Play Review: Grief

26 Jan

Mike Leigh is one of my favourite writer/directors of all time, both on stage and screen. Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake, Naked, Ecstasy, Abigail’s Party, there are too many pieces by him that I love. As soon as this play was announce, I had to grab a ticket. Perhaps I was anticipating it a bit too much. A lot of people were though. This play was commissioned by the National even before Leigh had finished it. Of course, people were instantly fascinated and intrigued as to what this new project would be.

Grief, which was only titled a few days before opening night, takes place during the 1950s in the living room of war widow Dorothy (Lesley Manville). Dorothy lives in a London suburb with her fifteen year old daughter Victoria(Ruby Bentall) and her older, bachelor brother Edwin (Sam Kelly). Dorothy is trying her best to be a good mother for Dorothy but Dorothy is proving to be a hard child to deal with.

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Movie Review: Coriolanus

21 Jan

Shakespeare adaptations in movies haven’t always worked out so greatly. Hamlet in 1990 with Glenn Close and Mel Gibson wasn’t so great. The Baz Luhrman Romeo and Juliet had potential but didn’t turn out to be a great film. There have been some great ones though. Take Kenneth Branagh’s brilliant rendition of Henry V, for example. Ralph Fiennes’s Coriolanus definitely fits into the great category.

Coriolanus is a tragedy written by Shakespeare sometime between 1605 to 1608. Caius Martius Coriolanus (Fiennes) despises the people of Rome. His extreme views cause riots to break out and panic is filed throughout the city. He is desperate to seek revenge on the city and his arch enemy Aufidius (Gerard Butler).
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TV Review: Sherlock – Series 2

16 Jan

No, no. I’m not exaggerating. This is the best show of all time. I’m dead serious. All time. I cannot think of one thing better than this masterpiece.

High off the success at the BAFTAs, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss got straight down to work for Series 2. Remember all those shows which had really strong first series’ and then horrible follow ups? Not the case for this. In fact, the second series is even better, something that I didn’t think was possible. It was that damn good.
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Movie Review: The Artist

8 Jan

One thing has got everyone talking about this film (apart from all the awards buzz) it’s a black and white silent movie. Receiving a lot of attention at Cannes this year, and a Best Actor award, this has a lot going for it. Gimmick? I thought so back in May but further along I was desperate to see this and the silent thing is completely forgotten about altogether.

Michel Hazanavicius directs Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a silent movie star who is all the rage in Hollywood 1927. He’s an A-lister but all of that is put in jeopardy when the talkies start to become big. He meets upcoming star Peppy Miller (Hazanavicius’ wife, Bérénice Bajo) along the way and falls in love. But with one star on the rise and one on the decline, what happens?
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Movie Review: The Ides of March

19 Dec

Finally I’ve seen this. I’ve been dying to and now I finally have. A political thriller with an all-star cast, an A-lister for the director and a cracking story all in time for Oscar season. It’s a recipe for success.

George Clooney directs, stars and adapts this adaptation of Beau Williamon’s 2008 play Farragut North, which was very well received. The story follows Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) who is the Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney) who is a democratic presidential candidate. He is campaigning against fellow democratic candidate Ted Pullman. They’re both campaigning in Ohio and this is the crucial state to getting elected. That’s the backdrop for the story, as you can imagine there’s money, corruption, greed, sex, scandal and a whole lot of other stuff that goes on behind closed doors.
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Grammy Nominations 2012 Reaction

6 Dec

I know, this post is quite late but I want to express my views on it and have a little rant with the world. Last week the long awaited Grammy anominatipons were announced. There were some surprises, some obvious choices and some choices that made me realise why I hate the Grammys.

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As I suspected, Adele was nominated for some big ones but to my surprise only six. Nevertheless, she did get six but still, I expected more. Kanye West actually led the nominations with seven, but surprisingly the only major one that he is nominated for is Best Song with All of the Lgihts. I am not a rap fan, I hate a lot of rap that comes out today but there is some good rap that is produced and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a good example of this. It is going down as one of my favourite rap records of all time along with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Sure, he’s nominated for a lot of the Rap categories but I was expecting at least an Album of the Year nomination.

Adele. After my trip to New York I realised that America loves Adele. I thought they liked her here, but every radio station played her, every person with their iPod out was listening to her. I think that these nominations really aren’t deserved, read my review of 21 to find out why I don’t like her but in short, she has a great voice, but her music is really dull and extremely repetitive. I’ll be posting some predictions in the coming weeks but I’m calling Adele to win quite a few.

