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...

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 hero's along with new-starts Scarlet Witch, Quick Silver and James Spade 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 clichĂ© 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:

Revenge 4x04 "Meteor" Recap

By: Shahbaz Malik
The long awaited reunion finally happened.. well kind of


To mark this superb episode, I have broken it down into the range of emotions and events fans were succumbed to this week.

The Reunion…. David finally saw Victoria's lies for what they were. His trigger was the phrase that 'she'll handle it', which was the exact line she told him before he was framed for crimes he did not commit.

What looked clearly like David had planned, he went to a nearby store and stole something which then led him to conveniently end up at the Hampton's county. Emily's new love interest also managed to somehow connect two and two in that he was the one to break into Emily's humble abode.

Anyway i'll forgive the writers for messily trying to get Emily to see David.

The Emotions…  The reactions were EVERYTHING and more though, with Jack first shockingly noticing that it was David in line. Jack of course tried to warn Emily, but was interrupted. Emily's tears were right on the nail. Props to Emily VanCamp for truly connecting to the character and her emotions.

Also loved Nolan's calm reaction and contained excitement over David being alive.

The Self-Hate… Okay that was some serious Da Vinci Code shiz right there when David whipped himself. It was actually quite gruesome for Revenge nature.. but then again what about Pascal's gory death last season?

The reasoning was to frame his innocence over Conrad holding him captive… but did he really have to go to extremes like that? Is there more to his actions?… We will have to wait and see.

The Ruining… While happy to see her father, Emily ran to comfort him when making his public statement on being clear of his crimes. It was of course only to be ruined by Victoria and Charlotte's appearance. The look of Emily's face was priceless as she finally learned Vic's secret weapon.

Poor Emz. I somehow have faith in David though, after he confronted Vic over her lies… I'm sure his planning something we won't see coming. After all he is Amanda's father right?

Also, on a side-note I have a feeling Charlotte will join her sister's side very soon. She's mad at her mother and is fed up with being used by her.. so maybe (just maybe) she will finally see that Emily only has her best interest at heart.

The Manipulation… Daniel is setting himself up for disaster with his new business deal with newcomer Louise. But hey people do silly things when it comes to money.

Seriously though.. what is this young lady planning? Is it revenge, or does she just want a proper mother figure?

One thing four sure is when two ladies surround one man, it's never a good sign. Plus, I really enjoy having Margaux and Daniel together, so please keep them together writers!

Overall Rating:
5/5

Will Emily win back her father's affection? Watch the promo for next week below:


-Shahbaz Malik

Image: ABC

Late to the Party - Sleepy Hollow recap S1E1

By: Clare Belshaw
It’s always a little awkward being late to the party, or late to a TV show.  So join me as I hurriedly try to jump on bandwagons before they pull away.


First up, Sleepy Hollow.



I’ve heard very good things going into this show, about how it balances an incredibly campy premise with smart character decisions and sincerity.


On the negative side I’m told the headless horseman is not played by Christopher Walken…


sh 1.jpg
Disappointed.


We start episode one in the Hudson Valley, New York 1781.


The British are coming! The British have odd freaky mercenaries in face covering leather masks.


We see our hero Ichabod fighting and searching the Red Coats for someone, unsurprisingly he is look for the guy head and shoulders above everybody else... Make that shoulders above everybody else. Ichabod however also dies, falling in battle to what, really doesn't seem like it should be a mortal wound. Seriously mate…

Its_62d66a_67179.jpg


He then wakes up in a strange cave and goes wandering. Emerging from his cave near a beautiful dam and water feature… good thing they didn't discover the cave while making that.


I’m surprised that time traveller getting confused by a road and almost hit by a car is a cliche to me. Perhaps I just watched Hocus Pocus too much as a kid. Hey, Sympathy for the Devil, solid music choice show, if a little unsubtle. Speaking of unsubtle we then move to young cop and old cop talking about unsolved crimes and how the young cop should stop running from her past.


Waiter, I’ll take my cliche’s a la mode.


This is Abbey, our other main character, and her partner who I just get such a ‘one day away from retirement’ vibe from. Money on the table now, he isn’t making it out of this episode alive.
They head off, totally not going to die this episode cop making eyes with a priest as he goes. Is the priest going to kill him? Suspicious priest is suspicious.


