How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and the like), Dylan O’Brien (cute as button as Stiles the neurotic side-kick on MTV’s Teen Wolf and also starred in Maze Runner), Gina Rodriguez (star of the hit show Jane The Virgin), Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight), and Marky Mark (it feels like he’s been in everything, at this point).
The movie is a dramatization of the April 2010 drilling rig disaster that took place off the coast of New Mexico. You might probably remember seeing, hearing, or reading something about it because it was all over the news, for the longest time. As a matter of fact, it was actually recorded in history as the largest man-made disaster, ever. Even though at the start of the movie, they dumbed down the concept for us (the viewers) in the form of a school project (honey, can of soda, explosion), I still didn’t get it. So for the first 30 minutes of the movie, I was totally lost, but that’s fine because we were still being introduced to new characters (so I was still entertained). At one point, I literally choked on my nachos (John Malkovich‘s character has a New Orleans drawl in the movie, transforming “this” into “dis”, and “then” into “den”, you get da’ idea?) so that gave me a good giggle. Once the movie picked up pace and the action sequences started, I got a lot more into it, sort of forgetting about the “logistics” (the hows and the whys), and just enjoying the movie.
As for the 4D experience, let’s just say experience is right! For starters, two more of our friends who were also invited, had to back out because the wife had a bun in the oven and apparently it’s not recommended nor allowed for pregnant woman to experience 4D. As for myself, it had been a long work day and I could barely keep my eyes open so I’d chugged a Venti-sized Pumpkin Spice Latte on my way to 360 Mall. Honestly, I’d smuggled my drink in (the waiting area) but once I saw the signs dissuading us from bringing hot drinks into 4D movies, I decided to chug what was left before tossing the whole thing out, because even though it wasn’t that hot anymore, I just didn’t want to risk spilling anything on myself. Big mistake. As the camera would pan in showing us the underwater sequences, our chairs would dip forward ever-so-slowly, giving us that sickening stomach-dropping sensation. It was also coupled with gusts of cold wind every now and then but I didn’t mind that as much. When the main characters were transported from the mainland to the drilling rig on a chopper, we were jostled from side-to-side for the duration of their flight. It wasn’t violent jostling but it wasn’t light jostling either. I felt that my drink was going to come right back up, to the extent that I jokingly (read: not jokingly) asked my friend if she’d be okay with me projectile vomiting on her. Her reply was, “Please, don’t”, so naturally I had to oblige and keep it down but I did the next best thing I could think of; stuffing my face. I started munching on my nachos hoping it would settle my stomach (hey, I dunno how Biology works, okay?). When the first explosion took place on-screen, in addition to the jostling of our seats and the gusts of cold wind, I felt a thump at the back of my chair. It wasn’t painful at all but it was annoying, akin to when a kid sits behind you on a plane and keeps kicking your chair. As we saw the aftermath of that first explosion on-screen, the lights started strobing and fog appeared at the front of the theater. I also started noticing a strange scent but figured it was probably due to the fog. That’s also the first time I noticed the “rain” as I felt a single droplet of water on my forehead. Suspecting the worst, I ran my hand over my hair and found that my hair was indeed damp as it had been “raining” on and off ever since the movie began. Every 4D chair gives you the option of turning the water on/off but I chose to keep it on. I was wearing a sleeve-less, high-low, zip-front, hoodie so I just pulled up the hood, to cover my hair. So to recap, you’ve got jostling of the seats, cold gusts of wind, flashing lights, mists of rain, fog, a strange scent, and the whacking of the back of your chair. Once the action sequences began, we (the audience) were under a constant barrage of 4D effects. I use the term “barrage” because honestly that’s what it felt like. It was fun, at first, even funny, but I don’t know anyone who can actually concentrate on a movie while experiencing all the 4D effects back to back (if not at once). No wonder our pregnant friend wasn’t permitted. No joke, she would have probably gone into induced labor from all that jostling around!
