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John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars

Okay so last night I had the pleasure of being able to see the movie adaption of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars. It was one of those rare modern movies were you know that this is going to be an instant classic, and will be watched and loved by many for a long time. This is mostly due to the films lead stars, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, as Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. I’m hoping Woodley will be at least considered, for her portrayal of Hazel, during awards ceremonies in January and Febuary of next year, as I know the Academy likes to over look any films with a teenage audience (we all remember how Harry Potter was treated). But I didn’t intend to talk about how good Woodley and Elgort were, especially since many other publications will spend a lot of time talking about there performance. I’d rather look at the supporting cast, and applaud them for adding so much to the film. While his character may have been idolised by many while reading the book, I wasn’t drawn to Isaac, but it was a completely different story in the film, when he was portrayed by Nat Wolff. It was proven that Wolff is one talented young actor, and this won’t be the last we see of him. Announced in March this year, Wolff will star as Q in another of John Green’s movie adaptions, Paper Towns. Laura Dern is another that will problerly not receive the praise that she deserves from the film. She was everything I could imagine Hazel’s mum being. While the these two don’t get a lot of screen time, their casting was spot on, and matched the vide of the film very well.

Youtube Culture & the New Age Celebrity

Recently there has been a lot of chatter amongst the Youtube community regarding how Youtube, in itself, has grown rapidly and how the culture has changed. A while back Louise, known for her channel Sprinkle of Glitter, posted a video addressing her concerns with conventions and the way people look up to her when she feels like she hasn’t done anything worthy to be idolised. Very modest, but you can’t expect to have millions of followers through your videos and twitter, and not expect people to be excited when they see you, or to be inspired by you. I do have sympathy for her though. I can understand how crazy it would be on stage at those conventions with the kinds of fans that there are.

Louise’s video brought up a lot of discussion with many on Youtube, who posted video responses with their thoughts. Zoe Sugg, known for her beauty channel Zoella, posted on her blog on the same topic as Louise did. The post was amusingly titled “Ordinary Girl in an Overwhelming World”. In her post she says she doesn’t believe she is a celebrity. I don’t know a word which would fit better than celebrity seeing that Zoe has over four million Youtube subscribers, and one and a half million followers on twitter. Maybe it isn’t the traditional sense of the word celebrity, in the way of Angelina Jolie or Britney Spears, but a new age celebrity. I highly respect both Louise and Zoe, so this isn’t any sort of attack on them, but more of a stone cold fact.
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The Rocky Horror Show

Last week I had the pleasure of going to see a brilliant performance by the 2014 Australian cast of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. While the shows cast was marvelous, with Tim Maddren and Christie Whelan Brown as Brad and Janet, and Kristian Lavercombe the stand outs, the show is put in a make or break situation in regard to Rocky Horror’s lead, Frank N. Furter. Luckily for me and 1,000 others in attendance at the Comedy Theater, we were given one hell of a show, thanks to Craig McLachlan.

Giving what I would call one of the best performances I have ever witnessed, McLachlan played the part perfectly. While some may have found his constant crowd interaction annoying, I felt it showed just how comfortable he was in the role. And so he should be. Back in 1992, McLachlan shook the “soapie star tag”, after previously appearing in Neighbors and Home & Away, and made his stage debut as Frank. Joining him on stage was a star studded cast featuring Gina Riley as Janet, Peter Rowsthorn as Riff-Raff, Wilbur Wilde as Eddie/Dr. Scott, and Red Symonds as the Narrator. Since then he has gone on to star in Grease, Chicago, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. At the intermission, I overheard a conversation where someone asked if McLachlan was gay, which to the best of my knowledge he isn’t, but that isn’t important, is it? The only thing that’s important is that he, as Frank N Furter, was willing to take the role everywhere and anywhere.

A year later: Was Justin Timberlake’s music comeback worth the wait?

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Even though The 20/20 Experience and its follow up 2 of 2, were met with mixed reviews, they were commercially successful. Both albums went to the top of the Billboard 200, and both went platinum. The first album, featuring the hits Suit & Tie and Mirrors, went double platinum, and was the highest selling album of 2013.

Now a year on from Timberlake’s comeback to music, looking back, did his music match the hype that surrounded his return to the art form, which he found fame with. The answer is yes and no at the same time. While he sold records, and made chart topping singles, the two LP’S he released over the year could of been cut down into something smaller, to make something bigger. In this post I’ll look at which songs I would of selected for the ultimate track list of The 20/20 Experience.

