Thursday, December 27, 2007

I am Veruca Salt, personified.

Uffie and Revolver streetwear have collaborated and it's enough to make me want to scream.
Look at this fucking hot-ass letterman jacket.
I want it. NOW. (Do you see what I mean?)

It is (rather unfortunately) available at the highly-elitist Colette streetwear site Sold Out. Si vous dépêchez, peut-être vous pouvez l'avoir...
For a whopping over-$250 price tag.

I hate the rich.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Stopping Point: Celebrity Perfumes

If you're a celebrity with a lot of money to spare, what can you do on your free time? Gazing at yourself in the mirror has become too boring. No, you need a better way to prove your complete megalomania!

Presenting the most annoying concept ever: the celebrity perfume.

After J.Lo decided to go crazy with perfume-making, celebrities were reminded that they, too, can make perfumes. So since then, we've had to endure our trial of perfumes endorsed by (coincidentally?) the most annoying celebrities ever: Sarah Jessica Parker, Maria Sharapova, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Antonio Banderas, P. Diddy (with the hilariously-titled "Unforgivable"), Alan Cumming (no, I don't get it, either)... it's a travesty to see how many people think the public would want to pay to smell like them.

But recently, a glimmer of hope shone from the wreckage. Those who see it may take it as a curse, but it is truly a blessing: the recent addition to this awkward family is enough to make every self-promoting celebrity perfumer take a moment to stop in their tracks.

I give you Driven, by Derek Jeter (exclusively at Avon!).

Derek Jeter's choice to spend his time and money on a perfume that will not sell should prove him to the willing scapegoat of the celebrity-endorsed perfume industry.

Unless, of course, he's totally serious.

(In spite of it of all, Merry Christmas from Lolita Hazed ^_^)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Review: Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story

In 2007, not so much has stood out. It's been a surprisingly uneventful year in culture. But of all the people that have tried to, Judd Apatow has certainly made much more of a name for himself this past year. Though he's been making critically-acclaimed pieces for more than a decade, only recently has his name started to hit the majority of American households-- namely this year, with the releases of Knocked Up, Superbad, and this month, Walk Hard.

Promising to be "the dumbest movie to beg for an Oscar", Walk Hard obviously parodies the award-magnet biopics of the decade, with the most blatant being 2005's Walk the Line. I don't even need to explain the connections to make them clear.

John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights, Chicago, a hell of a lot more) plays the film's title character, Dewey Cox, a farm-boy who goes through an existential crisis after accidentally chopping his prodigal brother in half. He goes on to perform at his school talent show and leaves home at 14 (an age played by Reilly with naive precision) after his saccharine music is perceived as Satanic. He marries and has several children before gaining record company attention by performing at an erotic swing dance club. He then records his opus, "Walk Hard", and is literally an instant sensation. We see him travel through the '50s and into the following eras, where begins to experiment with drugs (usually with the cosmopolitan drummer played by Tim Meadows) and several obvious cultural references: he parodies not only Johnny Cash, but also Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, David Bowie... the list probably goes on. It's exactly what the audience members expect.

But most unexpectedly is the music of the film and the reaction: though all the music is purposely stupid, it's certainly not bad. (My favorites are the punk version of "Walk Hard", the badass "Guilty as Charged", the nonsense Dylan parody "Royal Jelly" and the midget protest anthem "Let Me Hold You (Little Man)") If you listen to Reilly, he's not a bad singer. It's not a serious role at all, but this isn't a man who takes himself too seriously, which is evident in his performance. He really is the only person for the role.

Other standout performances include the whole of Reilly's band, who just provides the movie with a better time. The Office's Jenna Fischer is also exactly as bimbo-y as her June Carter-ripoff character should be. There are several actors whose performances are a bit too hammy, but I'll let you be the judge of who (*ahem*, Jack White, *ahem*).

People should not be going into theaters expecting a message or anything. Once you reach the credits of this film, you can't really even say anything about it. The ending is totally cheesy, but the people who made it knew what they were doing. It's a movie made to not be taken seriously. The best thing I can compare it to is a skilled prostitute: all you should expect is a good time, and nothing more.