If you’re going to watch a movie in 4DX, I’ve come up with a short list of tips based on my experience. Although you have the option (in your chair) to turn the water “off”, don’t wear anything that might be affected by a light mist of water (such as suede, etc…). Why risk it? That includes complicated hairstyles too, as the target of said “rain” is mostly concentrated at the crown (top of the head). The only reason I was wearing a hoodie was by chance (because it was gray and matched my gray skinny jeans) but wearing a hoodie to a 4D movie is a good idea. Although they barely last for more than a few seconds, those gusts of wind can leave you pretty chilly, so something long-sleeved would be ideal as well. Ladies, a supportive bra is a must, especially with all that jostling around. Even if you’re an A-cup, wearing a balconette bra or a push-up bra can and will lead to a wardrobe malfunction. Finally, under no circumstances should you drink a whole thing of liquid (water, tea or coffee, soda, juice) as it will be sloshing around in your stomach making you feel nauseous for the duration of the movie.
Apparently 4DX was developed and is owned by a South Korean company. There you go, more awesome stuff from Korea! Can you imagine experiencing a horror movie in 4DX? It would be so awesome! I mean, I’d legit have a heart-attack! Personally, I actually enjoyed my first 4DX experience (aside from the thumping of the back of my seat which I absolutely hated) and I’d totally go again!
I’m going to be reviewing the Stephen King novel titled The Long Walk. I know I said I was going to review The Razorland Trilogy first (in the post Book Club) but I literally just finished reading The Long Walk so it’s still fresh in my mind. Plus, I felt a Stephen King novel (written as Richard Bachman) was deliciously apropos what with Halloween coming up and all. I did not purchase a physical copy of the book, which is 384 pages long and relatively short for a Stephen King novel, however I will be including several different illustrations of the cover art. I purchased The Long Walk on my Kindle Paperwhite and according to my Kindle (I forgot to mention earlier that it does that. Pretty cool, huh?) it takes about 5 hours and some change to read the whole thing. I started reading The Long Walk exactly 3 days ago (a little everyday obviously) but I passed out with 30 minutes still left in the e-book. I just finished the last 30 minutes today and decided to get to it while everything is still fresh on my mind. The cover art for the Kindle version I had purchased is shown above.
Here’s a different version of the cover art. Getting the idea yet? The story takes place in a dystopian United States, taken over by the military and run by a man called “The Major”. Every year, 100 teenage boys (chosen at random from a list of thousands of volunteers) participate in a competition known as The Long Walk. On May 1st, the boys (and they are boys, some as young as 13) gather at the starting point (Maine) where soldiers check them in and give them canteens and food supplies. The Major greets them and assigns each one a number from 1 to 100 (in alphabetical order, by last name). The boys are supposed to stick the number on their chest (as shown on the cover art) because once the competition starts, the soldiers will be referring to them only as that number. The winner is granted his every heart’s desire – he could wish for anything and everything he wants – for the rest of his life. To win, you just have to be the last one left standing.
The boys or “Walkers” as they are sometimes referred to, are supposed to walk as far as possible, following the route laid out for them (starting from Maine, see the map above) until only one of them is left. Someone actually mapped out their route on Google Maps (Click Here) or just log on to be able to see the route above. Once The Long Walk starts, it does not end, only until someone wins. The objective is to outlast everyone else. All they have to do is just walk.
Each Walker must maintain a constant speed of at least four miles per hour (4 mph). Soldiers riding half-tracks (military vehicle with wheels at the front and tank tread on the back as partially shown in the cover art above) measure the speed of the Walkers (to the fourth decimal point) and issue warnings to them when the Walker’s speed drops for longer than thirty seconds. If a Walker maintains his speed for an entire hour without dropping his speed once, the warning is then removed. Each Walker is allotted three warnings; if a Walker who has already had his three warnings, drops below the speed limit of four miles per hour (4 mph) yet again for whatever reason, the Walker gets “ticketed” by the soldiers, and is no longer part of the competition. Basically, if you slow down, you get a warning. After thirty seconds, you get another warning. If you’ve already accumulated three warnings, you just have to keep walking without slowing down, and after every hour, one of those warnings will be removed. Four warnings and you’re out.
