How To Get Away With Murder (2014) Season Premiere Review

A delightfully new drama to watch this season...

Tove Lo: "Queen of the Clouds" Album Review

"Queen of the Clouds" is the 2014 debut album of Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Film Review

The turtles are back for one big generic rehash...

Maroon 5 - 'V' (2014) Album Review

Maroon 5 are back with a brand new infectious and catchy album...

The Maze Runner (2014) Film Review

Young adult dystopian flicks take a post-apocalyptic turn...

Ariana Grande - 'My Everything' Album Review

Ariana gives us a bit of everything on 'My Everything' while maintaining true to herself...

Friday, October 31, 2014

MOVIES: Avengers: Age of Ultron Sneak Peeks

By: Stephanie Paglia
These past couple of weeks have seen huge announcements in the Marvel universe, with the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron released, Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe revealed and now, two new scenes from the Avengers!

Staying true to their promise, Marvel aired a new scene from their next film scheduled to be released May next year during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The scene adds a couple of minutes to the beginning of the trailer released last week and sees the whole Avengers team, plus Agent Maria Hill and Lt. Rhodes, chilling out at Avengers HQ: Stark Towers. 

In typical Tony Stark banter, the Iron Man himself tries to lift Thor’s mighty mjolnir, but even with the help of the suit’s arm and Lt. Rogers, he is not worthy to lift the weapon.  This then turns into a challenge for the rest of the team; Steve Rogers giving it a go only to see the hammer lift slightly to Thor’s mild wariness, and Natasha Romanoff declining Bruce Banner’s request by stating ‘oh no that’s not a question I need answered’. 

It’s this type of comedic character banter that fans hope will set the next Avengers apart from other superhero team films.  Already from this short scene we can see an emphasis on character will be an aim of Age of Ultron, hopefully something that will define the movie from the sea of Marvel features to come.

Ending the scene is an entrance from Ultron, and the trailer begins. 

The next scene was not officially released but leaked from a fan in the Marvel Event in LA this week.  The scene features Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in debate about the pre-emptive war while chopping wood at Clint Baron’s farm.  The conflict between the two hero’s sets the stage for the third Captain America film Civil War which leads the franchise into Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The film’s synopsis shows signs of tension between the Avengers, which this scene seems to be leading up to: ‘following the events of the Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act designed to regulate all superhuman activity. This polarizes opinion amongst the Avengers and Captain America is forced into conflict against former allies.’

These two scenes reveal a lot about the future in the continuity of the Marvel Universe, and definitely hint at tension building up between the Avengers, leading to Civil War in Captain America. But amongst all this, it is nice to see the next Avengers will still have what the first film did so well, great comedic elements interspersed with all the world saving heroism. 

Personally, I can’t wait to see the next Avengers. If these little scenes are anything to go by, it’s going to be a one of the best Marvel films in the Cinematic Universe.  They just keep getting better and better. 

Go Avengers! 

MOVIES: Marvel Phase Three Line Up Revealed

By: Stephanie Paglia
MOVIES: Marvel Phase Three Line Up Revealed

It’s a wonderful time to be a Marvel fan.

MARVEL STUDIOS invited press and fans to a mysterious studio Special Event in LA on Tuesday to announce Phase Three of the Marvel Universe. 

Phase Three, which takes the film universe to 2019, will bring to screens the next stage of the Marvel empire - Marvel teasing the Infinity Stones collected over the series of films so far (Tesseract from Captain America, Aether from Thor: Dark World and the Orb from Guardians of the Galaxy) will set the stage for the final colossal conflict with the powerful Thanos in the two Avengers films scheduled for 2018 and 2019, Avengers: Infinity War. 

Kicking off the next set of films is the third Captain America: Civil War in 2016.  A fan video from the special event leaked a scene which confirms the film will pit Steve Rogers against Tony Stark in a moral conflict over the events that take place in Avengers: Age of Ultron, set for release May next year.