Let’s just go through album of the year. Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Lady GaAGa, Adele and the Foo Fighters. Wow. That is the worst lineup of nominees for A LONG, LONG TIME. Seriously? Rihanna? Bruno Mars? Come on, this isn’t music! This is manufactured pop with no thought or originality just some catchy choruses to be played over and over on radio stations. It’s disgusting that these nominees are supposedly the Best Albums of the year. What has happened to America’s view of Music? This is why I respect the Mercury Awards more.

Not even one nominee for Let England Shake. PJ Harvey hasn’t got a single nomination here. That is a disgrace. I’m speechless.

Thank god for Bon Iver, for mixing some, at least, some quality music into the nominations. Holocene has a few nominations and so does the album. I absolutely love Bon Iver and I’m glad that they’re getting some recognition after a lot fo hard work. What I don’t get is that they’re nominated for Best New Artist. For Emma, Forever Ago (one of my favourite albums of all time) came out in 2008?! Hardly new.

The Grammys supposedly show the best of American music and this is it? Disgusting. This is my worst post to date by far purely because I am so annoyed with these nominees that I just need to rant. To summarise, the Grammy’s suck and all they’ve nominated are terrible, generic pop songs that will be forgotten before long. I have no respect for the Grammys.

TV Show: Fresh Meat

28 Nov

Don’t lie, you’ve done it too. That lazy morning or afternoon in which you sit in front of the TV and watch a whole series of something. This weekend I had my morning of lying in bed with coffee. Muffins and Fresh Meat.

I had seen the first two episodes of Fresh Meat and I did really like it but this weekend after watching the rest of it I can wholeheartedly say that it is brilliant. The humour is pitch perfect and the drama is just right.

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Play Review: Jerusalem

18 Nov

Back in August, when my blog had just started, I wrote a post about how I had just bought tickets to this play. How I excited I was, and how much I was looking forward to it. There’s been a lot of hype around this play. With all the awards, rave reviews, including comments hailing Mark Rylance as the ‘Laurence Olivier of our time’ and this play being ‘an instant modern classic’, it’s safe to say that this is supposed to be a good play. Let me say, that the hype is most certainly justified.

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The play is set in Wiltshire England and takes place on St. George’s Day. Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron (Mark Rylance) is a local drug dealer and alcohol supplier to teenagers in the area. He’s wanted by the council for his illegal encampment of his home van. Many more events will transpire on this festive day for the village. It’s a big day for Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron.

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Check Out This: Fragments of Winter

5 Nov

Twitter, though at times is incredibly silly and pointless, can prove to have its benefits. For instance, this week, I heard about Skyrockets by Fragments of Winter. Without twitter, I might not have, but now I’m spreading the word too.

It’s certainly not something that I would normally listen to but I have to say, I’ve listened to it on more than a couple of occasion. It’s an album that is written, produced and performed by Tristan Irvine and is available as a digital download for only 5 euros. Pretty cheap, right?

Skyrockets is an incredibly atmospheric, unique and artistic record that will be left to interpretation. It’s bombastic and definitely packs a punch. This is something you’ll want to check out. Head on over to the links below for more information.

http://releases.fragmentsofwinter.com/

http://fragmentsofwinter.com/

Album Review: Ceremonials – Florence + The Machine

28 Oct

Florence Welch is amazing. There is no room for argument.

Thanks to Channel 4 and rayofmystery on YouTube I have been able to listen to Ceremonials, the new album from Florence + the Machine, in it’s entirety. Wow. I’m probably not the best person to review this CD because I’m kind of biased towards this band. I absolutely love them. Lungs is definitely on of my favourite albums of all time, it is just spectacular. Whilst everybody told me that my beloved band were going to sell out this can prove them wrong. This album is a perfect follow up.

What’s struck me about Lungs was how dramatic and bold it was. It was versatile but also had something about it that made you say “that’s Florence and the Machine”. Those characteristics haven’t gone away and this album is even more daring and theatrical than the last. Songs such as Never Let Me Go and No Light, No Light (the best on the album in my opinion) come to the same soaring climaxes that we love by her but there’s something new about it too. There isn’t an undercurrent of same old, same old.

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