Here’s another version of the cover art for The Long Walk (I apologize for the quality but I’ll explain in a minute). When someone “buys a ticket” basically it means they get shot, courtesy of the soldiers on the half-tracks. There are several other ways to get “ticketed” immediately (without even having a warning issued out) such as; leaving the road for any reason, or attacking the soldiers. If the general public attempt to help the walkers or try to intervene in any way, they receive an “interference ticket” meaning they are shot as well. I cannot emphasize this enough. The Long Walk does not stop until only one person is left standing. That means they do not stop to sleep. They do not stop to eat. There are no bathroom breaks (the Walkers take care of their business at the side of the road, which always results in a warning or two being issued out to them). If they have to urinate, they unzip their pants, and considerately aim away from the other Walkers and urinate, all while still walking and maintaining their speed. Even if they are sick or injured, they are not allowed to drop below the speed limit of four miles per hour. Even if their legs cannot carry them anymore, they are supposed to do whatever they can to keep moving forward. If a person stops for whatever reason, they are issued three warnings before being given a fourth and final warning and getting shot or “ticketed”. Under no circumstances are the Walkers allowed to stop.
Here’s yet another version of the cover art for The Long Walk. Even more chilling is the fact that The Long Walk is actually a popular national event with huge crowds showing up (think banners, fireworks, a marching band, etc…) cheering them on (some with bets already placed on who they think is going to win). The size of the crowd depends on the size of the town, as smaller towns obviously have less of a turn-out. Also, in some of the smaller places, the people just sort of stare at the Walkers as they pass by. Regardless of the size of the towns (big or small), the whole nation is watching! There are banners welcoming the Walkers once they reach certain destinations; even congratulating them for making it thus far.
They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn’t like to look at them. They were the walking dead.
The main character is sixteen-year-old Raymond Garraty and the story unfolds through his eyes. Right off the bat, he develops a relationship with several of the other Walkers (with nothing else to do besides walk, naturally, the boys start conversing with each other). At first, a lot of them are chatty and talk about happier things like what they are going to do with the prize money once they win and things like that but once they get tired the conversations become much darker as they talk about their fears, death, and what comes after it. I won’t go too into it because I don’t wanna’ spoil it for anyone. You’ll just have to read the book to find out more.
As soon as I started reading, I was mesmerized and couldn’t stop, until I’d legitimately passed out (I read in bed, at night). It reminded me of a movie that I’d seen awhile ago called “The Human Race” (I absolutely adore watching Horror/Psychological Horror B-movies) but now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure that movie was inspired by this book. I’ve also seen a movie called “Battle Royale” when I was younger which also placed kids in a life-or-death situation but in that movie, the kids were given weapons (albeit randomly) and were supposed to kill each other, until only one remains. The kids in The Long Walk aren’t supposed to kill each other as they aren’t even given any weapons. All they have to do is walk, until one remains, which sounds so simple, yet somehow I found that even more horrifying. A lot of people compare The Long Walk to The Hunger Games (which is suspiciously similar to “Battle Royale”) but unlike those two, where the kids weren’t given any choice on whether they would like to participate (as it was forced on them), in The Long Walk the boys actually volunteered themselves. They signed up for this. They filled out tests. They wrote an essay on why they believe they should be chosen to participate. It was a whole process. That is why I didn’t feel quite as bad for them, at first, because they had actually volunteered but as the story progressed and I got to know the characters (you really got the sense that you were being let in on the inner workings of a teenage boy’s mind) I started feeling so sorry for them. I mean, look at their route on Google Maps (shown above). Can you imagine walking all that way with no rest? Can you imagine not being able to sleep and yet still being forced to walk (while maintaining a certain speed)? Personally, I couldn’t even finish reading this book without passing out (from lack of sleep) and I was only reading (not walking), in the safety and comforts of my own home, in my own bed, and even though I was absolutely both fascinated and horrified by The Long Walk and wanted to stay up to finish reading it, I couldn’t even manage that much. The Long Walk was originally published in 1979 (which should explain the quality of several of the cover art shown above) by a fresh-out-of-college Stephen King under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. The man is a genius! He took a bunch of kids, a road, a contest with sever consequences (such a simple concept) and created this masterpiece! I can’t believe he managed to craft this horrifying, chilling, spell-binding story when he himself was only a teenager! Like seriously dude what happened to you that you could come up with something incredibly dark and twisted like this… as a kid yourself? The Long Walk was my first Stephen King novel and I loved it! I’m a newly converted fan of Stephen King’s work and strongly suggest you all go out and get this in one form or another because The Long Walk is just too good to miss. Someone needs to turn The Long Walk into a movie, rapid.