Next on the list is Doctor Strange, with rumours Marvel is currently favouring Benedict Cumberbatch for the lead. Directed by Scott Derrickson and set for release November 4, 2016, the film will surround the ‘brilliant neurosurgeon who gets in a car accident and ruins what he thinks are the tools of his trade: his hands’, says Marvel president Kevin Fiege.  The film is also tipped to see the beginnings of new dimensions, Fiege stating ‘we want to enter, through Strange, the world of parallel dimensions’. 

From here Marvel hypes up the demand to three moves a year, 2017 seeing writer/director James Gunn’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy 2 set for a May release, followed by the next Thor film Ragnarok, and finally the debut of Black Panther later in the year, Chadwick Boseman casted as the lead alongside Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jn.

The long awaited Captain Marvel will kick off 2018, set for release July 6, with the character of Carol Danvers who Fiege explains her ‘adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm’.  A May release of Avengers: Infinity Wars and a November release of The Inhumans closes out the year, followed by part two of Avengers in May 2019.  

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Marvel, these announcements come on top of last week’s early release of the insane Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer mere hours after it was leaked online - Marvel playfully blaming Hydra for the leak.  

The only things missing from the future lineup are solo films for the rest of the Avengers: Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow.  On the online controversy surrounding Black Widow’s role in the Marvel Universe, Fiege comments ‘Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger, but, like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role’.  It seems Marvel’s main goal is to continue along with the continuity of the Cinematic Universe over satisfying fan’s demands of solo films for the other Avengers members. 

There’s no doubt the next few years are going to be busy for Marvel, and I for one am very excited to see how Phase Three turns out. Who knows what this next stage has to offer, but if it’s as good as the last two, it’s going to Hulk smash the not only fans, but the box office.   

Bring on Phase Three!

Revenge 4x05 "Repercussions" Recap

By: Shahbaz Malik
The week of confrontations... 

This week's Revenge was full of confrontations, so let's take a look at what big events went down this week:

Emily carefully plans a way to get her father back... While Emily was desperate and acted without thinking early in the episode, Emily eventually got her s**t back together as she realised just how much Queen V and Charlotte have their hands wrapped around her father.

Nolan tried his best to tame Emily from her heightened emotions, but the final nail was when Margaux interfered alongside Daniel. She decided that she must win back the memory of the little girl her father knows,  and what better way to do it then placing him back in the very beach house she shared the most memories with him. 

It was quite emotionally heart-wrenching though watching Emily reminisce while her father played one of her memorable childhood tracks they danced too.

Daniel & Margaux at their scheming bests... Margaux truly is becoming more like the Graysons, as she went against both Victoria and Emily's wishes and took the opportunity to regain the top magazine story and Daniel's image by using David as a pawn.

But watch out Daniel, Louise is now ready to bring your reclaimed image down after finding out that he has been shacking up with Margaux. Oh and it doesn't help that he slept with Louise, as she has something to hold over his head now.

Victoria & Emily... This week's scene just deserves it's own paragraph. I must say it's always a treat to see Emily go head-to-head alongside Victoria. Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe truly bring it whenever they have scenes together, this weeks episode was no exception as Vic interfered yet again between Amanda meeting her father.

It was hilarious seeing a truthful war of words between the two, as Victoria attempted to mess with Emily's head over what she has done while Emily aimed to crash the shattering realisation that Vic is trying so hard to gain the love of a man she has wronged. This also included a splendid guilt-tripof what she had done to her as a child.

David, Charlotte and Jack re-union?.... Wow, Charlotte can be so cold sometimes.

This week the bratty bad girl brought David Clarke to Jack, and rubbed right in his face the memory of the real Emily, by making Jack have to confront and discuss the memory of a faux Amanda despite his knowledge of the fact that the real Amanda is alive.

Jack was furious (I know I would be) that he later confronted her, and expressed what we are all thinking... that she "is worst than Victoria" and that she is Conrad Grayson... you tell her Jack!!

Of course, this made her turn sour as she hates the memory of her father, let alone being compared to him. I still think Charlotte will although eventually come around and join team Emily, and judging by her shacking up to the man who tried to kill her father (he did have the same tattoo seen behind the wheel) in that car... I'm sure it's very close.