If you're unconvinced, watch the first ten minutes for yourself and decide whether or not you think it's worth your money.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lolita Hazed's 2007 Hot List

10 hot items from '07

1. Lily Allen. Chick's been criticized all over the block, but God, is she a breath of fresh air. I dig her so much. Her debut album was splendid and I'm stoked for next, which is supposed to come out before her baby is due. (How about that, anyway? Kids these days.)
2. Mooka Kinney. Alison Lewis & Rachel Antonoff are total sweethearts. Their creations were also seen all over this year on the bods of supermodels, Zooey Deschanel, Scarlett Johannson (sp?), and certainly more to come. (I'm wearing their swan dress in my profile picture!)
3. Nu rave. It's dumb now, of course, but that shit was hot while it lasted. Here's hoping that next time, it actually IS stuff to rave to. Klaxons are kick-ass, but they're nothing to get the glowsticks out to, save for "Atlantis to Interzone".
4. CSS. First gaining attention while touring with the Klaxons, these kids got a lot of well-deserved attention this year. These kids from Sao Paulo are certainly repping it to the fullest! (Chances are you heard them in the iPod Touch commercial.)
5. Mark Ronson. Even hotter than the lady at #1 was the man behind her-- Mssr Mark Ronson, the man responsible for the popularity of both the notorious Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. Those hot horn-driven beats? All Mr. Ronson.
6. Judd Apatow. God, is there ANYWHERE this guy wasn't this year? Dude was fucking everywhere. I'm not saying it bugged me-- quite contrary. Knocked Up was exactly what comedy needed: a healthy dose of realism. We'll be seeing a lot of this wunderkind in years to come.
7. Ed Banger Records. The company's been around for awhile, but 2007 is the highest they've ever come. The much-awaited release of Justice's debut, †, was a milestone for the previously tiny little record company that is now covering all of Paris.
8. Claw Money. You may not have heard of this lady in past years, but in 2007, the badass femme graffiti artist started to make her way into today's street-artist elite. With her hella sweet (and highly-coveted) Nike-collab kicks (Blazers, Vandals), she also started to make her way onto the bodies of the famous (M.I.A., Mena Suvari, Lil' Mama are some).
9. Bat for Lashes. Natasha Khan is nothing if not amazing. Fur and Gold was a breathtaking debut and Khan and her ladies have made a sure profession of weaving eerie fairy tales into music. I'm on pins and needles to see what they they have up their sleeve next year!
10. Josh Schwartz. This dude's everywhere, too. His debut TV series The OC might be over, but Schwartz didn't take that lying down-- he also popped out Gossip Girl and Chuck, which have both been getting mad rave reviews and are picked up for second seasons. Guy's getting love and he deserves it. Make way for the next Aaron Spelling, bitches.

Merry Christmas from Goldfrapp!

Funtime! Alison and Will from Goldfrapp have an adorable little Christmas present on their website. Check it out at their website and then click "News". Cute little Christmas song our deer friends wrote, so enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Albums I'm hella excited for in 2008

This whole thing will probably be added to constantly.

Annie, Don't Stop
be your own PET, Get Awkward
CSS, Donkey
The Duke Spirit, Neptune
Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree
Kid Sister, Koko B. Ware
The Kills, Midnight Boom
Lily Allen, T.B.A.
N.A.S.A., T.B.A.
Ratatat, LP3
Uffie, T.B.A.

Love Letter: Missbehave

Dearest Missbehave,

When Nylon stopped being genuine and started shooting for an anorexic club-hopper audience, my heart sank. I thought I'd never love again.
Until there was you.
You came into my life, and became the first magazine I've ever read cover-to-cover. Your badassed fearlessness was enough to just break my lil' heart. And what with the coolest cover chicks ever? Lily Allen? Mena Suvari? M.I.A.? Amazing. Beautiful covers every time. But Missbehave, you've taught me that sometimes what's inside is as good, if not better than, the outside.
You've taken articles teen magazines would have, but polished 'em up and made them awesome so we can read them. Trap a boyfriend? Stick it to your ex? I love you for that.
You've kept me entertained during the most boring of school days and were there on stormy days where all I had was you and a warm fire.
You're so fun and unafraid. God, do you rep it. (Ever since Issue #4 came out, I've started collecting you. All I need now is #1 and #3.)
Love you to pieces and pieces. Saw the picture of the upcoming Issue #6 with Lydia Hearst on the cover. Hella eye-candy. Must have it right now.

Y from a hypnotized devotee

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The WTF: No. 4: The eco-craze has reached new levels of idiocy.

Hey, all you club kids! Do you ever stop and wonder, "God, all this energy I'm using through mixers, turntables, lighting... that can't be good for the environment." Well, wonder no more, because just at you can buy eco-friendly dance equipment, namely a, prepare yourself, solar-powered disco ball.

