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Entertainment Reviews

The Academy Awards Reviews and Predictions for 2024

Ah, it’s my favourite time of the year again, the Oscars season! With my new local cinema membership, I hope to catch up on the films nominated for the prestigious Best Picture award. I will admit, being located in the UK, the British equivalent of the BAFTAs is also on my radar, but my heart will always go to the Dolby Theatre in sunny Hollywood, California. Without further ado, here are my reviews, upcoming screenings and predictions for the 2024 Academy Awards!

American Fiction

I haven’t seen this yet, so expect a review to be coming very soon! I did however catch a trailer before watching Maestro at the cinema, and I was very interested in what the story has to tell in the film. The film focuses on a struggling novelist who is frustrated at the Black entertainment industry that profits from tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, he writes an equally outlandish book under a penname which soon becomes a breakout hit, pushing him into the madness that he tries to critique. Provoking, yes, with probably an equal amount of comedy in the situation that this educated writer has found himself settled in.

Quick review: fantastic … Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

A Bittersweet Profile with Tasty Notes: “Wonka” Review

When it comes to Willy Wonka, no one was asking for a prequel, especially after the madness that was Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Who could blame them? Considering that Gene Wilder’s original performance of Rohl Dahl’s candyman and Chocolatier Willy Wonka cannot be topped, this film wasn’t too high on anyone’s list. Still, here we are with Warner Bros. new film, Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet as the starring character in his youth, about to open his first sweets shop. Once you get through the hard shell, you do see the sweet, gooey centre of something really special.

Wonka is simply described as the story of Willy Wonka’s beginnings, wanting to break into the Gallerie Gourmet with nothing but a handful of sovereigns and a hatful of dreams. Wonka prides himself in the appearance of both a magician and a chocolatier, fusing them to create marvellous scenes and spectacles like chocolates that can make you fly or even bring back memories or feelings of happy times in one’s life. With the assistance of a young girl named Noodle and a rag-tag band of misfits that were tricked into servitude like Wonka, relying on the generosity of others, … Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

Speak to Me/Breathe (2023 Dark Side of the Moon Redux) – Roger Waters Track Review

At the time of writing this, it is the eve of the release of Dark Side of the Moon Redux – Roger Waters’ reimagining of seminal Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon. Ahead of the formal release, there has been a final single that has been released, which is actually 2 separate songs: Speak to Me/Breathe. While they are distinct separate tracks on the listing, they are so closely linked on the original album in terms of flow that the same approach has been taken here, but how does it fare in comparison?

The opening of Speak to Me seems to take on a more natural soundscape of birds chirping, as opposed to the sound of tills and cash registers going off, and rather than the swell of manic screaming, we’re given another ethereal spoken word segment that seems to be the key recurring undercurrent of this redux. As with the previous track reviews that I’ve done for this album, your mileage may vary with this approach – some may appreciate the new monologues from a Roger Waters 50 years removed from the original album, while some may still be in the camp of thinking this … Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

I Just Saw You In My Dream, Is That Weird?: “Dream Scenario” Review

Dreams are funny little things that our minds play with when the rest of our body is resting or asleep. For some, they might be working over the things that are on their mind during the day. Others, it might be a struggle to face your fears in a place where you aren’t physically in danger. But what if there was someone watching you in your dreams? A24’s Dream Scenario tackles this exact thought with Nicholas Cage being the “man of your dreams” in this dark comedy of limitless possibilities.

Paul Matthews, Cage’s character and the protagonist of this film, is an unremarkable professor who desperately wants his work to be appreciated. For some inexplicable reason, people start seeing Paul’s likeness in their dreams while they are asleep. The news reaches Paul in the waking world and he instantly becomes a viral, Internet-famous celebrity which for Paul is a dream come true to have his own talents recognised in his field of study. Soon, the likeness of Paul in the dreams becomes less of a passive observer and more of a nightmare to his audience of millions, which starts to create obstacles for the real Paul and his family.

Generally, … Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

Dark Side of the Moon Redux – Live at London Palladium Review (9th October 2023)

On the 8th & 9th October 2023, Roger Waters performed 2 shows at the London Palladium to celebrate the release of his Dark Side of the Moon Redux album – as I’m sure you would have known if you have read any of my track review articles, this was his re-interpretation & revisiting of the album that he, along with the rest of Pink Floyd, created back in 1973, which is considered one of the most popular rock albums ever made.

Ahead of the event, a schedule was e-mailed out, along with details: mobile devices, smart watches, and other recording tools would be put in pouches that would be opened after the performance, and the show was made up of two distinct parts – 50 minutes of Roger Waters, and then 50 minutes of Dark Side of the Moon Redux (with a 20 minute intermission between both). I assumed this to mean 50 minutes of songs not on the album, and then 50 minutes of the album. How mistaken I was.