Overall Rating:

Watch next week's episode promo below:

- Shahbaz Malik

WATCH: Final Trailer For The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Unleashed!

By: Shahbaz Malik
With only a few weeks to go, Lionsgate has officially dropped the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 1!

In the new final look at the film we see a furious Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) now bent on destroying President Snow and his oppressive government.
"If we burn, you burn with us" pretty much sums up the new Katniss.

The trailer also includes the upped-anti within the Districts, and the battle to save Peeta (Josh Hutchinson).

Take a look at the mouth-watering trailer below:

Mockingjay: Part 1 hits theatres internationally on November 21st.

- Shahbaz Malik

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Arrow Recap Season 3 Episode 4 'The Magician'

By: Clare Belshaw
Ok, before I get to the re-cap I feel the need to say... enough fooling around guys. Where's the real Ra's al Ghul?

You better be setting up some kind of Iron Man 3 twist with this guy and he's just an actor while the real Ra's is off doing important evil sinister things.

Just had to get that off my chest first.

Now, back to the episode. This one picks up where we left off with Nyssa (still not Talia) confronting Oliver about what happened with Sarah.


Nyssa goes to mourn Sarah at her grave and runs into Laurel, they chew each other out for a bit. Nothing much is accomplished.

Thea and Oliver meet up  and we find out that she is trying to get her bar back up and running, which is great as she was doing really well managing Verdant. Aside from this not much is accomplished.

Nyssa and Oliver agree to team up and find Sarah's killer, I'm surprised how much seems to be happening without much actually... happening. Seems to be a very character development heavy episode. Which I'm a little bit disappointed after last episode.

Oliver FINALLY learns that Malcolm Merlyn is alive and they track him down, throughout the episode there seems to be some idealogical debate going on about whether or not Oliver should break his vows about killing and if allowing Nyssa to kill is breaking them.

This is a really great little dilemma for Oliver to face, the execution however feels a little clunky. After Merlyn outwits Oliver (although there is no explanation to how) and swears on Thea's life that he didn't kill Sarah Oliver lets him go. Nyssa doesn't take this well and decides to kidnap Thea to force Merlyn into the open. Oliver, Nyssa and Malcolm all in their hoods fight, it's a great fight although I wish the camera would let us see more of it.

Merlyn suggests that Ra's is the one who had Sarah killed and Oliver makes the decision to not only let him go but declare that as long as he is in Starling City he is under his protection. Nyssa... does not take it well.

Thea is letting Roy back into her life as a friend however is still keeping her knowledge about Merlyn secret. Nyssa appears to give Laurel her blessing to take on Sarah's mantle despite she had already claimed her unworthy of Sarah's leather Jacket.

Nyssa then returns to her father... and. we. witness. the WORST MOMENT OF ARROW.

It was odd enough when the Australian Deathstroke sounded Kiwi but now we have the Middle Eastern Ra's al Ghul sounding Australian???

So many levels of does not work with this, not to mention the fact that he really just doesn't have the stage prescence to carry of Ra's The Demon.

Perhaps he will get better in latter episodes, but for now, this was an episode with a whole lot of nothing and one really, really frustratingly underwhelming reveal.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sextape (2014) - Movie Review

By: Maggie Doonan

It's almost as if Jake Kasdan, the director of Sextape, knew about the iCloud storm about to rain down on Hollywood. Sextape is a premonition, an eerie glimpse into the future for a number of young starlets: a couple's raunchy romp is recorded on an iPad which syncs to a Cloud network and releases the video to every connected device. That’s so close it's freaky. 

Starring Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz as the couple in question, Sextape starts with an insight into a familiar marriage-with-two-kids scenario. Knowing their relationship needs a bit of a zing, the couple start the night with shots which leads shooting (footage, that is) their attempts at every position  in the 1970s classic, The Joy of Sex. The next day, the video is released via the sync and chaos ensues as the couple gets into a myriad of mischief trying to save their modesty, dignity and jobs.

