Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Film Review

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

If I Stay (2014) Film Review

A touching drama on self-sacrifice and death...

Maroon 5 - 'V' (2014) Album Review

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

Ariana Grande - 'My Everything' Album Review

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

Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) Film Review

Marvel introduces new breed of heroes in slick comical style...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tove Lo: "Queen of the Clouds" Album Review

By: Charlotte B

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

You'll know her as the girl from the Habits (Stay High) film-clip. This song is actually a remix, and is included as bonus track on the album. The original Habits is much less catchy and way more explicit which is probably why the re-boot was more successful.

Most of the songs on this album are in the same vein. There's nothing particularly deep going on lyrically, except for a few tracks such as Not on Drugs and Moments. This album is best suited to parties, clubs and the like as its synth sounds and heavy dance beats demand you dance along. Vocally, it's quite expressive although it would be interesting to see more of this singer's range.

For fans of Ladyhawke, Marina and the Diamonds, and even Katy Perry, keep an eye on this artist as I suspect her future works will only get better as she solidifies her style.

Revenge Season 4 Premiere 'Renaissance' Review

By: Shahbaz Malik
Revenge returns with a promisingly strong start…

The Hamptons may have changed, but it's still just as juicy than ever.

Take a look at the episode highlights:

Emily is lost… Now that her revenge agenda is done with, Emily is afraid of letting go of her blood-thirsty ways.

We saw her tonight try to mask her pain of losing Aiden, and all those that she loved.

I love when Revenge taps into the psychology and emotions of humans, especially in terms of coping with death and grief. This was the very moment when payback was served by Emily to help newcomer Nancy, but she revealed that is not what she wanted as hate is a useless emotion and that no matter what we do, our loved ones will not return.

Plus, this than led to an emotional and touching scene between Nemily, as Nolan confronted her on her current damaged personal crisis.

Queen V escapes… Victoria never fails to entertain, even when she's locked up in a prison-like mental ward.

She of course has made allies during the six-month time jump, but of course only for her own gain.

Plus, only a queen can actually get a personal assistant to do all the dirty work. I'm wondering if Vic must repay her somehow, I mean why would she want to help her?

But thanks to a crazy lady and her umbrella too, she was able to escape and return to take down Emily.

But, will Victoria turn over a new leaf this season and help that poor girl she met in the mental institution? She seemed to relatively have made a bond with her.

David Clarke reveals himself to… Victoria? Wow, did not see that coming. I was in a state of excitement and shock when he grabbed her, Vic's reaction was priceless - it was both a mixture of horror and pleasure.

As to why he chose her, we will have to wait. I also read a few fan theories that David may not have revealed himself to Emily due to confusion over Faux Amanda's death. Could he be thinking she may have died? …. Next week, where are you please?!

Charlotte on yet another downward spiral… Why, oh why must Charlotte always be in the same situations. Now she has become the victim of Margaux's brother, Gideon who also framed Daniel last season finale by over-dosing a poor young girl.

Nolan interjected though, and now Margaux is on the hunt to help now-broke Daniel (whom she abandoned during the time-jump) bring down her brother. Oh, I also loved seeing Emily bond with Margaux over dating 'the most hated man of the nation's son'.

Jack the cop… Yeah, this is strange. But we also saw him continue his struggle with Charlotte, who seems to be doing all her crazy-antics to get back at him.

Maybe all this will end next week though. (see the promo below)

Plus, what do you think of his cop partner, Ben? His eyes already seemed to be set on Emily. *hint hint*

VERDICT: I'm happy with the new direction the show has taken, as it makes for some dev-ishly good drama. Let's just hope the Revenge writers can keep this momentum throughout the entire season.

Judging by next week's promo, there's no sign of slowing down. Check it out below!

Overall Rating: 

What did you think of the season four premiere?

- Shahbaz Malik

Image: ABC

Monday, September 29, 2014

WATCH: Ariana Grande Performs On SNL!

By: Shahbaz Malik
Ariana Grande performs new single 'Love Me Harder' , plus a slightly acoustic 'Break Free'...

Ariana Grande can add yet another record achievement to her already impressive list of accomplishments this year.

The pop diva landed a guest spot on SNL this week, alongside host of the episode Chris Pratt.

Audiences were treated to not one, but two performance as Ariana debuted a slightly stripped back version of 'Break Free', along with an exclusive first live performance of new single 'Love Me Harder' with The Weeknd.

P.S. Look out for when The Weeknd tries to interact with Ari, it's kind of cute.

Watch both performances below:

Break Free

Love Me Harder

- Shahbaz Malik

Survivor San Juan del Sur: Blood v Water (Season Premiere Recap)

By: Andrew McDonald
Review: Survivor: San Juan del Sur Blood v Water

Rejoice, rejoice, Survivor has returned to our television screens!  The premiere of the reality show’s 29th incantation aired. This time the “castaways” are “marooned” in the rather inviting, yet harsh environment of San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua.

Added to the mix is the second version of “Blood verses Water”, where loved ones must compete against each other. The previous “Blood verses Water” season saw returning survivors battling against their loved ones which resulted in many a retributive move being made against those deemed to have betrayed their better half. With that kind of precedent, “Blood verses Water” 2 was alluring.

After the first episode, aficionados will attest to the wonderment of Survivor and will not be disappointed. (How could you ever be disappointed in Survivor?)

Survivor: San Juan del Sur: Blood verses Water, lives up to its mantra of dispelling stereotypes, causing conflict and bearing witness to personality change in the face of pressure.

Meet The Cast

We meet each couple as Jeff flies over their individual camp spots in his helicopter. (Was it borrowed from Forrester Creations or Spencer Publications?)

There’s Jon and girlfriend Jaclyn-they represent the all-American glamour couple, he the college football star, she the former Miss Michigan, both with perfect smiles. We learn later that Jon is battling with the realisation that his father has a terminal brain tumour and his wish is to watch the series back with him and for him to be proud of his son.

John and Julie are next. John is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Apparently controversy has dogged him for 15 years concerning bigoted and homophobic comments. John is a huge physical specimen, with an ego to boot. He is keen to keep his identity a secret. Julie is a buxom, beauty, who in her words, has to “deal with the classic type-A personality.”

Jeff flies over Missy and her daughter Baylor. According to Baylor her mother’s 3 divorces have brought them closer together and they are going to work together.

Drew and Alec are your typical brothers with a very relaxed attitude. They are keen to get one-up on each other. They begin a fire with a clump of Alec’s hair!  Drew is a successful model in Europe. 

Jeff buzzes over Dale and his daughter Kelley. Their back story is that Survivor is pathway to reconnecting their relationship after they did not speak to each other for 3 years at one stage. I’m sure we’ll hear more about their estrangement later.

The show’s gay couple, Josh and Reed are Broadway entertainers, who are super fans of the show. In fact, Reed gave Josh a piece of flint for a Valentine’s Day present. What commitment!

The antithesis of Alec and Drew are embodied in the husband and wife team of Jeremy and Val. He is a Massachusetts Fireman, she is a Boston Policewoman. They share a professional rivalry. 

Hovering over sisters, Nadiya and Natalie, we find them struggling to start a fire. They are veterans of reality television, having competed on the Amazing Race. As soon as the other contestants discover this they will surely become targets. A plaintive cry to Jeff for assistance with the fire goes unheard as he flies on.

Our final survivors are Keith and Wess, father and son firefighters from Louisiana. They both have stereotypical, thick Southern accents. Keith requires subtitles to be understood. 

Jeff signs off with his trademark move. Standing on the skids of the helicopter he triumphantly proclaims, “39 days, 18 people, 1 survivor”.

Day 1

Upon arriving at the challenge arena the next morning, the couples are split forming the Hunahpu and Coyopa tribes after sizing up the opposition.

Hunahpu select Jeremy to contest the first Reward Challenge. Here is the twist, he must compete against his wife Val. Jeremy is already upset at being separated from Val and is even more perturbed with the thought of her losing in the challenge. Surprise, surprise, he wins the obstacle course, throwing a hook to retrieve a bag of camp items challenge. Tears flow as he bids Val farewell to Exile Island-Survivor limbo where you’re not out of the game yet but you’re not a part of the game!

Jeff informs Jeremy he must send someone from his tribe to Exile Island as well. He selects Keith because he looks as though he will take care of Val in his absence.
Later Jeremy confides that he will cop a real ribbing from his mates when they see him so emotional.

Exile Island is a bare, inhospitable place. However, Val discovers that it is a blessing when she and Keith are forced to choose an urn. Inside Val’s urn is a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol. Keith’s parchment is blank and is, as he laments, “the story of his life.”

Keith finds out that Jeremy is also a fireman and hopes to forge a bond between the two.

Back at Hunahpu, Jeremy is lauded for his challenge victory. He immediately begins forming an alliance. He recruits Kelley, Natalie and Missy, upon his return from Exile Island, Keith is coerced. Jeremy already has the numbers.

While building the shelter Julie bemoans that Drew is showing all the signs of boyfriend MLB John-the type-A personality. “He’s a dumb dude.”

Meanwhile, the mood is low at Coyopa. Baylor notices that the majority of the tribe are in their 20’s, with MLB John and Dale the odd ones out. They are struggling to make fire. Dale uses his childhood experiences by starting a fire with his reading glasses acting as magnifying lenses. Success and with that his stakes has been lifted against possible expulsion.

The Immunity Challenge is testing. Both tribes must navigate under an obstacle of cargo netting, retrieve 3, suspended bags of climbing tools by lifting someone up. The teams must climb a 3 sectioned wall. Reaching the summit they must complete a symmetrical puzzle to grab immunity. Val and Keith re-join their respective tribes.

Most of Coyopa are up by the time the first Humahpu member is ready.
The last wall section needs brute strength. MLB John acts as human ladder allowing his tribe to climb on him to reach the puzzle section. Humahpu are floundering.

Humahpu have reached the puzzle after a concerted team effort. Coyopa have it-no they don’t. Humahpu are working well, led by Reed, Julia, Kelley and Michigan Jon-suddenly they’re only one piece away. It fits, it fits! Humahpu win. Coyopa is devastated. They gleefully accept the Immunity Idol.

At the post-mortem, back at camp, Dale thinks he will go first so attempts to gain support from the males to target Nadiya. Meanwhile the females are colluding to oust Dale with the help of Josh, whom Nadiya describes as “one of the girls”.

Coyopa trapes into Tribal Council and light their torches-they have life for now.

Josh feels he is the swing voter, caught in the middle of the boys and girls. He muses that this has been fraught with danger in the past.

Nadiya finds Survivor far more difficult than The Amazing Race, but remains positive.

Nadiya receives 5 votes, Dale 3 and Baylor 1.

Nadiya is greeted with the fatal words, “Nadiya, you need to bring me your torch. Nadiya, the tribe has spoken!”

It is revealed that Baylor has reneged on her allegiance to Nadiya. Is there more to come?

Bring on next week. Oh, the humanity!

Team Breakdown:

HUNAHPU                                                                        COYOPA
Missy                                                                                Baylor
Kelley                                                                               Dale
Jeremy                                                                             Val
Reed                                                                                Josh
Julie                                                                                 John (to be known as MLB John)
Jon (to be known as Michigan Jon)                             Jaclyn
Natalie                                                                             Nadiya
Drew                                                                                Alec
Keith                                                                                Wess

Ella Henderson - Chapter One (Album Review)

By: Shahbaz Malik
At just 18 years old, X Factor UK alum proves a worthy new artist to stan for…

'Ghosts' has been a breathe of fresh-air on radio airwaves (which was  co-written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder), and the album follows the same path with numerous soulful and beautifully catchy tracks.

'Ghosts' opens Ella Henderson's stunning album, and is followed by another hit-worthy sounding track titled 'Empire'. The third track 'Glow'which just so happens to be her new single reveals that this album is no mere average artists album as Ella belts at a powerful chorus that will remain in your heads for days.

Upbeat tracks take a back-burn when moving into the fourth track 'Yours', which showcases how euphoric her voice can be with minimal instrumentals, which is a similar case on another track titled 'All Again'.  It makes you wonder just how she finished sixth place on the reality show that brought her into the limelight. '

If you dislike emotional ballads, 'Mirror Man' brings back the pop tracks as she blends classic with modern.. think Duffy & Paloma Faith. Oh, and speaking of artist resemblances, there's also a bit of a Leona Lewis vibe also on ballad 'Missed'.

There's plenty of other great tracks too, which put you in the mood to scream and dance in an emotional rage. Tracks like 'Pieces', 'Beautifully Unfinished' and 'The First Time' will have this effect, especially against exes that've done you wrong.

As for typical pop fluff that'll surely send radios alight with a "Kaboom", is 'Rockets' as it's infectiously catchy, with a mild RnB favour. '1989', while only a bonus track also needs to be a single!

VERDICT: Ella's debut album rightfully introduces a new powerful pop lady to the music scene.  Being this is her first album, hence the album being fittingly titled 'Chapter One', proves that this songstress is no one-hit-wonder with many more chapters to come.

Must Listen Tracks: Ghost, Glow, Pieces, The First Time, Rockets, Lay Down, Billie Holiday, Beautifully Unfinished, 1996.

Listen to Ella's hit debut-single 'Ghost' below:

Overall Rating:

'Chapter One' will be available to purchase on October 13.

- Shahbaz Malik
Image: Syco Music

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alt –J: "This is All Yours" Album Review

By: Charlotte B
This long-awaited second studio album by indie rockers Alt-J is wonderfully mysterious, surprising and well worth a listen!

From the beginning, “Intro” is paradoxically dark and hopeful all at once. Electro touches roll around in a sea of reverb and rich choir harmonies. The defining and unique aspect of the song is a distorted mandolin, which embellishes the track in an unexpectedly beautiful way. 

That is what this band is all about: interesting and unique combinations of timbre.

The female vocals on “Hunger of the Pine” and the later tracks are a nice, albeit temporary change – not that the lead vocalist Joe Newman could be upstaged by many of his contemporaries, anyway.

The album as a whole is cohesive and will certainly be part of my Rainy Weather Playlist. My standouts are the more up-beat, “Every Other Freckle” which just has the most weirdly descriptive yet seductive lyrics, and the piano-driven, electro “Bloodflood, Pt. II”.

Definitely check out "This is All Yours" if you’re a fan of chill-out music with a seriously awesome edge.

By Charlotte Bouchereau

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gotham Series Premiere Review: A Promisingly Dark & Gritty Beginning

By: Shahbaz Malik
Batman gets the Smallville treatment...

Looks like Batman has finally got the prequel series treatment, just like DC's Superman long-running CW series Smallville.

It works especially as it makes a statement,  which was seen in The Dark Knight films on how the police force sometimes serves corruption. There's even a quote at one point on how crime is an essential function to show that the police are there to protect? 

Gotham does although sometimes become a bit cheesy, particularly the incorporation of Selina Kyle stalking Bruce Wayne after witnessing the death of his parents. I mean it's perfect for the two to have a somewhat deeper connection, but it just seems a tad corny for a show that's trying to be largely dark.

The OC's Ben Mckenzie also marks his return to FOX, the channel that kick-started his career. Ben proves his still got it as he pulls of the perfect brooding demon-battling good hero as lead character, Jim Gordon.

Oh and was it just me, or was Alfred (Sean Pertwee) quite icy? He was quite comical when Jim payed Bruce a visit.  He certainly appeared as a man who hasn't got time for any nonsense.  Jim's mentor although, Detective Harvey Bullock was a tad bit too much as his character aims to challenge Jim. I feel his role needs to be turned down a bit as Jim seems a much more complex character in comparison.

Villainess Fish Mooney first appears on screen as a tad over the top until we later get to know her. She proves a great addition, played superbly by Jada Pinkett Smith as the conniving underground club ring leader who unfairly treats her minion Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor).

Well it comes back to bite her in the end after he reports her illegal activities, which in turn lead her to becoming a suspect in the Wayne's murders.

Jim Gordon may live to regret his kindness though, as he lets Penguin go after being sentenced to death by Fish when she discovers his betrayal. We are then treated to Penguin's iconic disturbing murders, when he resurfaces after Jim chucks him into the sea (to convince Harvey that he murdered him) and kills an innocent fisher for his sandwich.

Side Notes: Does Jim's girlfriend Barbara have a lesbian history with Detective Renee? They seemed a tad more than just old-school friends. And who else is digging Ivy being on the show as a kid? It's nice to see her evolution into her eventual Poison Ivy persona. Oh and one more thing.. *cough* Riddler *cough*

VERDICT: The pilot shows large amounts of potential for a dark gritty DC series, if it plays it's cards right (Yes, that was a Joker pun).

Overall Rating:

Watch the promo for next week's episode below:

- Shahbaz Malik.
Image: FOX

Sunday, September 21, 2014

iHeart Radio Music Festival 2014 - Performance Highlights!

By: Shahbaz Malik
One of the biggest music events of the year returns for yet another year...

Get all the highlights from the 2-night event below:

1. Taylor Swift's Live Set:

Taylor performed a bunch of tracks this year, including new hit 'Shake It Off' along with a 1989 rendition of her classic 'Love Story'.

2. Ariana Grande performs alongside Nick Minaj:

Ariana got a little frisky and performed a butt dance alongside Nicki for their collaborative track 'Bang Bang'.

3. Ariana Grande:

Ariana took the stage to perform several of her hits, including 'Problem', 'Break Free' and new track 'Break Your Heart Right Back' alongside Childish Gambino.

4. Calvin Harris:

With some of the biggest dance tunes of the year, Calvin took the iHeart stage by storm with his current hits 'Summer' and 'Blame'.

5. Iggy Azalea:

Iggy werked the stage, performing all her biggest hits including 'Black Widow', 'Fancy' & 'Work'.

6. Paramore:

Paramore added a bit of rock to the stage, performing their biggest hits 'Still Into You' and 'Ain't It Fun' for the Vegas crowd.

