Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sterling Tea's Yerba Chai Red Tea Review

A spicy cinnamon chai blend of organic rooibos and energizing mate.

Price: $8.50 per 2 oz/$4.25 per oz... Got this at a sale for $4 of 2 oz.
Preparations: 1 tsp, 185-205 degrees F, 5-7 min.
  • Despite being classified as a "red tea," this drink is an energizing brew because of mate, so it's a pretty good pick-me-up for those days where you need a boost of energy but don't want too much caffeine.
  • Ginger flavor can be pretty strong... I don't taste much orange, so I wouldn't recommend this for fruity tea lovers.
  • Not strong or spicy enough to be an actual chai substitution either!
  • I was "meh" with it overall. It was alright, but I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more spiciness, more flavor from this tea. Even when I increased the tablespoon dosage, the tea still lacked aroma.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wuthering Heights (1967)

So this adaptation is fairly old, but I loved it. This BBC miniseries has portrayed Catherine and Heathcliff most faithfully. Many other adaptations neglect to show Catherine's selfishness and Heathcliff's wrath, which are important parts of the characters. I don't know why this version hasn't received a lot of attention; I feel like it's underrated especially since this version of Heathcliff is so brilliant.

Characters and Casting (4 out of 5)
  • The actor for Heathcliff, Ian McShane, is absolutely fantastic. He's the perfect representation of Heathcliff - not conventionally handsome but definitely still eye candy - and really shines in the second portion of the miniseries, when wreaking havoc among his "families" for revenge. I was never bored for an instant because he makes Heathcliff so utterly fascinating and consuming.
  • The actress for Catherine was also a wonderful choice. This is probably the first time Catherine is portrayed the way I've always seen her while reading the books: wild, impulsive, passionate, immature, and spoiled. Angela Scoular did a good job acting mad towards the end of Catherine's life, and these tantrums were great too.
  • On the other hand, I really wished the same actress did not portray Cathy, the daughter of Catherine. While the acting was fairly good (most noticeably the transition from a bright and cheery girl to a sulky and lifeless one under Heathcliff's control), her unusually high-pitched voice seemed way too forced at times.
 Style (3 out of 5)
  • The beginning was a little slow and choppy.
  • I really liked that they didn't have Lockwood narrating throughout. The way they incorporated him was more suiting for a miniseries of this duration, and the sequence of events made sense.
  • Some people would probably complain about the lack of soundtrack aside from the wind constantly blowing, but I thought it added to the entire feel of the movie. That, and the fact that it was filmed entirely in black and white even though technology back then allowed them to film in color, gave it a very classic feel.
  • A few lines from the script deviated from the book, but all the important lines and scenes from the book were displayed on screen.
  • It drove me nuts that Hindley's hatred towards Heathcliff seemed to be mostly derived out of a hatred for gypsies as well as a competitive jealousy for his father's affections..? I don't know, just a vibe I got, probably because Hindley constantly referred to Heathcliff as a gypsy in the beginning.
  • The ending was satisfactory, nothing particularly outstanding or dreadful. It pretty much follows what happens in the novel.
Notable Scenes
  • Catherine explaining to Nelly why she will marry Edgar and not Heathcliff. Of course, the famous line "I am Heathcliff," and the acting was great.
  • Heathcliff and Catherine's last scene before she dies. Executed perfectly. Heathcliff is reminding her that this is all her fault, that she was the only one to break her own heart, and that he will never forgive her while agonizing over the upcoming loss of his beloved. And Cathy is pretty much "damned," so they'll both be damned together. McShane puts just enough drama in the acting without going overboard. A lot of other versions seem to make Heathcliff overly romanticized, as if conveniently forgetting that his purpose in returning is to get his revenge on those who separated him from Catherine. There are so many hints leading up to this scene that shows how terrible these two people really are, and why they deserve each other.
  • Cathy's ghost at the window. That was just pretty damn scary.