Tuesday, 28 May 2013

How Does The Great Gatsby Soundtrack Compare With Luhrmann's Best? - Track By Track Review

Reviews may have been mixed for 'The Great Gatsby' film but what about the official soundtrack? Baz Luhrmann is renowned for having impeccable taste when it comes to selecting the music for his films and previous soundtracks such as 'Romeo & Juliet' and 'Moulin Rouge' have been hugely successful albums, both commercially and critically. How does 'The Great Gatsby' soundtrack stack up against Luhrmann's best?  

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Is G-Dragon's New Video for 'Go' His Most Insane Promo Yet?

I know I'm a month late but I only just realised that Korean rapper G-Dragon has a new song out and it's as mental as anything off his last EP. The lead singer of BigBang has enjoyed a huge amount of solo success in recent years and I'm sure his latest single 'Go' will continue to gain him new international fans with its high speed raps and frantic hip-hop production. 

The song is as great as anything off G-Dragons last EP, 'One of a Kind', but what about the video? Well after the insanity of 'Crayon', the controversial star was hardly going to make a boring performance based promo but I'm still surprised at how 'out there' the whole thing is. Bizarre range of wigs? Check. Spankings? Check. A weird arse jiggle while urinating in a toilet? Check. After Psy's video for 'Gentleman' became banned in South Korea for showing the rapper kick over a traffic cone, who knows what will happen to G-Dragon's latest promo in its native country. Check out the craziness and judge 'Go' for yourself by clicking below.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Five Worst Superhero Sequels of All Time

With the release of 'Iron Man 3', Marvel has begun Phase 2 of its cinematic release schedule. Robert Downey's return as Tony Stark has been extremely well received, but it was only the first of many superhero sequels scheduled to come our way this year, including 'Man of Steel', 'The Wolverine' and 'Thor: The Dark World' (Pointless subtitle anyone?). 

What I'm wondering though is whether any of these films will actually be any good. Last week, I honored the Five Best Superhero Sequels of All Time but everyone knows that not every sequel is bigger and better than the first. Let's take a look back at the five worst superhero sequels that have bored or frustrated cinema-goers in recent years. Trust me. There were plenty to choose from.

Monday, 20 May 2013

New Track From London Grammar - Wasting My Young Years

Following the critical success of their previous EP 'Metal & Dust', London Grammar are back with a video for their new single 'Wasting My Young Years'. The black and white promo only shows the trio in fleeting glimpses but its simplicity captures the ambience of the track beautifully. I don't fully understand why the video features a range of doll like figures hanging suspended in the air but the surreal visuals strangely suit Hannah Reid's haunting vocals. The laid back production and chilled out piano playing continue in the vein of 'Metal & Dust', so if you enjoyed London Grammar's previous work then you'll definitely love 'Wasting My Young Years'. Check it out by clicking the link below.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Check Out Up and Coming Singer Indiana's New Track Smoking Gun

How have I not heard of Indiana before? On the track 'Smoking Gun', the English singer songwriter melds her haunting voice with an alternative hip hop beat to create one of the most interesting pop songs I've heard this year. The general vibe of the track reminds me of a darker Nelly Furtado but there's an aggression in Indiana's voice that is reminiscent of Alanis Morissette at her best. Despite this though, Indiana clearly has her own unique sound and I think she'll definitely be one to watch in the next few months. If you're still intrigued, check out the official video to 'Smoking Gun' below after the break.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Whatever Happened To RnB? Top 10 Mariah Carey Slow Jams

Remember when Sisqo was part of Dru Hill and Janet Jackson wore a nose ring? In this weekly feature, I take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what's happening in RnB today. Previous posts have focussed on latino singer Lumidee, new videos from Frank Ocean and Ciara. In celebration of Mariah Carey's comeback hit '#Beautiful', I wanted to share with you my top ten favourite slow jams from the diva herself.

Mariah Carey is most famous for singing sweeping ballads which show off the incredible range of her voice. 'Hero', 'Vision of Love', 'One Sweet Day'... all classic songs but in reality, Mariah is the queen of the slow jam. With her smooth sensual vocals, Mariah sounds incredible on mid-tempo numbers like new single 'Beautiful', but which of her slow jams is best? Listen to my top ten choices below and decide for yourselves.   

Monday, 13 May 2013

Five Reasons Why I Love Jason Reitman.