A star-studded cast does a fantastic job supporting Segal and Diaz while amplifying the hilarity, featuring Rob Coddroy and Ellie Kemper as cringe-worthy best friends and new fans, and Rob Lowe, who’s performance as a drug-using, lonely and nostalgic new employer is unexpectedly entertaining.

While not the most intellectual of films, Sextape is still a good time for anyone looking for a laugh and proof sextape woes are not just for the rich and famous. A quick heads up (in case the title didn’t give it away): if uncomfortable with  nudity, avoid this film. Segal and Diaz toss shyness to the wind, the latter as svelte as she was in her Mask days, the former cutting a refreshingly relatable figure. Kasdan’s clever camera angles go understated and wholly appreciated throughout the film as there is more than one instance where Segal bends over in front of the camera leaving little more than a shadow between him and absolute exposure.

Sextape is a light-hearted, adults-only reminder that in even with all the conveniences of today’s technologically-infiltrated world a person could end up wishing for the good old days, when a dirty video went mouldy before anyone got time to watch it. 

Seven stars out of ten. 

Late to the Party - Sleepy Hollow S1E2

By: Clare Belshaw

Another week another supernatural villain. This week however the horseman seems to be taking a sabbatical apart from a quick dream appearance.

Ichabod is being chased by all four horseman giving us our first look at the others, the designs are more then a little underwhelming if I'm honest, however the camera work and special effects are still excellent. As Ichabod runs from them he is trapped by tree branches and dragged into some underground tunnels. There his wife Katrina waits, still dressed fabulously, who warns him that several dark spirits are coming to pave the way for Death. The first of you will bee 'one of us', so obviously a witch.

OH LORD THAT NECK! So Andy Brooks (dead Sulu) is back and umm... alive? No, clearly still dead and I like that they have the flesh around his neck sagging from were his head was snapped back 'like a pez dispenser' (Abbie has a real way with words).

Our faceless demon tells him to resurrect someone and Brooks coughs up a medallion. I really like when this shows embraces moments of horror, it can have some really unsettling visuals. It seems as through Brooks will be the welcoming comity for each of these dark spirits.

Dark spirits paving the way for a boss fight? I hear filler episodes!

However is every filler episode has Ichabod being so adorably indignant about a 10% levy on baked goods then I am ok with it.

Ichabod, strict and uptight but also smouldery. I'm fairly certain Tumblr exists just for characters like this (and any character played by Benedict Cumberbatch)

Ichabod and Abbie discuss his dream and that he needs to stay a bit more under the radar as although Captain Irving is willing to give them a bit of room to work simply because he has no other options, no one really believes there is a headless horseman. Which I really can't blame them for, however I appreciate that they also aren't dismissed completely by Irving.

We then see the funeral of Sheriff Corbin, Abbie's mentor and resident Apple Pie aficionado, during which Ichabod stands with his hair blowing in the wind by his wife's grave... does a fan just follow him around? Working out Katrina's incredibly difficult clue of 'she's one of us' he exclaims 'We are looking for a witch!'

Speaking of the witch, Brooks now goes to resurrect her from the stake she was burnt on, and I love the make up work with her. Seriously this witch just has a fantastic burnt doll like face.

This witch is after the ashes of those who convicted her in order to regain her own flesh. As such Brooks helps her track down one of the descendants who she burns alive in his car... while Witchcraft by Frank Sinatra plays. Seriously show? Have you no subtly?

 Abbie and Ichabod have some bonding time before being brought to the scene of the burnt out car, a scene that Ichabod recognises and identifies as a witch from his time Serilda of Abaddon. They go hunting for more information in the archives, which introduces us both to the nifty scooby shack or batcave for their investigations as well as Ichabod's photogenic memory. A decent excuse for how he is going to be a walking encyclopedia for lots of plot details through out the series.

Oh we also meet Abbie's ex...but he doesn't really seem to have any character yet so I'll talk about him when he becomes interesting.

