Friday, April 30, 2010

Cooper enjoying the beach to music...

In honour of the beautiful day here in L.A. today, after the winds blew away the smog and gave us clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine, I was inspired to put a few of our Labrador Cooper's best moments at the beach together in a special slideshow.

The music is by one of Cooper's favourite human pals, Barry Goold, so if you like the song 'Completely and Deeply' check out his album 'Knockin' on Another Door' available now on iTunes.

Enjoy Cooper's adventures at the beach and be sure let me know what you thought of his shoreline antics...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Add two more to the Lab Pack...

Following a poorly tummy yesterday after a dodgy bully-stick from PetCo, Cooper returned to Runyon Canyon today and rejoined his favourite Lab Pack for his usual daily hijinks.

2 year old Cooper
Two year old yellow Labrador Cooper
Strong winds were whipping up the dust as we hiked the three or so miles of the canyon trail, but that didn't stop our Labrador pack of every colour enjoying themselves.

Labradors Riley and Finn
Runyon Canyon Labradors
Happy yellow Labradors
Today our gang of Labradors were joined by yellow Labs from over the hill in Studio City, Finn and Riley.

Yellow Labrador Finn
Yellow Labrador Finn

Yellow Labrador Riley
Yellow Labrador Riley
They accompanied founding pack members Cooper, Woody, Tikka and Antibes. The two new additions are much more mellow than our two year old pup, Cooper, who takes it in turn to chase fellow tennis ball obsessed black Labrador Tikka.

Black Labrador Tikka
Black Labrador Tikka
These days he saves his rough and tumble playtime to the end of the walk with Woody around the muddy water station, just when you thought you were going to get him home vaguely clean.

Chocolate Labrador Woody
Chocolate Labrador Woody
One of the benefits of the strong winds today were the clear blue skies and the beautiful views of sprawling L.A. they provided from Runyon Canyon.
Clear day at Runyon Canyon
The canyon itself is not the most inspiring hike being a dusty and pot-holed trail, but it's the panoramic views of Los Angeles that always make it worthwhile and give you a perspective on everything.

Runyon Canyon Lab Pack
Happy Labrador Pack
Runyon Canyon Labrador Pack
Somehow though I think the views are lost on our Labrador pack and all they care about is running in and out of the bushes, chasing balls, sniffing scents, playing with their pals, eating all kinds of things they shouldn't and meeting all kinds of new dogs and people.
Labrador Pack
Runyon Canyon is after all their playground and you can see the happiness in their faces as you walk around and their contentment as they pass out exhausted and sleep deeply when you get them home.
Sleeping Labrador Cooper
Sweet dreams Cooper...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Round-up of film costumes and props around L.A. in March and April 2010...

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to be living in the heart of Hollywoodland and I take for granted the ability to see up close the spectacular movie costumes, props and memorabilia that are featured in fantastic movies we all enjoy on the big screen.

Here's a round-up of the behind-the-scenes props, outfits and models around Los Angeles in March and April 2010.

at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
At the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood there was a fantastic array of props from Disney and Tim Burton's unique interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, plus costumes worn by Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter, Crispin Glover's 'Stayne - Knave of Hearts' outfit, dresses worn by a young Alice and her mother, the courtiers of both the White and Red Queens and much more.

Colleen Atwood designed Alice in Wonderland movie costumes
Keeping to the family-friendly theme there was also the fantastic life-size replica of 'Toothless' the Night Fury Dragon from DreamWorks 'How to train your Dragon' 3D animated movie on display outside the ArcLight Hollywood cinema at the beginning of April.

How to train your Dragon movie display
If you were a fan of more adult themed comedies there was a costume and prop exhibit for John Cusack's new movie, Hot Tub Time Machine, at ArcLight Sherman Oaks cinema at the end of March.

At ArcLight Hollywood in mid-March you could see one of Ben Stiller's costumes and some props featured in his new quiet comedy Greenberg.

And finally for fans of scary movies there was a fantastic display at ArcLight Sherman Oaks from remake of horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, featuring Freddy Krueger's iconic costume.

A Nightmare on Elm Street movie exhibit
As you can see there's been an eclectic mix of special displays and I promise to keep my eyes open for more in the future, but make sure to check out my other blog Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props for all the very latest sightings.

Hooray for Hollywood...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Losers is a winning film apart from the directing...