I’ve always had a soft spot for novelty items (makeup or otherwise) and black lip gloss, to me, falls under that category. We’ve got Lancome Color Fever Gloss in 040 Piha Black (circa 2008), MAC Cremesheen Glass in Dark Outsider (2015), and Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in 35 Glitter Black (hauled here when I first started this blog).
I distinctly remember my frenzied search for Lancome Piha Black several years back. I attempted purchasing it off the Lancome website but unfortunately they didn’t (and still don’t) accept international credit cards. I haunted every Lancome counter in the country and abroad. I searched high and low for Piha Black and just as I was about to call it quits, I found it in Faces at The Avenues, sitting all nonchalant on the shelf.
Success! *Cue music* After looking everywhere for this little cutie, I had finally gotten my hands on a tube of my own. I felt like my life was complete! If I died, right then and there, I would’ve died happy! For all you kiwis out there who were wondering, this shade was totally inspired by the black volcanic sands of Piha Beach.
Isn’t she a beaut? I mean everything on this screams luxe! The packaging alone is utterly breathtakingly! I’d live and die a thousand times for Lancome‘s signature Rose! So, so beautiful! Also, the scent on the gloss was lovely!
I was also quite happy when I found a black lip gloss at Sephora and just had to have it. As an added bonus, it had a delightful fruity scent. However, both Lancome’s Piha Black and Sephora’s Glitter Black clearly contain glitter. Not only is the glitter apparent but you can actually feel them on your lips (when you press your lips together). Although uncomfortable, it was understandable, because at the time, the formula on glitter glosses weren’t even expected to be up to par, like they are nowadays.
Which is why I was ecstatic when I found a pure black Cremesheen Gloss while randomly browsing MAC‘s website. The formula on Cremesheen Gloss is one of my favorites as it actually reminds me of my beloved Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss (reviewed here). Dark Outsider is described on MAC‘s website as a cream true black. That’s actually perfect for my needs because although lovely the other two were just way too glittery.
I believe Dark Outsider was released in the MAC Punk Couture Collection (2013) and re-promoted in the MAC Veluxe a Trois Collection for Summer (2015). I purchased Dark Outsider (along with a handful of other MAC stuff) from the MAC‘s website around September 2015 and could’ve sworn I’d already blogged about it in a MAC haul post or something but apparently I haven’t… so he we are. Aside from wearing Dark Outsider on it’s own, as it’s actually quite sheer, I figured I could use it as a topper over other lipsticks, to darken them. I’ve been dying to try Dark Outsider over a red lipstick (as well as several other crazy colors, more in that in another post) but I needed to take photos of the doe-foot applicator while it was still in pristine condition (read: un-used) for you guys.
Swatches in fluorescent (read: bathroom) lighting L-R Lancome Piha Black (black with “blue” glitter), MAC Dark Outsider (cream true black), Sephora Glitter Black (black with multicolor glitter). Out of all of them, Piha Black is the darkest as it is the most buildable and although the glitters aren’t as visible on the lips as they are in the tube, you could still feel them. Sephora Glitter Black is just a bunch of glitter in a sheer black base and is not buildable, but you could still feel the glitter on your lips. Both Piha Black and Glitter Black have an extremely subtle fruity scent that some believe could be watermelon. That said, neither scent is juvenile in the least. In fact, I find the smell on the Sephora gloss mouth-wateringly delicious! Dark Outsider is also quite sheer but since it doesn’t have any glitter, it’s my favorite out of all three. It also has that delightful vanilla scent that most MAC products tend to have.
Here are the same swatches, in the same order, in natural lighting.
Finally, here are the swatches, same order, same natural lighting, at a different angle. While I’ve collected the other two as more of a “novelty” item, I believe Dark Outsider (middle) was actually a practical purchase especially since black lipstick and black lipgloss have become more accepted nowadays and aren’t reserved solely for Halloween. I could get some serious usage out of Dark Outsider; on it’s own, or as a topper over other lipsticks, or even use it for an ombre lip. Since it’s got a creme finish and is so sheer, it actually plays well with other lip products. Is it any wonder why I’m such a die-hard MAC fan?