So our cop buddies head off smiling and laughing to investigate a totally routine call in. Probably just some wild coyotes or something. This will in no way result in his death. Nope. Certainly won't die right now.


Surprise!

Old cop really should have kept his head… *ba* *dum* *tss*

So Ichabod is arrested, and I must say I'm a little confused as to why, yeah he was running down the street dishevelled but he hasn't done anything. Abbie confirms he isn't the headless horseman, and what follows is our first glimpse of how wonderfully British Ichabod is. I love the interview scene. So far, I just love this show.

Abbie offers to take him to the psyche ward, oh hey! It's the volleyball coach from Evolution!



So Abbie and Ichabod finally meet properly, which is hilarious and cute. I hope there is a lot of fan art of these two in the same way of Bruce and Tony Stark or Homes and Watson. *quickly checks google* yay! And now is where the premise goes from silly to full on mad-libs ridiculous. Not only is there a headless horseman terrorising the town but he is in fact Death, the first horseman of the apocalypse... Because sometimes if you are going play, you need to go all it.

Speaking of silly, suspicious priest is actually from the past and can magic whip chains... which is pretty cool. I hope we get to see more of the priests powers.

... Never mind.


There has been some really creative camera shots and perspectives, as well as some top notch editing. Occasionally it becomes a little distracting, such as the rolling head camera from the decapitated priest, still I appreciate the creativity. Ichabod is lead by an eagle (of course) to the grave of his wife Katrina, who it appears was burnt for witchcraft. While being in Abbie's custody does clear Ichabod of suspicion of committing the crimes, it's pretty clear he's crazy for coco-puffs by any reasonable standard so he's still off to the psyche ward.

We finally get Abbie's back story, and I like it. Seeing something that can only be explained as supernatural and having no one believe you, it would cause enough of an emotional scar to affect you but still let you get ahead and live your life. Plus it's not the tragic dead family.

As Abbie investigates into the occult files that her ex partner Corbin was keeping locked away, we see Ichabod visited in his dream by Katrina. Dressing far more modern gothic then her actual time period. Has she been watching the passage of time from her imprisonment, flipping through fashion magazines, are her clothes created by her thoughts or magic? Or does the devil go out and buy her knew clothes when the old ones become out of date? Maybe that's what he was saying when he appeared to Abbie and her sister... 'excuse me girls, where might I find the nearest mall?'

However, now we are into the real plot of this episode. The horseman is after his head, not sure why, he seems pretty effective without it. But if he gets it back then the other three horseman will arise. However there are bigger problems, the headless horseman now has a shotgun and one of the police officers is a traitor... AND THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN HAS A SHOTGUN!

They find the skull and we have a big old shoot out, traitor cop Sulu gets captured and as the sun rises the headless horseman retreats. However now, we have other witnesses to the headlessness of the horseman, and Abbie learns that she and Ichabod are the first and second witness, destined for seven years of trials before judgement day. (Sounds like this show is gunning for seven seasons).

A little bit of an unexciting ending, I mean the headless horseman just pieces out, there isn't really any horror... oh. Oh wow.

So, I wasn't really expecting Sulu to get axed so soon, recognisable actors tend to stick around. And that sounds when the demon just knocks his head back, gave me chills. The last thirty seconds of the show was incredibly effective, and cutting back through to sympathy for the devil. Loved it.

Join me next week for episode 2.

Orphan Black Season 2 Review

By: Charlotte Bouchereau
Sci-fi fans who haven't yet heard of this TV show are missing out big time. The star of Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany, plays a variety of clones who decide to band together to find out their origin in order to survive.

In season 2, even more clones are revealed, but are not quite what you expect. Also, the plot is pretty unpredictable, with twists and turns in every episode. We see more of Sarah's acquaintances and her daughter, Kira, plays a pivotal role.

Undoubtedly, the relationship of Delphine and Cosima is explored further, and we even see Sarah reconnecting with an old flame. The dynamics of families and romantic relationships is examined as battle lines are drawn and erased rapidly.

There is still a good smattering of light-hearted moments in an otherwise sinister show, including a dance scene.

This epic season has a truly shocking finale that leaves fans desperately awaiting season 3, rumored to be aired in Spring 2015. We can hardly wait! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gone Girl Movie Review

By: Andrew McDonald

Gone Girl-more than just the girl has gone!


Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike deliver simply stunning performances in Director David Fincher's screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel about the disintegration of a marriage, Gone Girl.

Normally, I decry the level of profanity in most movies-it is a sign of laziness, and a lack of a grasp of the subtlety of language and a lack of control. However, the level of swearing in Gone Girl is not overdone, it's borne from a reaction to lies and deceit-the duplicitous nature of the lives the characters lead.  

This is an unsettling tale about the unseemly nature of the environment into which people are thrust. The murky world of innuendo and half-truth engulf this movie. Ultimately, trust is the victim.
People have been misshapen, lives molded into a form that others want it to be. 

It is also a commentary on the power of instant news and social media and the distortion of reality. 
The pace of this thriller never wanes, the editing is controlled perfectly to leave the viewer slightly uncertain about what will ensue.

What begins as a missing person's case, Nick Dunne (Affleck), after making an unconvincing, yet obligatory public appeal, on the occasion of the couple's 5th Wedding Anniversary, turns quickly into a homicide investigation. Nick is suspect No.1 in his wife, Amy's (Pike) murder.

Set predominantly in Missouri, the story has its roots in New York and the fact that Amy has always felt some resentment toward her husband at having to leave her ideal life there. Nick's mother is dying and the couple move back to care for her. The silence of the small town will be shattered by the cacophony of deceit.

The local detective, Boney, played with just the right level of suspicion by Kim Dickens and police officer, Gilpin, (Patrick Fugit) are assigned to find the "gone girl". Gilpin is sure Nick is guilty. Boney automatically sees an implausibility in Nick's story. The crime scene has obviously been staged and coupled with Nick's indifferent behaviour, she too is sure of his guilt.

Hounded by the media, Nick flees to what he thinks will be the sanctuary of his sister Margot's (Carrie Coon) house. Nick and Margot co-own a local Carthage bar. Margot is understandably alarmed by Nick's reaction to his wife's disappearance but accepts his plea of innocence.

The veil of secrecy begins to lift when we learn of the clandestine life Nick has been leading. His act of betrayal is discovered by Margot. Her belief in Nick is severely dented.

The genesis of Amy's battle with a spiraling loss of control and identity we now discover, began from birth. This lack of identity permeates through the entire film. Amy's actions can be seen to be a severe response to her life long manipulation by others.

This is where the film deviates from the norm. Instead of delivering the twist at the end it throws it at the audience right in the middle.

The media have set up camp outside the home. Any move made by Nick is deemed suspicious. Scurrilous accusations of the abandonment of Nick's father (who has dementia) and even incest are levelled at Nick by talk show host Ellen Abbott (Missi Pyle). The power of  the media to sway public opinion is never more potent. 

Is he is being set up? How is he going to convince Boney and now the FBI, otherwise.

The next phase of Amy's plan will be her masterpiece and injects the audience with a foreboding apprehension. 

The climax comes in two parts-one grotesque, the other sublime.

Overtones of Lady MacBeth abound, whose blood soaked hands can never be "washed clean by all the rivers of the land" abound. Lady MacBeth spiralled into depression and madness-for she could never atone for her sins. Atonement will never enter Amy's mind. 

Her life is hers.

Rating of 9 out of 10

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: Taylor Swift ‘Out of the Woods’

By: Stephanie Paglia
Since its release this week, Taylor Swift’s new song Out of the Woods has been on repeat so much that my parents have begun to sing it around the house.  I’ve listened to it on my train rides to uni, I’ve listened to it while writing essays, I’ve even listened to it in the shower (bathrooms have great acoustics). I’m actually listening to it right now.  So it would be fair to say, against all the judgement I will probably get for liking a T-Swift song: I absolutely love this one. 

The new track, the second song released from Swift’s much-anticipated fifth album 1989, marks a transition from the country hits her previous albums were built around to a new beginning in the pop genre.

From the first verse, the influence of producer Jack Antonoff, best know as guitarist of Fun. and Bleachers front man is obvious; almost as if Swift is the featuring artist on a Fun. song.  The pop synth beat harkens back to last year’s Fun. hits, with Swift’s power pop vocals dominating over the multilayered electronic sounds.  A techno drumbeat, kaleidoscopic synthetic sounds, and choral echo back up vocals work together to create a song which fits perfectly in the pop synth genre – catchy, but musically interesting.    