The Losers is a fun, action movie with a great cast of characters which doesn't take itself too seriously, but sadly it is horribly filmed.
The Losers movie poster
The overall look of the movie feels very amateur, filmed a bit like a pop video with too many editing tricks and poses to camera - walking towards camera, look cool to camera, group shot to camera and pose some more. It's almost taking its comic book origins too literally.
Jensen The Losers film poster
The Losers is not a comic book I'm familiar with as it's from DC Comics Vertigo imprint and I'm a die hard Marvel Comics fan, but Hollywood certainly is mining the genre for movies at the moment. Not that I'm concerned as long as they are good translations like Kick-Ass, Iron Man and the like.
Aisha The Losers film poster
Overall the concept of the movie feels a bit like an updated A-Team or even a pilot episode for a new TV action series.
Clay The Losers film poster
The film starts almost overly simplistic, setting up their origin and the reason for their renegade status, then there's lots of double-crossing to spice things up.
Pooch The Losers film poster
Chris Evans is a funny guy, as the wise cracking 'Jensen', and any movie with him wearing tight t-shirts is ok in my eyes. There also seems to be a great chemistry between the rest of the cast, although Idris Elba's 'Roque' character does seem a bit heavy handed at times and for me there's no real surprise with what happens with him later in the film.
Cougar The Losers film poster
Another of my criticisms of the movie is the main protagonist, 'Max', comes off as a bad Bond villain or something from Austin Powers.
Roque The Losers film poster
I give The Losers three *** stars for providing a special forces team movie, that isn't all angst ridden, but an entertaining 98 minutes of fun shoot-outs, explosions and cool stunts.
The Losers film poster
I'd be interested in seeing a second movie featuring The Losers, but like I said, this could easily have been the set up for a new TV series and it's the actors that make the movie.

Let's hope the next comic book movie out on the 7th May, Iron Man 2, doesn't prove to be as much of a disappointment...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cool film, TV and fashion billboards around L.A. in April 2010...

Has it really been a month already since I did the last round-up of interesting billboards lining L.A.'s skyline? There have been some great billboards in April and here are a selection of the best movie, television, fashion and other funky billboard ads from around town.

Movie billboards
Buzz Lightyear Toy Story 3 billboard
It filled my heart with cheer to see this spectacular billboard of the ever optimistic Buzz Lightyear gracing the skyline of Sunset Boulevard for Toy Story 3 (it's also right beside my new gym, so now it's easy to check for any new billboards). He's such a strong visual and instantly recognizable character, so he's the perfect choice to be towering over the traffic below.
Iron Man 2 billboard
Iron Man is rocketing back onto our screens on the 7th May 2010 and this time he's brought a friend, War Machine.
Iron Man 2 film billboard
These two fantastic billboards are just building my excitement for the Marvel Comics movie sequel.
The Losers film billboard
I love this colourful billboard for The Losers and it really stands out for being designed differently from other billboard ads, but I'm surprised that Chris Evans picture isn't more integral to the image as he plays such a funny character in the movie.
Sex and the City 2 movie billboard
I know a lot of my girlfriends are looking forward to this sequel. Carrie and the girls are back in the second Sex and the City movie and I love this bling-tastic billboard. It's so fashion darling.
Prince of Persia film billboard
Jake Gyllenhaal is looking suitably buff for his role as the action hero, Prince of Persia. Video games very rarely make for great movie adaptations (Hitman, Max Payne, Doom), so let's hope this will buck the trend, after all Pirates of the Caribbean was based on an amusement park ride and millions went to see it and two sequels.
A Nightmare on Elm Street film billboard
This billboard for the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street is suitably creepy and instantly recognizable with the iconic razor clawed Freddy Krueger.
Kick-Ass unmasked movie billboardKick-Ass Big Daddy film billboard
I loved the movie Kick-Ass and also thought the different ad creatives were eye-catching and spot on for the youthful target audience, especially the graffiti ones.
Death at a funeral movie billboards
Lastly for movies, two new comedies, Death at a Funeral with an eclectic ensemble cast and Date Night, showcasing the two now infamous TV stars, Steve Carell of the American version of The Office and Tina Fey of 30 Rock fame, capitalizing on their hugely popular television shows to attract cinema goers.
Date Night movie billboard

Fashion billboards
Gucci Spring 2010 fashion billboard
You can tell that summer is just around the corner with these fresh and vibrant fashion billboards taking to the skies of L.A., just like this ultra glamourous billboard for Gucci.
Express April 2010 fashion billboard
This billboard for fashion brand Express looks great against that rich blue California sky.
Ed Hardy fashion billboard
I love this striking billboard for Ed Hardy featuring Dwight Howard, it's so dramatic, strong and eye-catching and the amazing colours really grab your attention from a distance.
Armani Exchange hot fashion billboard
Here's another Armani Exchange ad featuring the usual smattering of beautiful, buff people (not that I object at all).
Aldo Shoes fashion billboard
Finally for fashion, I really like this fun, vibrant and cheeky billboard for Aldo Shoes which is a vast improvement over their recent drab ad campaigns.

