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Showing posts from 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Quite easily, Star Wars is the biggest movie franchise in history. Adored by millions across the world by both young and old, a new Star Wars film is more of a celebration or annual event. However, after the shaky response the CGI infused prequels received, the announcement of Episode VII left many with concerns that the good old days of Star Wars were lost to a galaxy far far away. Thankfully, J.J Abrams washes those doubts away by delivering a fresh, thrilling, and at times genuinely moving, outing to the Star Wars universe we know and love but of course stumbling across a few hurdles along the way.

Before I begin, this review is spoiler free so you will find no major plot points or scandal here, though I will most likely do a spoiler review in the near future, most likely in time for the DVD release.  Plot wise, it follows the same spirit of 'A New Hope', by giving a droid crucial information that has to reach a certain planet in order to save the galaxy from the threat of t…

Mockingjay: Part Two Review

Seven years after the original publication of 'The Hunger Games', the franchise reaches a bombastic and satisfying, if sometimes a little shaky, conclusion in the form of 'Mockingjay: Part 2'. Themes of political corruption and moral ambiguity are fully fleshed out by director Francis Lawrence and linger long in the mind long after the final credits roll, though it encounters the all too familiar problems of its source material.

With no flashback or referral back to the previous film, 'Mockingjay' opens with a shot of Katniss (the formidable Jennifer Lawrence) recovering in a hospital wing after being attacked by a hypnotised Peeta (a surprising performance from Josh Hutcherson). The rest of the 137 minute film then follows Katniss and her comrades as she sets out to destroy the Capitol and assassinate President Snow once and for all, whilst having to deal with pressurizing sides such as the suspicious President Coin (Julianne Moore in her finest role this year…

Spectre Review

As someone who doesn't really care that much for Bond films, I have to say 'Spectre' caught my intrigue very early on through various trailers, posters and the undoubtedly high expectation it had on its shoulders thanks to the success of 2012's 'Skyfall'. Unfortunately, this level of expectation seems to be the films saboteur, trying to recapture the same brooding, dark emotional intensity of 'Skyfall', only to fall short thanks to a thinly stretched, formulaic plot, and a total lack of originality.

The film opens with a stunning chase sequence, shot in Mexico City amongst the backdrop of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) with Bond acquiring a ring that sports a very familiar symbol. This kick-starts a chain of events that has Bond flying to obscure locations around the world for a brief amount of time before heading to the next country to seduce another woman, shoot another mute henchman and acquire one more piece of information that leads him to the org…

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Review

As a long time fan of the 'Paranormal' franchise, I certainly raised my eyebrows at the prospect of Paramount actually announcing the end of the series in the form of the subtitled 'The Ghost Dimension'. The franchise has been dipping in quality over the last few years, but I've been loyal and stuck with it despite being slightly dubious about how all these questions about such an expanded universe would come to an all round solid conclusion. Producer Jason Blum has promised in mulitple interviews that all our questions would be answered and for the first time, we would see the mysterious 'Toby' who's been haunting his way into cinemas for the last six years. Sounds promising right?

Wrong. The film is lazy, inconsistent and actually poses more questions than it does answer any. The plot is strictly formulaic, new family, new house, strange things start happening yadda yadda yadda. The immersive thing that brought fans back was how each film approached t…

Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon (Review)

14 months after the release of the more guitar driven (yet tragically sublime) 'Ultraviolence', the elevated femme fetale of pop returns with the more cinematic and sophisticated 'Honeymoon'. Gone are the gritty riffs of psychedelic rock and indie music influences; this time Lana returns to a more familiar platform that is more akin to her debut 'Born To Die'. The songs swoop lavishly up and down in cinematic style, full of orchestral highs and gloomy vocal lows layered with film-noir/poetic references.
Thematically, the album revisits familiar territory with Del Rey embodying the troubled jazz singer wrapped in the fabric of film noir, falling for the bad boy that she can't have. The haunting 'Terrence Loves You' stirs a silky vocal into a near wail whilst blended with idyllic tones of jazz, whilst 'Salvatore' could be an extract from an Italian soap opera, swooping from bell whistles to sultry violin strings in the space of a few seconds. …

Go Set A Watchman Review

It still remains unclear as to exactly why Harper Lee chose for her long awaited follow up to To Kill A Mockingbird to be published in 2015, though it was originally written in the mid-1950s, but regardless Go Set A Watchman has been one of the most eagerly anticipated books of the year, topping the pre-order charts on Amazon and having unique midnight launches at Waterstones. This excitement stems from, undoubtedly, the legions of die-hard fans of Lee’s first novel, which therein lies the problem. Those expecting a similar novel with charming first-person narrative and vivid imagery of the racial tensions of the south may find themselves disappointed, as Go Set A Watchman feels like a pale imitation of Lee’s former book, though it was intended to be the first. 
Set in the familiar Maycomb county, gone is Scout’s personal narration of the unfolding events around her; instead she is replaced by a distanced narrative that is often loose and disjointed, oscillating at times between the pe…

A Spot of Tea with Lucy Rose

After what felt like hours of being lost within the heart of Birmingham's city centre, I found myself in the dishevelled backyard of the HMV institute attempting to locate the back door. Before you make any kind of presumptions about the nature of my wandering, it was all perfectly in check as I had the fortune of interviewing the sublime Lucy Rose before her show, only I had taken the wrong turn and ended up on a desolate roof top with nothing but pigeons for company.

Luckily, I managed to find my way and was lead upstairs to a small bar that overlooked the cityscape of Birmingham at sunset; there was Lucy, behind the bar with a small paper cup making a cup of tea as comfortably if she were in her own kitchen. For those of you who aren't familiar with Lucy, the Warwickshire singer-songwriter has featured heavily on Bombay Bicycle Club's last three records, released her debut album 'Like I Used To' in the Autumn of 2012, took a prime spot at Glastonbury last year an…

Book Boy

Head first into Fiction
And then stumbling into classics
My word this is no way to get your attention.
Clearing the throat, as we gentlefolk do
I call "Book Boy, I wrote a poem for you!"

To hold your hand
Brush your lips
Find the stars in every wish
To oscillate to and fro
I have a tendency to let things go
Oh how...

I choked. Charming as a Prince
You gave me attentiveness.
My brain thrusts into action, he needs to say yes
"Fancy a coffee?"
Well wasn't that a mess.