Because every boogie machine I know gets down in broad daylight.
I'm guessing whoever created this was either high or kidding. If you're trying to be eco-friendly and you want us to take you seriously, it's a little hard to when you make a fucking solar-powered disco ball. While we're at it, we don't we treat some candy ravers to saliva-powered water while we steal their pacifiers? God.

To those going green: this is just giving the opposition reasons to laugh.

P.S. I still love you, Fred Flare. Mad propz.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Most Awkward Commercial of 2007 goes to...

You, George Bush!
Yes, that's right, you!
You're probably in shock, because I bet that, besides the presidency, you've never really won anything before. Well, today's your lucky day, because you've been given a big, metaphorical golden WTF trophy... (But come to think of it, you probably already have several.)
The piece of work that brought forth the creation of this award?
Watch, and contain yourself.

There are several things that are wrong with this commercial:
1. It's about sex and happens to have been created by the Bush administration.
2. There's actually a campaign for abstinence.
3. Ironically, that one chick in the stable is actually leaning quite provocatively.
4. Every person that says "sex" in this commercial turns it into a two-syllable word.
5. It is basically threatening your TV-watching children with "if you even think about having sex before marriage, you will fail at everything." (Last time I heard, sex, in today's culture, brings forth success.)
6. They had the audacity to stop filming before the red-haired chick could finish with "...but then i'll forget about it."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The WTF: No. 3-- "Booty jeans" is given a whole new meaning

Every knowingly well-endowed chick has that one pair of pants they wear on a special night out that properly showcases their god-given behind. These are called, of course, the "booty jeans".

The following picture, found on the Jeepney blog, gives the aforementioned phrase an entirely new outlook.

Join me, children...


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reviews & Previews: Dexter, Season 2

When push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love...

But what happens when doing what you love becomes impossible?

The undeniably strong Shotime original series Dexter returns with a brand-new and very promising new season. Re-enter Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall, brilliant as ever), vigilante, who killed his murderous brother more than two weeks ago. He's feeling damaged, of course, and has got to find someone new to kill, and fast... but doing so is becoming surprisingly difficult ever since Sargeant Doakes (Erik King) is beginning to truly suspect something hidden within Dexter. So he carries on regardless, trying to seem as boringly normal as possible... which isn't helping much.

At the end of a night of bowling with fellow employees, Doakes goes home early, giving Dexter the chance he needs to strike. His target is a blind man who casts voodoo death spells on whomever his clients request, and Dexter's got everything he needs to get the job done... but on the cutting board, he can't find it in him to finish off his prey. With the man's blindness as a golden opportunity, Dexter confusedly releases his would-be victim.

Meanwhile, Dexter's sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), who was almost killed by Dexter's brother and her former fiance, is struggling to move on. She reluctantly returns to work with her brother, much to the dismay of ex-lieutenant Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), who can tell she's not ready for a comeback. The agency's new lieutenant insists Debra can work again, and alas, she returns to the crime scene... only to be harrassed by a man who'd seen her on the news. LaGuerta is ready to defend Debra, but she smiles at the man and walks away.

The agency has found a body by the water who was suspected to be killed by a gang leader by the name of Lil' Chino. The victim's mother speaks to Dexter in Spanish, saying she wants Dexter to kill Lil' Chino... and the victim's daughter gives Dexter a look he recognizes, and he unfortunately knows exactly what it says: "I know what happened. Please do something."

Dexter makes plans to kill Lil' Chino... before he sees him in person. He is HUGE. But Dexter isn't dismayed... he can't resist a challenge.

Meanwhile, Dexter's girlfriend Rita (Julie Benz) is continuing to receive calls from her ex-husband, Paul, who was put in jail through Dexter's careful frame... and totally knows it. He tells her he doesn't deserve to be in such a hardcore jail. He tries to convince Rita that something is up with Dexter, and she needs to look for the shoe that Dexter used to render him unconscious. Rita has her doubts, but is denying Dexter is guilty of anything.
She takes Debra out for some drinks, but before she goes, Paul calls and tells her to look for the shoe... she, still in denial, says whatever she can to get him off the line. He protests, and she hangs up and it's off the bar. She and Deb have a drink... only to have a man almost bring up exactly where he has seen Deb's face... before she punches him. Debra has snapped.

Dexter is getting everything set up for Lil' Chino, does the old routine, tapes him to the table and everything. But as the cheek cut goes wrong, his prey recollects his consciousness and Dexter is almost killed before Lil' Chino escapes. Shit. What the hell is up? A total failure. He drives to Rita's for consolation, only to hear her sobbing in her backyard. She says she got a call from the police. Paul's dead. He was killed in a fight. She could've saved him. How is she going to tell her kids? Dexter tells her it was Paul's fault he was in jail... and Dexter is almost certain she knows. Time to fess up? No. She breaks down in his arms.