Pusher Love Girl – Opens the first album perfectly. After a thirty second orchestral intro, we float into a five minute funk jam, with Timberlake’s vocal’s, which we had missed for the last seven years, and are then treated to a slow rap for the outro. Whether the album created would include twenty, ten or even seven songs, this one should always be included.

Suit & Tie – For anyone who complains that that song’s on The 20/20 Experiance were to long, this is one that shouldn’t ever be cut short. The radio edit didn’t do it enough justice. Timberlake’s comeback single, featuring Jay-Z and production by Timberland and J-Roc, ticked all the boxes.

Take Back The Night – The lead single from 2 of 2 struggled to get off the ground, due to controversy and bad timing, but this MJ inspired jam, would of complimented Suit & Tie well sitting next to each other on the album. The horns played by Benjamin Wright give the song an extra punch.

Tunnel Vision – One of the tracks that could of been cut down, we are treated to a electronic R&B song with synths and sounds of a full orchestra, and Timberlake singing about zooming in on the girl of his choice. Never got a real chance on the radio, with Take Back The Night being released hot on its heels, and getting attention for all the wrong reasons due to a NSFW music video.

Murder – The third collaboration with Shawn Carter (after Suit & Tie and Holy Grail) in recent years. The rap featured here is more engaging that Suit and Tie. Where Suit & Tie would have been just as good without the added verse, on Murder, Jay Z’s lyrics which reference Yoko Ono, The Beatles, filing the void left by The Notorious B.I.G.and Tupac in the rap world, and his relationship with Beyonce, take it to the next level.

Mirrors – Not much I could add on the longest track of The 20/20 Experience that hasn’t already been said. A love song inspired by Jessica Biel, is perfect from start to finish.

Let The Grove Get In – Sampling the recording Alhamdulillahi from the album Explorer Series: Africa-Burkina Faso – Rhythms of the Grasslands, lead to once again being compared to Michael Jackson. This time his performance on Wanna Be Starting Something lead critics to draw parallels.

Not A Bad Thing (without hidden track Pair of Wings)The newly released third single from 2 of 2, should see similar success as Mirrors commercially. Finishes off 2 of 2 beautifully and would of done the same for my JT mix.

The Fault In Our Stars

A few days ago, I finally finished reading The Fault In Our Stars, which I kept a slow pace to reach the finish line over six weeks. I thought this would be the kind of book, that would suck you right in and have it finished in one go in the matter of a couple of hours on a lonely afternoon. Maybe the reason half way through I felt uninterested, was due to the way I had built this up in my head. The first half wasn’t terrible, but due to the amount of publicity it gets on tumblr, my mind didn’t know how the second half was going to set itself apart from every other young adult fiction. Eventfully, things picked up, and by the books end, I can see what everyone was going on about.

Upon finishing the book, I did a google search about the upcoming film. Although I knew that Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort would be portraying our leads, Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, but the leads are so well complemented in the supporting cast. Nat Wolff will play Isaac, Laura Dern and Sam Trammell will play Hazel’s parents, and Willem Dafoe will portray Peter Van Houten. It’s been a while since I have been this excited about a book adoptions cast.

Directed by Josh Boone, The Fault In Our Stars will be released June 6, 2014. Check out the trailer above.

Natalie Dormer turns heads at S(W)AG Awards

Is Margaery Tyrell moving into a new hipster phase, during her stay at King’s Landing? Not Likely. The disappearance of Natalie Dormer’s beautiful hair is due to her part in The Hunger Game: Mockingjay where she will appear in both parts of the adaption.

While stepping out for the SAG Awards last Saturday night, she captured everyone’s attention with a new half shaved hairstyle.

Dormer told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s been hidden for 3 months. It happened back in October. I was, you know, waiting for the right moment.” She will play the role of Cressida, when Mockingjay Part 1 hits cinemas November 21, 2014.

In the mean time, you can see Dormer on screen before hand when Game of Thrones returns for its fourth season April 6, 2014.

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Image Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Entertainment Weekly Issue #1291/#1292 – Best & Worst of 2013

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In their latest issue, Entertainment Weekly look back at the best & worst pop culture moments of 2013. Everything you can think of is there including, Miley’s swinging Wrecking Ball, HIMYM’s final season, Beyonce at the Superbowl, Superman’s return to the big screen and remembering those who had passed away during the year. The issue is on news stands this Friday.

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Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly / ew.com