HBO’s first one-hour dramatic television series, Oz took viewers behind the bars of the fictional Oswald State Correctional Facility for an unflinching view of prison life—from religious and racial strife, to rape and consensual gay sex, hard drugs, jarring violence, and
shit-smearing insanity—and gave credence to the premium cable network’s slogan: “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.”
Before Orange Is The New Black, before Prison Break, and before all those other prison shows, there was Oz which ran for six seasons (1997-2003) on HBO. It wasn’t as mainstream as those other prison shows either. Oz was such an incredibly dark show (especially for its time)! In fact, Oz actually paved the way for other gritty shows like Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, and The Wire. It’s safe to say that if you didn’t enjoy any of those three shows I just mentioned, then you’re not going to enjoy Oz so feel free to stop reading at this point.
I was too young to watch Oz when it first came out, but I found it several years later (possibly around 2005) while rifling through my older brother’s external hard drives, and binge-watched the entire series. Oz had such a huge cast – each depicting their characters so masterfully – making it hard to label any one character as the main one (not unlike Game of Thrones). There were ten groups in total – The Aryan Brotherhood, The Bikers, The Christians, The Homeboys, The Italians, The Latinos, The Irish, The Muslims, The Gays and one called The Others. Watching all those different groups interact with each other was endlessly fascinating! It was especially mesmerizing when different groups would set aside their differences (temporarily), and put their heads together to hatch a plan and sometimes even follow through with it. Although it was a pretty dark show, at times, it was actually quite hilarious (especially if like myself, you found dark humor funny)! The colorful characters were not only relevant to the story but they were actually very well fleshed out and quite memorable. I’ll go over a few of them in no particular order (because if I went through all of them, this post would be ridiculously long). Oh and one more thing, I apologize about the quality of the pictures but again this aired back in 1997 and ended in 2003 but you can watch the trailer available at the bottom of this post in HD (720p).
For starters, we’ve got Harold Perrineau who plays the character who narrates the story, Augustus Hill. I recognized him instantly because he happens to play one of my favorite characters (Romeo’s cousin, Mercutio) in 1996 Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (yes, the one with Leonardo Dicaprio). You might probably recognize him as Michael Dawnson (the guy who is incessantly yelling for his son, Walt) on Lost. As the character Augustus Hill on Oz, he spends the majority of the show in a wheelchair which makes him a non-threatening entity and therefore part of The Others (one of the many groups in Oz). For the most part, I didn’t mind his narrating (he’s no Morgan Freeman but I enjoy the way he enunciates his words). I’ll be honest though, sometimes it got to the point where it was annoying because I was impatient to find out what happens next (as the episode before would have ended with a cliff-hanger) and this dude was still going on and on and on about stuff (that probably went way over my head at the time, because aside from being quite dark, Oz is also a deep, thought-provoking show).
Although he seemed familiar, I couldn’t quite place Ernie Hudson at first, who plays the role of Leo Glynn the warden of Oz. Ernie is most known for his role as Winston Zeddemore in the cult classics Ghosbusters movies. He also appeared in the reboot Ghostbusters: Answer The Call.
Governer James Devlin is played by Željko Ivanek. The Slovenian actor has appeared in The X Files, Snow Falling on Cedars, Hannibal, Unfaithful, 24, The Manchurian Candidate, Lost, Numb3rs, Heroes, Argo, Revolution, True Blood, 12 Monkeys, Suits, X-Men Apocalypse, and Madame Secretary. I’m not sure if he’s choosing these roles for himself on purpose or if he’s being typecast into them but he usually plays the role of a villain or someone hated by everyone else on the show, and Oz is no different. As Governer Devlin everyone from the inmates to even some of the staff hates him.
Clayton Hughes is played by Seth Gilliam. If you think Seth looks familiar, that’s because he also plays the part of Father Gabriel Stokes on The Walking Dead. His story is interesting because he starts off as a correctional officer in Oz but later on ends up as a prisoner, despite Warden Glynn‘s best efforts (as he knew the kid’s father). Seth also plays the part of the Doctor (vet?) on Teen Wolf and has also appeared in Nurse Jackie.