TV billboards
Sue Sylvester Glee TV billboard
This TV billboard for the musical comedy Glee capitalizes on the show's strengths, namely its breakout character and tracksuit wearing cheerleading coach 'Sue Sylvester' and its diverse glee groups members.
Kirstie Alley's Big Life TV billboard
This billboard for Kirstie Alley's Big Life caught my eye driving past, but mainly because I mistook her for Nicollette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives fame (Edie Britt) and I was wondering what she was doing now that she'd been written out of that show.

Technology billboards
Apple iPad billboard
I love the lifestyle approach for the new Apple iPad and who wouldn't want one of those ultra slim and stylish devices? Mind you, I'll always like the feeling of reading an old-fashioned book.

Alcohol billboards
R U Bot or Not Svedka Vodka billboard
Finally for April's billboards is one of my current favourite ad campaigns, this one for new vodka brand Svedka Vodka, which seems intent of capturing L.A.'s vodka drinking crowd with its heavy weight ad campaign seemingly dotting the billboards and bus shelters on every street around town.

If you like this collection of eye-catching ads, you'll love Daily Billboard which brings you a new exciting billboard every day. Visit the website or follow on facebook today.

Stay tuned for another billboard round-up next month...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Huntington Gardens host of angel statues...

On my first visit to The Huntington Botanical Gardens, not only did I discover beautiful plants and flowers, but also an eclectic assortment of outdoor sculptures, including some intriguing angel sculptures.
Father Time statue Huntington Gardens
The gardens located in San Marino, are still within Los Angeles County, so they kind of qualify for my angel quest in the wider City of Angels, but regardless of where they reside they still make for interesting viewing.
Huntington Gardens Father Time statue
First up I believe is the slightly grim visage of Father Time found in the North Vista of the grounds.
Winged Father Time statue
I'm sure that this is a statue of the winged angel of death, with his grim reaper scythe and hourglass in hand.
Wood Nymph statue Huntington Gardens
Next up is more of a wood nymph or winged fairy than angel, but I couldn't resist including in this collection of statuary.
Wood Nymph sculpture Huntington Gardens
It may even be 'Titania, Queen of the Fairies' from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream play, after all there is a Shakespeare Garden at Huntington.
Titania winged fairy statue Huntington Gardens
It wouldn't surprise me as the grounds are filled with statues of mythical heroes, gods and characters from popular folklore.
Cherub blindfolds woman statue Huntington Gardens
Woman blindfolded by cherub statue
Outdoor cherub sculpture huntington Gardens
I'd love to know more about the next statue featuring a winged cherub blindfolding a naked lady.
Cherub blindfolds woman statueWinged cherub statue Huntington LibraryHuntington Library cherub blindfold statue
I'm intrigued about the history surrounding this captivating piece and would love to know more, so if anyone out there knows anything I'd be grateful to hear from you.
Temple of Love Huntington GardensTemple of Love silent cherub
The next set of images are of the 'Temple of Love' at The Huntington Gardens and was apparently restored in memory of Frances C. Berger, apparently through the generosity of The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and was dedicated on 11th May 1993.
Temple of Love cherub statue
Cherubs are a symbol of love, so it's apt this one is in the 'Temple of Love', but this winged fellow seems to want us to keep quiet about something, maybe a forbidden love or simply that he wants us to respect the peace and tranquility of the beautiful gardens.
Huntington's Temple of Love statuesTemple of Love angel statue
And finally for this host of heavenly angels was this floating angel I spotted in the window of the Huntington Bookstore, which may be a bit less historical, but certainly not any less angelic.
Huntington Gardens Book Store angel
I'm sure they were not the only statues and sculptures of angels, cherubs and cupids within Huntington's themed gardens, so I'll keep my eyes open for more the next time I visit...