We quickly reach the climax as Serilda manages to gather the last ashes she needs after a decently successful bait and switch were we think she's going to kill a kid for their ashes. The clock clicking Abbie and Ichabod are trying to stop Serilda from completing her resurrection at which point she will be pretty much unstoppable.

They don't make it.

I love this image.

Despite her being immune to bullets they do manage to blow her up with some centuries old black powder... It's a little anti climactic if I'm honest. This show seems like a lot of great set up for not much pay off, then again it is only episode 2. I gave Arrow a whole season to find it's feet.

This show is made by the moments of character development and the occasional sprinkling of horror.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arrow - S4 E3 Recap - Corto Maltese

By: Clare Belshaw

So still not having forgiven the show Arrow for the death of Sarah (proto Black Canary in the show) it appears they are trying to win back my forgiveness by bringing back Miss Thea Queen. It's a start show, but that hurt still runs deep.

This episode is all about showing the paths characters are heading down, Laurel going to be taking up her sister's mantle and Thea following down Malcolm's path.

Oliver and company travel to Corto Maltese to track down Thea, who has been training with Malcom Merlin to no longer fell pain. However they have a side mission, an Argus agent has gone dark and Diggle is trying to track him down.

As that gets underway we see Felicity FINALLY get the office and respect she deserves, I am totally on board with Oliver no longer being CEO. He's a great superhero but a shitty businessman and should be responsible for a company that no doubt employees around a thousand or so people. (Bruce Wayne I'm looking at you too for that).

So Felicity now has Oliver's old office and her own EA, while Laurel has decided that she is going to use her self defence training to stop a domestic abuse situation which the law can't touch because the information came from an AA meeting.

Unfortunately it doesn't end well for her.

Diggle and Oliver manage to catch the rogue agent who brings up some serious questions about Argus. Considering how un-wall-like Amanda Waller has been the last two seasons I'm glad it looks to be building to some Argus revelations as she was always an 'ends justify the means' kind of person.

Thea is also convinced to come home with a final act of honest by Oliver, hearing that their father killed himself to save Oliver when there weren't enough supplies. However we see that as she is able to ignore a burn her training with Malcom has taken hold somewhat.

I'm excited to see Laurel continuing on her path to become Black Canary, as well as what happens to Thea. Considering her relationship with Roy I'm wondering if they are taking her in a villain direction towards Cheshire.

Oh and Nyssa al Ghul shows up at the end, angry at trying to find Sarah, my guess is she'll be even angrier when she finds out what happened.

Taylor Swift - 1989 (Album Review)

By: Shahbaz Malik
Taylor Swift goes full pop on fifth studio outing

After her previous album effort Red, it was only a matter of time before Taylor Swift went down the full pop route.

1989 is just that, as it comes equiped with an array of catchy pop anthems. Taylor is still herself at heart, as she manages to maintain her artist integrity despite the different sounding style. It's effortlessly catchy and everything you'd want from Taylor, with hit anthems such as "Shake It Off", "Out of the Woods", "Bad Blood" and more!

"You took a Polaroid of us, Then discovered the rest of the world was black and white" is a line which proves that Taylor is dedicated to sticking with the 80's theme on this record in which the title embodies, and "Out of the Woods" is certainly one of the most iconic songs that particularly channels the era quite swiftly.

I also must applause the structure of the album as each track flows carelessly. Particularly the smart move of placing the New York ode, "Welcome To New York" as the first track. It subtly is a welcoming message for fans to a brand "new soundtrack". Plus props to Taylor writing alongside Imogen Heap on "Clean".. only The OC fans know how awesome this is.

And for all those guessing lovers, 1989 is yet another fun game of decoding who she may be talking about. This includes decyphering the public feud with Katy Perry on "Bad Blood"... But who really needs to know though? With quality this good, just enjoy the music for what it is peeps.

While the album is a full pop outing there's also some nods to her old style, especially on "This Love" and "Clean" as it strips back the pop synthesisers and showcases the emotional side to Swift.