Then we’ve got the smart-mouthed Ryan O’Reily played by the adorable Dean Winters. Highly intelligent and utterly ruthless, O’Reily survives in Oz by manipulating everyone around him, from dangerous inmate gangs to even his own mentally handicapped brother Cyril O’Reily just to get whatever he wants; series creator Tom Fontana has likened him to Iago, the villain of Shakespeare’s Othello. What really endeared the character of Ryan O’Reily to me was his protectiveness over his brother Cyril O’Reily. Both the O’Reily brothers are members of The Irish. I was delighted when watching P.S. I Love You and noticed Dean Winters in the movie (mentioned in the post “Book Club”). That was a pleasant surprise! I was also happy when he had a recurring guest role on 30 Rock as Tina Fey’s boyfriend, Dennis Duffy. Most recently, I’ve watched him play Avi in the movie John Wick starring Keanu Reeves. That said, Dean Winters will always hold a special place in my heart as Ryan O’Reily.
Next up, we’ve got Cyril O’Reily who is played by Scott William Winters and is also part of The Irish. The O’Reily brothers on Oz are played by Dean Winters and Scott William Winters who are actual brothers in real life! Basically, the O’Reily brothers ran a prominent Irish street gang on the outside. When Ryan went to jail, Cyril took over the gang until he too was eventually sent to jail, and the gang was disbanded. We later learn that Cyril‘s child-like state was caused by brain damage as result of an injury from a fight. It’s fascinating watching the real-life brothers play the part of brothers on-screen!
I know of Luke Perry because my sister (who is a decade older) and her friends used to swoon over him as Dylan on Beverly Hills 90210. I thought it was funny that he was like 50 or something and was cast to play the role of a teenager in highschool but whatevs. I never noticed him again until I saw bits and pieces of trailers on Showtime or Orbit (can’t remember which) promoting his show Jeremiah (could’ve sworn it was called Jericho but whatevs). He was also in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the 1992 movie), Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm (Sub-Zero), The Fifth Element, The Incredible Hulk (Rick Jones), a bunch of tv movies, and more recently Riverdale (because that’s such a stretch from Beverly Hills 90210 -_- If this ruins Archie’s for me, so help me God…) Anywhooo, Luke Perry plays the role of Jeremiah Cloutier who is sent to Oz for embezzling funds from his church but aside from that, he’s actually a nice guy. Cloutier falls in with The Christians and because he was both famous and respected (had some clout lawl) on the outside, Warden Glynn allows him to work in the Chaplain’s office continuing his role as a preacher alongside Father Ray Mukada (Oz‘s Chaplain). Due to the fact that Cloutier is Protestant and Father Ray Mukada is Catholic they both engage in a “competition of souls”.
Kareem Said is played by British Actor Eamonn Walker. I haven’t watched it but I thought it was interesting that Eamonn Walker plays the part of Othello in the 2001 Othello. Something I have seen albeit a while ago is Unbreakable in which Eamonn plays role of the Dr Mathison. On the show, Kareem Said is imprisoned for blowing up a white owned warehouse. I was shocked because I thought religious extremism in Islam was more of a recent thing but that’s obviously not the case since the show started airing in 1997. As Kareem Said the man who takes control of The Muslims as soon as he arrives in Oz, he becomes one of the most powerful prisoners in Oz with great influence (wasta lawl) and control of a large part of the inmate population. Kareem Said is also a very powerful figure outside of prison with a network of fellow Muslim leaders, a large political influence (more wasta) and numerous contacts in the media (and even more wasta). Kareem Said and the other Muslims renounce themselves from smoking, alcohol, foul language, abnormal sex, drug smuggling, and drug use, because in Islam every one of those acts is considered a sin.