Hayley Williams also belted out classic hit 'Misery Business' with a young girl from the crowd (something the band is famous for on tour).

And that's another year from iHeart's Radio Music Festival!

See ya next year music lovers.

- Shahbaz Malik

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Maze Runner (2014) Film Review

By: Shahbaz Malik
Young adult dystopian flicks take a post-apocalyptic turn...

It's a current trend in Hollywood for YA (young adult) dystopian novels getting the movie treatment. The Maze Runner is another one of those, except it's a new breed as it's instead set in a post-apocalyptic world, rather than a dystopian future.

The Wes Ball directed premise surrounds a group of young boys stuck in the middle of a forest-like entrapment (think Lord of the Flies), the only way out is through a creepily mysterious maze. But when Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) arrives, he breaks the rules set by the boys vowing to go against the maze and brings a sign of hope to escape back into the real world.

What gives this film such intrigue is its confusing and mysterious nature throughout the film. It has you asking questions from the beginning, as things occur on their own merit without explanation. You will scratch your head at times, while at the same time wait patiently to see what is actually going on.

It all of course leads to the climax of the film, where it attempts to reveal the messiness of what is actually going on. I really wanted a big pay-off, but alas it's yet another book series turned film series where we will have wait to learn more in future sequels.

Dylan O'Brien (of Teen Wolf fame) owns this film though as the lead of the film, Thomas as he brings hero to a whole new level without getting all too cocky about it either. Plus, the only female here Kaya Scodelario as Teresa also proves a worthy addition to the predominately male cast.

Oh and let me praise this young adult flick for steering clear from all that typical cheesy romantic leads falling in love sub-plot.

VERDICT: A new spin on the teeny dystopia craze, with an enthralling and captivating mysterious plot that will have you hooked till the very end.

Overall Rating:

See the trailer for the enthralling flick below:

- Shahbaz Malik.

Picture: 20th Century Fox

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Veronicas Debut 'You Ruin Me' Music Video!

By: Shahbaz Malik
The Veronicas are back in business...

The Veronicas have finally released the music video for their first single in two years, 'You Ruin Me'.

'You Ruin Me' was first sent to radio airwaves last week, and generated quite the buzz with stations playing the song on a regular basis.

The track is now finally available to purchase, and has already gone straight to no.1 on the Australian iTunes singles chart! You go girls!.. Warner Music take a hard look at what you've just lost.

Along with the track going up for purchase, the girls also debuted the stunning music video to go with it, and it's beautiful!

Plus, watch out for the ending! What are the girls planning next?!?

Watch it below:

Purchase 'You Ruin Me' on iTunes here.

- Shahbaz Malik.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nick Jonas Debuts Music Video For New Single 'Jealous'

By: Shahbaz Malik
Nick Jonas continues to paint the pathway to his solo career with new single 'Jealous'...

Ex- Jonas Brothers member Nick Jonas continues to impress fans in his latest music-video for his second single 'Jealous', off of his upcoming solo album.

His previous single 'Chains' was a dark look at the teen idol turned super-star. It was certainly a much more mature sound from Nick and fans dug it.

'Jealous' although is much more upbeat, compared to 'Chains' as Nick showcases his sexy-side.  It's another catchy tune, at times he sound a bit like JT on this track especially when his voice hits those high notes.

The music video for the single also proves just how pop-worthy Nick can be, as he plays multiple roles while travelling through different television screens. From being all badass on a motorbike to being a NYC taxi driver picking up the girl he loves (who is his real-life girlfriend Olivia Culpo), it's definitely a fun music video to watch.

Watch it below:

Are you digging Nick Jonas's solo music?

- Shahbaz Malik.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Official Theatrical Trailer Teases An All-Out War!

By: Shahbaz Malik
Get excited THG fans, your first extended look at this years hottest blockbuster is finally here...

The Hunger Games fans were teased with constant little teaser spots, along with a teaser trailer giving us a glimpse of the new rebellious Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence).

But nothing can compare fans for the fathom that is the theatrical trailer of the hotly-antipated first chapter of the epic two-part conclusion.

A heavy dose of footage (in just under two minutes!) has been given to fans of the saga, that include a reflection on the previous two films. Katniss states her usual confusion of becoming the Mockinjay, before we see her embrace it and become an all-out warrior alongside her love Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

She's also determined to bring back Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and will stop at nothing to rescue him!

The extended look also gives a glimpse of Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer in-action and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee.

Keep calm and watch the exciting trailer below:

Mockingjay: Part 1 hits theatres this November!

- Shahbaz Malik