He comes home to a spellbound Debra on his bed. She shows him what they've been playing on the news all night: bodies. Almost every one of Dexter's victims has been found in Bay Harbor. Debra tells Dexter that breaking down another mass murderer is exactly what she needs...

...but not this one.

Dexter is as captivating as ever, and previews of the forthcoming episodes promise this season will be even more engrossing than the flawless first. With an excellent cast and superior storyboarding, this episode is worth the wait fans have taken.

Hall is a spectacle, and he does not disappoint in this episode. He continues to shows Dexter addicts that his starring role was pre-destined. But one to watch this season will definitely be the scene-stealing Erik King, whose performance as Doakes is nothing if not bone-chilling. His stoic glance is so convincing that he'll make you think he knows your secrets, too...

My predictions for Season Two?
  • Fans will really have to buckle up... this season will be a helluva ride.
  • Dexter will find romantic feelings for a new character who will become his offbeat conscience... and could stand in Rita's way.
  • Dexter will manuever his way out of the agency's hawkeye, one way or another, like he has before.
  • Dexter will have to make up SOMETHING to satisfy Doakes's bloodlust.
  • I have a feeling (and a hope) that we'll learn a little more about Angel Batista (the badass David Zayas).
  • A few people will learn Dexter's secret. I don't think the entire public will.

Want more? Wait until next Sunday. I hear this one's going to be a real killer.

Dexter is on Shotime every Sunday at 9/8 PM Central.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Review: The Duke Spirit "Ex-Voto - EP"

Main Entry: ex-vo·to Pronunciation: (")eks-'vO-(")tO
Etymology: Latin ex voto according to a vow
: a votive offering

Things with religious connotations have an aura of darkness... the sadism of the Egyptians pre-Exodus, original sin, incubi/succubi, Cain & Abel... look throughout religion, and you will find a very prominent darkness. So it makes sense to think that if you hear The Duke Spirit's brand-new Ex-Voto EP and try to imagine what their forthcoming album will be like, you've got something very hazy.

While Ex-Voto is surely not a departure from the sound radiating from their debut album Cuts Across the Land, it is quite darker. The keys throughout the four songs are noticably more minor, and frontwoman Liela Moss's trademark wail seems to be getting a little shakier.

Perhaps in order to start their fans off with something familiar, the EP opens with "Lassoo", which keeps in touch with their original sound, but is perhaps a bit more epic... and oh so angry. It is what we're used to, but at the same time, a wonderful surprise. The EP transitions very nicely into the soft, melancholic "Dog Roses". Moss retains her catty observance, but this track doesn't make her sound like the seductress she usually appears as (though she is still is, of course)... she sounds innocent, ethereal, and longing...

"A Wild Hope" is synchronous with the tone of "Lassoo" (catching the listener's attention quite effectively with the declaration "I wish I tasted like a buttered angel"), and once you've hit the third track, you can see that not one of the tracks has a positive tone. Moss is singing of heartbreak, mourning the past, unrequited love, skepticism...

In the world of art, negativity is usually something to feed off of... though heartbreak is what most spectators would guess, the feelings that these songs hold are very hard to describe. Whatever it is, the powerful feeling is emitted through the music of Ex-Voto... and quite successfully.

Ex-Voto may be less than ten minutes, but if you had doubts before, this will surely have you believing in The Duke Spirit.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Remembering: Tony Wilson, 1950 - 2007

"What do you do?"
"Well... I'm Tony Wilson."
--from 24 Hour Party People (2002)

It saddens me very much to say that the music industry has lost a very key figure, and a true original. Anthony "Tony" Wilson, founder of the groundbreaking Factory Records and the notorious Hacienda Club, died in Manchester of cancer on August 10th. He was 57.
Tony Wilson was also the host of such British shows including So It Goes (shown left), After Dark, and MTV Europe's Remote Control. He was portrayed by friend Steve Coogan in 24 Hour Party People, in which he even played a tiny role as a television director. He also played himself in Coogan's other film, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.
Wilson helped to sculpt and popularize images of Manchester, rave culture, and several bands, including Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays (who actually helped fund Wilson's cancer treatments), Durutti Column, and A Certain Ratio... bands that helped to be the refuge and inspiration for several confused and bored kids all over the world, for which I definitely know I'm grateful.
Wilson was a true original, and will be missed...
But the saddest part is that this death is found on few American headlines: the only ones I've found were from The Onion's A.V. Club and Pitchfork, I guess that a man who helped to take away the money-grubbing aspect of music just isn't as important as Emma Bunton's fucking baby being born.