When the show started, Roger did what he likes to do when he’s not singing – talking. He thanked the owner of the venue to allow for him to … Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

Time (2023 Dark Side of the Moon Redux) – Roger Waters Track Review

 

Another week, another track review of the upcoming Dark Side of the Moon Redux album by Roger Waters – the song this go-round is Time.

Right off the bat, some may be relieved to hear that the song, which starts off with a cacophonic sound collage of clocks ticking and alarm bells ringing in the original, is no longer present. Instead, in its place, is more of the spoken word poetry that was heavily present in his other single (Money), so your mileage may very well vary depending on how you feel about the original and the new style that’s being taken.

However, it feels like there has been more effort put into this song as a whole – while there are still the talking aspects, there is more of an attempt at breathy singing, which I think works well in the context of this song. As the title suggests, it’s a piece largely around the all-too-fleeting journey that is life, on an album that was made by Waters while he was 29. Fast forward 50 years, and the message hits a lot harder from the perspective of a man, who, at the time of writing, … Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

Money (2023 Dark Side of the Moon Redux) – Roger Waters Track Review

Money, it’s a crime – it’s also the first song out of the upcoming Dark Side of the Moon Redux album coming out in October this year. As the name suggests, this is a revision of the Pink Floyd album that originally came out in 1973, in celebration of its 50th anniversary – it’s also that album with the cover that’s been the staple of stereotypically college dorm room poster collections for decades.

Oh hey, it’s that album!

Roger Waters was the bassist and lead singer of the band up until The Final Cut after which he and the band separated on less than cordial terms, but has still kept his Floyd material as a staple in his live performances and so has taken it upon himself to give the album a fresh, modern spin. Now, going into this review, I must clarify: Dark Side of the Moon is not my favourite Pink Floyd album, and I personally feel like Money is the least “fitting” song in the album, in the sense that I feel it breaks the flow too much, so it’s not a song that I hold near and dear to my heart. However, having said that, the … Read More

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Conventions Reviews

Pros & Cons: Cincinnati Comic Expo 2022

Last month I had the pleasure of attending my very first comic convention out in Cincinnati, Ohio and one that happens to be the largest comic convention in the city. I’ve always wanted to go to conventions in Ohio and after checking out Horrorhound Weekend earlier in September I was glad to be attending yet another convention in Ohio a few weeks later.

Cincinnation Comic Expo is an insanely large convention that takes place inside the Duke Energy Convention Center in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. The first thing I really liked was the entryway into the convention with various comic books covers lining the sides of the entrance to get inside the convention itself by way of the vendor hall. This particular comic convention is the biggest one that I’ve had the pleasure of attending with various comic vendors, collectors, cosplay shops and so much more that you shouldn’t have a hard time finding something to tickle your fancy. My biggest complaint about this convention is that nothing was really grouped up but rather everything was mixed up. Most conventions I’ve attended in the past have things pretty well categorized together such as an artist alley and etc. but … Read More

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Conventions Reviews

Pros & Cons: Horrorhound Weekend Cincinnati 2022

Horror is one of my absolute favorite genres of movies and it wasn’t until a few years ago when I attended my very first ever Horror convention that I realized just how much I would enjoy attending them. Horrohound was one of my very first experiences at these type of cons and its one of, if not the best, Horror convention in the United States.

Horrhound Weekend took place in Cincinnati, Ohio and this actually ended up being my very first convention that I ever attended in the state. It’s been since 2018 since I’ve attended when Horrorhound was in Indianapolis and it felt great being back as this event was at the Sharonville Convention Center which makes for a very intimate place to have a convention. The vendor areas had a rather interesting layout featuring several vendors local to Cincinnati and Ohio as well as other parts of the Midwest. The smaller vendor room had a few guests on one side with a few vendor booths but one of the interesting things I noticed here was the fact that this was an area in which you could get a tattoo at featuring several tattoo artists from the surrounding area.… Read More

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Entertainment Reviews

Song Review – Gorillaz (feat. Thundercat) – Cracker Island

It’s no secret that Gorillaz has been one of my favourite bands since I got into them around 2005, and they continue to astound me to this day, with this song being no exception.

After the pot-pourri mix of genres and themes that was Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez (including features with Beck, Elton John, St. Vincent, Robert Smith of The Cure, amongst many others – one of my favourites being a mix of Chai and JPEGMafia), many a person was interested in what would come next for the virtual band helmed by Damon Albarn, with Jamie Hewlett’s excellent art. The answer to that is the introduction of the mysterious The Last Cult

Gorillaz are currently performing a series of tours all over the world and in recent times, there have been two new songs that have been added to the setlist – one being called Silent Running, and one that had an official studio release last week (and the subject of this article), Cracker Island.

Kicking off with a foreboding synth melody and unsettling sing-talking from 2-D (the singer in the virtual band), it doesn’t take long for this song to become a groove-bomb, … Read More