J.K. Simmons plays the part of Vernon Schillinger the leader of The Aryan Brotherhood a merciless group that consists of neo-nazi white supremacists who commit racially motivated hate-crimes. They also tend to rape other inmates as well as kill them in especially cruel ways. Schillinger is captivating on-screen. He’s the guy you love to hate but then at times I actually find myself feeling sorry for him until he goes and does something incredibly cruel and vicious… again. He plays a villain and he plays it outstandingly well! J.K. Simmons has a long list of projects under his belt from lending his voice to animated movies, videogames, and even movies (you only hear his voice in True Grit) to making guest appearances on tv shows in addition to acting in movies. Honestly, I’d be watching Korra (where Simmons does the voice of Tenzen) or Archer and I’d swear that voice would sound familiar but I could never quite place it until I blogged about him today and looked him up on imdb. I was delighted when I noticed him in Whiplash and thought he deserved some sort of reward for that role and sure enough a few months after, he was not only nominated but actually won a Golden Globe and would go on to win several other prestigious award. Well deserved!
Next up, we’ve got Officer Diane Whittlesey played by Edie Falco. Not surprisingly, after Oz, Falco was cast as Carmela Soprana on The Sopranos. She also had a little stint on 30 Rock (which is one of the funniest shows, ever) before starring in Nurse Jackie as Jackie Peyton.
Dr Gloria Nathan played by Lauren Luna Velez was Oz‘s Chief Attending Physician. Surprisingly, she wasn’t half as annoying as that other doc from Prison Break, Sara Tancredi (played by Sarah Wayn Callies who would go on to be even more annoying as Rick‘s cheating wife, Lori Grimes on The Walking Dead). After Oz, Velez was cast in Numb3rs, Ugly Betty, Dexter, and more recently How To Get Away With Murder.
Kirk Acevedo was utterly fascinating as Miguel Alvarez, a member of The Latinos. For starters, his voice threw me off, every single time he opened his mouth. It took me a minute to wrap my head around that. Even though the odds are stacked against him (grew up in a bad neighborhood, both his father and grandfather are serving life sentences in Oz) leading him to make some pretty bad decisions, you get the feeling that deep down Alvarez is actually a nice guy; he’s got a conscience. Unfortunately, that’s what makes things even harder for him in Oz as Alvarez acts before he thinks and then lets the guilt eat him up. Acevedo has appeared in a bunch of shows and movies from Band of Brothers, Numb3rs, 24, Fringe, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 12 Monkeys, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and The Walking Dead.
BD Wong plays Father Ray Mukada a Japanese American Catholic Priest. He smokes a lot and cusses even more as he attempts to provide spiritual guidance and counsel to the inmates but that makes him even more endearing to the viewers, I feel. Father Ray Mukada and Miguel Alvarez form one of the more interesting relationships as you see Father Ray Mukada truly trying to help Alvarez but as I said earlier, the odds are just stacked against the kid. BD Wong has lent his voice as well as appeared in an eclectic list of cartoons, movies, and shows including The Karate Kid II, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, The X-Files, Joe’s Apartment, Mulan (my favorite animated movie from Disney), Mulan 2, Kingdom Hearts II, Nurse Jackie, Madam Secretary, and more recently Mr Robot, and Gotham.
Tim McManus (played by Terry Kinney) is the idealistic Prison Unit Manager of “Emerald City” (aka cell block 5) the experimental wing focused on rehab. As opposed to the rest of the staff, McManus sees the prisoners as humans, worthy of rehabilitating. He’s always pushing the inmates to change for the better and Warden Glynn admires him for it so he just kinda’ lets him do his thing. Kinney was also on Being Human, Fargo, and more recently Billions.
Mark Margolis has been in so many shows and movies including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Hannibal, Daredevil, Sex and the City, Defiance, American Horror Story, 12 Monkeys, Noah, Gotham, and Better Call Saul. I remember him quite vividly as the dude in the wheelchair (Tio Salamanca) constantly ringing the little bell on Breaking Bad. On Oz, he played the part of Antonio Nappa leader of The Italians.
Tobias Beecher (whom some might argue was the main character of the show) was a normal guy (Harvard Law School graduate, successful attorney, married, has a kid) who accidentally killed a little girl while driving under the influence and the judge choosing to make an example out of him sentences him to 15 years (with a chance at parole only after 4). Unlike the rest of them, he isn’t street-smart and wasn’t really involved in anything like that on the outside so watching him deal with stuff in Oz, you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. I mean right off the bat, Schillinger welcomes Beecher to Oz by raping him! Tobias Beecher is played by Lee Tergesen who has also appeared in 4400, Desperate Housewives, Defiance, and American Horror Story, to name a few.