24 Hour Party People might've advertized him as a twat... but I'll never forget you, you loveable twat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Review: M.I.A. "Kala"

No matter how tough anyone seems on the exterior, everyone gets a little broken inside...

...but of course, in the eyes of the artist, this internal breakage is a golden opportunity.

If there's anyone tougher than Maya Arulpragasam, AKA "M.I.A.", let me know. The London-born Sri Lankan has really seen it all, but you don't see the woman shed a tear. It's not hard to say that M.I.A. is the toughest woman in the business.
M.I.A. surfaced onto the music scene with her smashing 2005 debut Arular, a colorful, powerful, and sometimes whimsical portrait of war, especially the war she dealt with. Arular was M.I.A.'s masculine, somber autobiography put into music, and she does a wonderful job of getting her point across. It felt perfect to anybody who disagreed with their government because of its powerful political messages.

Those who loved M.I.A. so much for the politics may be a bit disappointed with her long-awaited sophomore disc, Kala. While Arular is masculine and named after her father, Kala is for her mother. And you definitely see the difference-- when Arular dealt with feelings toward corporate music sharks, idiots in office, sexual publicity, and issues that a country goes through, Kala is for the feelings of the individual. You don't hear many political complaints on Kala, which focuses a lot on having a good time, clubbing, and most uncommonly, heartbreak.
After a break-up with American DJ Diplo, M.I.A. seems to have used her music for venting. The amazing Bollywood disco track "Jimmy" is bound to be a hit, and the number one reason might be that it is M.I.A.'s first love song (outside of an underground collaboration with rapper Amanda Blank, which can be heard on her MySpace). Despite the fact that a love song seemed unlikely, it works... and it's already a Top 40 hit in Japan.

While M.I.A. doesn't talk about politics much, she doesn't avoid them completely... single-that-never-was "Bird Flu" speaks of retaining strength and dignity in the face of conflict, "Paper Planes" is an addition to her opinions on war, and standout "$20" paints a vivid portrait of organized crime (while effectively sampling The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?", a wonderfully unexpected choice). The politics might not be in-your-face, but they're still there.

M.I.A. pinpoints issues dead-on, and Kala seems to have quite a great understanding of the world. And it was made all over-- and sounds like it. You get the vibes of Australia ("Mango Pickle Down River"), India's glitzy on-screen culture ("Jimmy"), the UK rave scene ("XR2"), the Parisian club-banger scene ("Bamboo Banger")... she captured the essence of places she didn't even record in. M.I.A. seems to understand the world more than most politicians.

While Kala is different, it blissfully shows M.I.A.'s growth as an artist and human being. M.I.A. recently turned 30, which is a big thing in a person's life... it's almost the unspoken, official transition into complete adulthood. She seems to have done some thinking over it, but M.I.A. has definitely not gone soft. M.I.A. has matured since Arular, but still knows how to have fun. It seems she's making a sure statement out of the saying "Grow up, but don't grow old."

Kala finally drops on August 21st, and it's worth the wait.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Fuck this t-shirt..."

My friend Katie told about the most officially awesome t-shirt maybe ever.

The shirt, appriopriately given the title "Spoilt", is at Threadless and it banks on one of the most aggravatingly awesome ideas ever.

Giving away the ending to such films like Psycho, Planet of the Apes, Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, Donnie Darko, and more, this shirt is $15-17 and totally worth it.

But as a warning, you will probably lose all your friends for wearing this.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Most Awesome Thing I've Seen All Day

As I was having fun with Google, I came upon the most wonderful thing maybe ever.

Jamie Hewlett, pop artist famous for underground comic Tank Girl and the man who brought the Gorillaz to life, illustrated an entire comic for Pulp's hit "Common People".

Gaze at the grainy glory right here:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


For those of you who are sitting at home, thinking, "Man, I wish I could find a cock ring at the drugstore," good news. Because now you can.

Recently, Trojan has released a line of cock rings. No joke.
There are several thoughts that this provokes for me...
1. What the fuck?
2. Why do men get to have all the fun?! Urrrrghh.
"What the fuck" is the main one, though. My feminism will stay out of this here topic.
Of course, considering the laws against sexual instruments being sold in certain states, you can't get them in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and the like.
Oh, you poor erect Southerners.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The WTF: No. 2-- Scion's Scare Tactics

Scare tactics have been used since the dawn of time.
They've been used in religion.
They've been used by your parents to keep you from making mistakes.
They've been used by your teachers for no reason at all.
Now Scion is following suit and deciding to use scare tactics for a ridiculously freaky new ad campaign that makes absolutely no sense.

This commercial said absolutely nothing about cars.
Below the surface, what could this commercial be trying to tell us? Buy our car, or else...

...freaky munchkins with sharp teeth will play volleyball with your head.

Damn, they've found my weakness. Okay, Scion, I'll buy your car...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The WTF: No. 1

There is some really crazy stuff on the Internet, but would you know these things if it weren't for me?


But I'm still here, just in case...

Hey all you stoners! Tired of just smoking pot? Wanna do more with your experience?
I give you THC: The Game. What is it? Well, basically, it is the premiere game where you get high and embarrass yourself in front of all your friends-- hey, just like Saturday night! I think I've played this game before! This game is very seemingly quite key for a lot of stoners, considering it will keep them from leaving the house and embarrassing themselves in public.
So is there a special pothead in your life who needs something interesting do when he is frying his brain? It's at Urban Outfitters for $9.99, if you really want it, but before you get it, ask yourself...
What the fuck?!
You have probably spent late nights watching TV, happening to catch a tiny bit of porn, and think to yourself... what is the appeal? You, of course, need something better. You need Porn for Women, which is 96 colors pages of men... doing chores, and saying super-hot phrases such as "I love what you've done with your hair." Oooh, yeah! I'm sure that once you stumble upon this in your bookstore, if you flip through this, you really won't be thinking, "Oh, God, this is so hot!" You will most likely be thinking this:
"What the fuck?!"
Think you've been confused enough?
I give you this to ponder upon:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Fourth year is over, the kids are past their puberty struggles, and Hogwarts is crazier than ever. While school is normally a struggle, the departure of Mad Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), has brought forth a new Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), who will really give the kids something to whine about-- especially Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe).
Harry's long-term battle with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) had given him a near-expulsion over the summer, and Harry sure as hell isn't willing to shut up about it. Nobody in town wants to believe that Voldemort is back, but a secret collective called The Order of the Phoenix is preparing for the worst. And as Ms Umbridge is teaching the kids absolutely nothing but what not to do, the kids decide they need a real teacher who has dealt with the dark arts-- Harry. So they decide to take matters into their own hands and create Dumbledore's Army.

But preparing for a sudden attack from a demonic army isn't easy when you have a stubborn, skeptic bitch for a teacher. Umbridge is determined to take complete control of Hogwarts, and with her constant additions of hellish and unjust rules, the badass kids of Dumbledore's Army decide to practice in private in the Room of Requirement. And while they do so, Umbridge has her fascist goons spy on the kids, constantly adding more restrictions and bribes in order to catch these kids in the game. But once a certain someone of the army narcs them out, Dumbledore saves Harry's ass, and while Harry is safe, their secret completes Umbridge's goal for take-over of Hogwarts, which is beginning to look much more like Nazi Germany than modern England. Before Dumbledore's Army can save the world from treacherous darkness, they are given their most badass mission yet: rebel.

Staunton's performance as a heinous pink dictator is sure to get her places-- the woman is so convincing that I heard the audience cheer when the students set her off. And Evanna Lynch's breakthrough as the quiet and eccentric Luna Lovegood is so quirky that I found myself relating to her-- but it is no secret that the true stand-out here is Helena Bonham Carter as the wildly wicked Bellatrix Lestrange. Carter suits the roles so perfectly that nobody else could've even been in question for it.

But the best part of David Yates' film is that you will see Hogwarts at its darkest... and absolute prettiest. Yates does an incredible job of bringing everything together, and making the necessary things stand out, and it truly shows in the cinematography. Lights are vivid pink and green, contrasted with sleek black. If there is any Harry Potter film to have undeniable style, it is The Order of the Phoenix. This style shows itself very well in Harry's dreams and in the final climactic battle scene. The sets are made to perfection is this film (especially Umbridge's fatally pink torture chamber), and the memories are so wonderfully compiled that it made me shiver a bit. Everything is put to perfection in this movie, which is not just substantial in plot, but total splendour for the eyes (they will eat it up, trust me).

And where to go from here? Yates has been confirmed to direct Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and in a prediction for its quality, if it's as promising as this film, bring it on.


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