While Out may be moving Swift into a new territory musically, her lyrics  - also co-written by Antonoff - carry the same evocative romantic tales that have become her trademark.  Imagery of ‘moving the furniture around so we could dance’ and the repetition of ‘are we out of the woods yet?’ bring to mind a passionate but tension filled relationship, one which Swift wanted to tell in a song that “stressed that even if a relationship is breakable and fragile and full of anxiety, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthwhile, exciting, and all the things that we look for”. 


Social media debate around the song surrounds whom the lyrics are referencing – but I don’t care who this song is about.  With Swift’s new track, it’s no longer about who; rather finally focusing on the music and how different it sounds from previous country hits.  All that matters is it makes me want to get up and dance, and in my books, that’s what makes Out of the Woods a great pop song.

Out is going to be stuck in my head for the next few weeks, but for once I actually don’t mind. 


Rating: 4/5

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ricki-Lee - 'Dance In The Rain' (Album Review)

By: Shahbaz Malik
Ricki-Lee delivers a perfect blend of pop…



Bubblegum pop, dance bops and stunningly powerful ballads… What more could you ask for?

In Ricki-Lee's fourth studio serving, fans are treated to a well arranged and hit-worthy album. Ricki really delivers on this album as she packs quite a varied cocktail of tracks.

For party-lovers, there's a bunch of club bangers to get you hooked including 'Giddyup', 'Diva' and 'In The Mood'. There all quite fun tracks to pop out the champagne and dance to, or possibly get down and dirty with your lover (The lyrics are certainly racy enough to do so). 'Until We Drop' although is a pure club banger, which will likely be a massive hit on the dance floor.

'Night Vision', 'Only You' (which also serves as quite a good dance track) and 'Mirage' show a side of Ricki-Lee we haven't seen as she explores her more personal and emotional side. The result is of course beautiful as she gets fan alike identifying and relating to the lyrics, inspiring us to sing along and connect with.

VERDICT: Ricki-Lee has delivered pure effort on 'Dance In The Rain' and the pay-off is a superbly arranged variety-filled pop album that will get you dancing, partying and at times emotionally singing along.
Overall Rating:
8.5/10

Listen to one of the best songs (in my opinion) on the album 'Mirage':


- Shahbaz Malik
Image: EMI Music Australia

Dami Im - 'Heart Beats' (Album Review)

By: Shahbaz Malik
Dami Im shines on her first solo album…


Dami Im proves she is worthy on her first real album 'Heart Beats' (as her first album was covers from her time on X Factor Australia).

Dami's voice is something else, and the songs on this album have huge potential too smash charts alike.

'Gladiator', one of her singles off the album has already proved a relative hit on Aussie radio-airwaves, and there's more where that came from. The album features a collection of stunning tracks like 'Living Dangerously' and 'One More Time' which prove Dami can put out tracks which can take on radio pop standards.

There's not one track that I could bash either with each track having its own merits, some although shine more than others.

'Heart Beats' works as it proves to be a record that reveals Dami Im, both emotionally and personally. She evokes and inspires confidence, courage and gratefulness. Dami knows what she wants on this album, and it resonates soundly throughout the album.

VERDICT: Dami Im proves she's got what it takes to compete in the pop music market, and 'Heart Beats' is just the beginning of a promising career for this pure talent.

Best Tracks: Gladiator, Living Dangerously, One More Time, Beautiful, Without You.

Overall Rating:
8/10

Listen to Dami's current hit single 'Gladiator' below:


- Shahbaz Malik

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Revenge 4x03 "Ashes" Review

By: Shahbaz Malik
A slower week of Revenge, with impact


Here's a breakdown of what went down:

David learns Emily is Amanda? It's true when they say every parent recognises their children even when being separated for years. 

Last night, while Victoria planned to foil David's plans of visiting Emiy, he ended up going and planned to kill her (yes, his own daughter without him knowing) but once arriving and seeing his little girl fast asleep, something struck a nerve and made him realise that she is indeed his daughter Amanda!