The other day, I finally got around to watching Young Adult, which I've been dying to see since its release last year and I wasn't disappointed. The film showcased a brilliant performance from Charlize Theron, a well crafted script from Diablo Cody and of course, the wonderful direction of Jason Reitman, who has never failed to disappoint me with any of his films. Reitman's next project, Labour Day, stars Kate Winslet and is due out at the end of the year. I have high expectations; maybe this could be the film to finally win Reitman a very well deserved Oscar. We'll just have to wait and see if he can keep up his successful run, but for now, I'm taking a look at what I think makes him such a brilliant film maker and why I love him so bloody much.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Five Best Superhero Sequels of All Time

Hollywood is full of pointless cash-in sequels that ruin everything that was great about a series in the first place, but I think that superhero sequels can be the exception to this. Often, it is the first film in a superhero franchise that turns out to be the weakest because so much of the plot has to be devoted to introducing the character and their origin story. Once that's all out of the way though, the sequels are then given free reign to take the character's development to the next level. That's why 'The Avengers' worked so well; each of the heroes had already been introduced to audiences in each of their previous solo films.

To celebrate the fact that 'Iron Man 3' is a thousand times better than either of its predecessors  let's take a look back at the five best superhero sequels of all time. Just remind me to update this post when 'The Avengers 2' comes out ok?

Friday, 10 May 2013

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Mariah Carey's #Beautiful ft Miguel - Official Video

Remember when Lauryn Hill was a promising new talent and New Jack Swing was all the rage in RnB? In this weekly feature, I take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what's happening in RnB today. Previous posts have focussed on latino singer Lumidee, new videos from Frank Ocean and Ciara, as well as Mariah Carey's comeback hit '#Beautiful'.

Good news Mariah fans. After only a few days of airplay, Mariah has released the official promo for '#Beautiful' and I can tell you now that it's pretty awesome. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Whatever Happened To RnB? - Mariah Carey's #Beautiful ft Miguel

Remember when City High had a promising career and The Black Eyed Peas were just a little-known hip-hop act? In this weekly feature, I take a look back at some of the best RnB artists of yesteryear, sharing their signature videos and underrated hits, as well as looking at what's happening in RnB today. Previous posts have focussed on the Honeyz comeback, a retrospective on Lumidee's career and new videos from Frank Ocean and Ciara. Today I wanted to share Mariah Carey's comeback single 'Beautiful'.

Despite starting off as a pop artist, Mariah has been successfully releasing huge RnB records since the late 90s and her impact on the scene is incomparable. I'm a huge Mariah fan so I was ridiculously excited to hear that the diva would be releasing a new studio album this summer, although I was worried that the new release wouldn't perform well. The hip-hop heavy sound of last years single 'Triumphant' didn't make much of an impact on the charts and not many people heard the song 'Almost Home' from the 'Oz' soundtrack, so comeback single 'Beautiful' needs to be a huge smash to put Mariah back on top. But is it good enough?

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xue Xinran

Autobiographies, historical accounts, information texts... none of these really do it for me. As a rule, I don't tend to be a fan of non-fiction books but it's important to step out of your comfort zone every now and again, as you may be surprised by what you might find.   

When I first spotted 'The Good Women of China' on the charity shop bookshelf, I found myself picking it up out of passing curiosity, as I am a huge fan of Asian culture. I almost didn't buy the book but there was something about the format that grabbed me and I am now so glad that I gave 'The Good Women of China' a chance, as it is one of the most powerful and moving books I have ever read.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2012) Xbox 360

Based on a fantasy book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowksi, the 'Witcher' series was always going to be a hard sell for casual gamers. However, after reading a number of fantastic reviews for the acclaimed action RPG, I decided to give it a go. The opening video was seriously impressive but as soon as the game got started, I found the whole experience difficult to get into. The controls felt a bit clunky, combat was far from intuitive and the hardcore fantasy setting put me off, yet I persevered.

After putting aside ideas to trade 'Witcher 2' in for something better, I began to notice little things that I actually quite liked and after a few hours, I finally became engrossed in the world of Rivia. But why did I eventually get turned around by a game that started off so inaccessible? 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Tomb Raider III 1998 Retrospective

With the release of the brilliant new Tomb Raider game, my love for the original games has been rejuvenated. I've gone back on a trip to the 90s to revisit the original Tomb Raider, the hugely successful follow up Tomb Raider II and now I've made it to the third game in the series. When the game was first released, I was very vocal in my belief that this was by far the most superior Tomb Raider game, with better graphics, story and gameplay. But how does this one hold up over time and how does it compare to the original two in the series?