Christopher Keller is one of the more fascinating characters on Oz and is played by Christopher Meloni. Basically, the man is an absolute sociopath and like most sociopaths, he’s quite charismatic! Schillinger not quite finished messing with Beecher, sets Keller on him telling him to gain Beecher‘s trust so that he could later betray him by delivering Beecher to The Aryan Brotherhood so they could beat him up. Here’s the twisted part, somehow Keller and Beecher fall in love and yet Keller follows through Schillinger‘s plan anyway. The ongoing love story between Beecher and Keller is frustrating because Keller keeps doing shady things to Beecher and then apologizes for them afterwards but at the same time once Keller opens his mouth to say anything at all, you can’t help but be utterly charmed by him. To the extent that I found myself rooting for their relationship (regardless of the fact that they both had a wife or in Keller‘s case an ex-wife on the outside) and thinking “Go on Beecher, forgive him… again.”. Meloni has also been in Twelve Monkeys, True Blood, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (my favorite video game franchise).
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays my favorite character on Oz; Simon Adebisi. When I think of Oz, I think of Adebisi. Don’t get me wrong. He’s not a nice guy. In fact, he’s a monster. Inasmuch that Adebisi is actually serving a life-sentence in Oz. He’s a horrible person and yet from his little quips in that deep accent to the way he dresses (striped socks and little knit hat he wears lopsidedly) he’s undeniably hilarious! Aside from his drugs, the man could not care less about anyone or anything else. He just don’t give a fig. As such, Adebisi is the leader of The Homeboys (the group who control the drugs in Oz). He is also feared by literally every other group in Oz. Adewale‘s portrayal of Simon Adebisi is one of the more masterful performances I was talking about earlier. He is such a pro! I was absolutely delighted when I noticed him on Lost and more recently Game of Thrones. Adewale has also been in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Mummy Returns, The Bourne Identity, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Thor: The Dark World, and more recently Suicide Squad. I’m such a huge fan of his!
The list of actors co-starring on Oz goes on and on but like I said, we’d be here forever so instead I’ll just end it with one of the many guest actors on the show. LL Cool J who plays the role of Jiggy Walker. No introductions needed, I assume.
If you’d like to know more about the characters on Oz or their groups just click this link http://ozhbotv.wikia.com/wiki/Ozhbotv_Wiki
Oz was a fantastic show that was way ahead of its time! Truth be told, writer-producer Tim Fontana did an excellent job! Down to the last man, every single character’s story was engaging, coaxing all these feelings out of you (mostly frustration but also sadness, fear, apprehension, disgust, and every now and then laughter). A lot of the actors and actresses would go on to do great things in their career, after Oz (as I tried to point out, in each character’s description) so it was fun seeing them all together – and in some cases before their careers took off. Oz would go on to be nominated and win several awards. This post doesn’t even begin to do the show justice but I’ll just say this, I purposely chose Oz as the first show to review on my blog because it is undoubtedly one of my favorite shows of all time. That said, Oz contains profanity (they say everything including racial slurs in every episode), drug use (everyone is in some way affected by the drug-trade and drug-use), full-frontal male nudity (prisoners are shown naked frequently while showering), female nudity (less so but it’s there in some episodes), graphic violence (lots of blood), graphic death scenes (at least one murder every other episode), and rape scenes (you see the back-sides and the faces and you hear the moaning but it’s usually starting or just ending). If you are squeamish about any of the above, do not watch it. I can’t say this enough times, Oz is a cold, dark, and deeply disturbing show (as it was meant to be). If you can’t handle it, do not watch it. If you still can’t decide, then a good test is watching the trailer but if you can’t stomach even that, then don’t watch it. Here’s the the trailer.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a few random pics from Oz.
The staff at Oz.
Adebisi‘s iconic hat.
Beecher with Said and Adibisi (and his hat) in the background.
O’Reilly and Adebisi.
O’Reilly and Keller
Personally, I believe Oz is one of the best shows out there, to this day!