Take that Victoria!

Charlotte's in… Well that was fast. Victoria while trying to reconnect with her children, let Charlotte in that her father is alive.

Charlotte although continues her struggle to be what her mother wants, as she again tries to talk up her daughter to her own father. But typical Charlotte gave in and went back into her little school girl act.

Oh, and Emily forgave her for trying to murder her by dropping by… only to be held back by Victoria with a gun! Talk about a crazy Vic, but it's all cause she was desperate to rid of her before David conveniently returned from hunting. 

Margaux helps Victoria… This episode was certainly Victoria-heavy, as Queen V used Margaux as her last resort after learning Daniel is indeed broke, with hardly any funds left under the Grayson's name.

Money is the least of your worries now though Vic, as Emily is inches away from learning her father is alive.

Daniel finds a new manipulator… While he maybe rocking up with Margaux (which I'm all for!),  a new girl has her sights set in him. It's of course the mental ward patient , who was left behind by Victoria and is now looking for her new mother figure!

Of course Victoria again disappointed her by telling her to go seek out her mother (who abandoned her), so what better way to bond then with fine another child mistreated by their parents than Daniel Grayson!

But will this new girl use Daniel as a pawn in her own revenge against Vic?

First step at new romance… While Jack may continue to downplay his feeling for Emily, his cop partner is hard at work trying to receive Emily's attention. He made his first move this week when spotting her near Vic and Charlotte's hide-out.. 

Something along the lines of a pickup about being into taking moments out to walk in the outback. But Emz shut him down, burn.

VERDICT: A solid episode, which was slower compared to previous weeks. It also further set-up the big father reveal (which is apparently closer than we think) in weeks ahead.

Overall Rating:
4/5

Watch the promo for next week's big reveal episode:


- Shahbaz Malik
Image: ABC

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nicole Scherzinger - 'Big Fat Lie' (Album Review)

By: Shahbaz Malik
Nicole's confusing personal new album…


Nicole Scherzinger is a talented gal, but since her Pussycat Dolls departure has struggled to make it on her own with numerous tries to crack the big time on her own. "Don't Hold Your Breath" proved to be one of her biggest hits though, which was released from her debut album 'Killer Love' after numerous other singles failed to take off. 

Her second studio serving 'Big Fat Lie' is quite strangely structured, and seems to be yet another miss for the struggling pop star.

'Run', 'First Time', 'Heartbreaker' and 'Big Fat Lie' although prove to be the stand-outs of the album, despite their relatively un-radio friendly style. The singles are not to bad either, which are dance-filler 'Your Love' and break-up anthem 'On The Rocks'.

The title track proves the deepest of the lot from Nicole, as she exposes to fans that her world is a lie? She makes a statement that she's sick of the treatment within her career and perhaps maybe this is directed at her handlers, as to why she is unable to give her full potential.

VERDICT: "Big Fat Lie" is an oddly arranged album that comes with experimental gems and misses. Unfortunately, while it does have its moments it doesn't give hope for Nicole to crack into the mainstream pop world due to its unfamiliar sounding style. 

Best tracks: Run, First Time, Big Fat Lie, God of War

Skip: Just a Girl, Bang

Overall Rating:
6.5/10

Listen to her current single 'On The Rocks':


- Shahbaz Malik

Image: RCA Records

FIRST LISTEN: Taylor Swift Unveils New Track 'Out Of The Woods'

By: Shahbaz Malik
Swifties get another taste of 1989…



Taylor Swift is gearing up for her fifth studio album '1989' by unveiling another new song, titled ‘Out Of The Woods’.

“This was a relationship where I was kind of, living day to day, wondering where it was going, if it was going to go anywhere, if it was going to end the next day,” Swift told Good Morning America.

“It was a relationship where you, kind of, never feel like you’re standing on solid ground …”

The song “stresses that even if a relationship is breakable and fragile and full of anxiety, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthwhile, exciting, beautiful, and all the things that we look for,” she said.

'Out Of The Woods' is only a promo single, but proves to be a hell of a catchy and infectious tune. Swift is although yet to unveil her second single off of the album.


Take a listen to the track below:


‘1989’ will hit stores worldwide on October 27th. Pre-order the album here.

- Shahbaz Malik


 Image: Republic Records