VERDICT: While Taylor may have gone full pop with 1989, she still manages to retain truthful to her roots. It's fresh, pop-tastic, catchy and pretty much everything you'd want from Taylor!

Best Tracks: Bad Blood, Style, Out of The Woods, Welcome To New York, All You Had To Do Was Stay, I Know Places, New Romantics.

Overall Rating:

- Shahbaz Malik
Image: Big Machine Records

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Veronicas Release Brand New Promo Single "Line of Fire"

By: Shahbaz Malik
The Veronicas are back in full swing, with the girls dropping a new track to coincide with their upcoming self-titled album…

Veronicas fans rejoice, the time has finally come to pre-order their long awaited third studio album.

While the tracklist is yet to be released, the girls have treated fans with a pre-order single titled 'Line of Fire'. It featured in the teaser trailer for 'You Ruin Me' and is now available to listen in all its glory.

The track is more on-par with the girls old style rock on The Secret Life Of... and Hook Me Up as the girls belt out the lyrics "Standing in your line of fire. Sorry I'm a real bad liar".

Listen to the catchy track below:

The Veronicas will be available to purchase November 21st.
Pre-order it here.

- Shahbaz Malik

Image: Sony Music Australia

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WATCH: Avengers: Age of Ultron Teaser Trailer Is Finally Here!

By: Clare Belshaw

On the Internet few things can stay secret for long. Marvel had planned to release the heavily anticipated trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron during the next episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on the 28th. However a recording of the trailer was released, and after taking to Twitter to blame Hydra, the enemy of freedom (but now hero of anxious fans), Marvel have since released the HD trailer early.

eeeeeEEEEEEEE!!! (I'm excited!)

Fans are thrilled to see the return of their favourite heroes along with new-starts Scarlet Witch, Quick Silver and James Spader as the villainous Ultron. As well as a few moments to demonstrate how much Avengers 2 could shake up the Marvel Universe, a wild uncontrolled Hulk, Thor (who also appears shirtless) dropping his hammer and the biggest Ohhhh Shiiiiii!!! moment. Seeing Captain America's shield split in two.

Could this all mean the rumours of the original Avengers wrapping up to welcome in a new team for Avengers 3? Or is it just an amazing trailer?

Unfortunately we'll have to wait for the 1st of May 2015 to find out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FIRST LISTEN: Taylor Swift's new track 'Welcome to New York'

By: Stephanie Paglia

Taylor Swift has been releasing songs one by one to tie fans over until the release of her fifth album on the 28th October, and the third track to be released from 1989 hit iTunes today. 

‘Welcome to New York’, the first song on the album inspired by Swift’s own move to the big city in April of this year, continues in the new pop sound Swift seems to be exploring on 1989, following the already huge hits ‘Shake it Off’ and ‘Out of the Woods’. 

My immediate reaction from the first few bars of Welcome to New York is that its not a sound we’re used to hearing from Swift – a pop drum pattern and synthesiser melody opens the song where we would usually expect acoustic guitar in former albums.  It is however, in true Taylor Swift style, a seriously catchy song, one that could very well become the hit single off the album. 

‘It’s a new soundtrack I could dance to this beat’

As well as reflecting her move to the big city, Swift in ‘Welcome’ is aware of this new experiment in the pop genre, and presents the clich√© of ‘moving to New York’ as a mirroring of her moving between genres from past country albums which have formed her brand.  It’s almost as if Swift is starting the album with such a huge change, a move to a big new city as well as a transition into a new genre with a pop album as a new chapter in her life. 

"I wanted to start the album with this song because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life in the last couple of years," Swift told Good Morning America.

The titles released so far can also be read as a story.  So far we have seen Taylor Swift ‘Shake it Off’ right ‘Out of the Woods’, and now she is ‘Moving to New York’.  This album is definitely going to mark a new stage in Swifts career, and so far the titles have told the narrative of her moving away from the critics and country roots to a new city to produce an album completely in a new genre. 

After Moving to New York, I can’t wait to hear what the next chapter of 1989 has to tell in this new stage of Swift’s career.

Listen to the track below: