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The Star Project

Hidden Figures Film Review

Hidden Figures (released in February 2017) follows the story of three African-American women – Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – who worked at NASA  in 1962 and were the brains behind sending John Glenn into orbit. Starring Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.

 

I found this film incredibly inspirational and empowering. To see people with nothing and be treated so badly to achieve such greatness was amazing. Equally, showed how if you persevere with something, you can achieve incredible things. I think all three actresses portrayed each woman’s story beautifully and were brilliant throughout.

I thought it was such a beautiful story and loved how it was a true story. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and was nearly brought to tears at moments.

 

I would give Hidden Figures 5/5 stars and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

 

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Spectre Review

SPECTRE is the 24th instalment of the James Bond films, based on the Ian Fleming novels. There is a good selection of actors and actresses featured in the film including Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes.

A cryptic message from former M (Judi Dench) leads James Bond to Mexico City and Rome where he meets the widow of an infamous criminal. After invading a secret meeting, Bond discovers the existence of the organisation SPECTRE. With the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, Bond ventures to the heart of SPECTRE. But what will he uncover?

SPECTRE starts of in Mexico City where Bond stops an Italian hitman from bombing a major parade. Bond finds a ring on the hitman’s finger with a symbol on it, a symbol that has been showing up at terrorist attacks around the world. With the help of Moneypenny, James tracks down the hitman’s wife in Italy and infiltrates a secret meeting of the organisation Spectre where he is discovered and nearly killed. Bond then has to track down old nemesis, Mr White. Bond then enlists Moneypenny and Q to help seek out Mr White’s daughter, Madeline Swan, to help unfold the web of Spectre. As James ventures to the heart of SPECTRE he learns what the connection is between himself and master behind the source of his pain. Each character is played by an amazing actor including Daniel Craig (James Bond), Lea Seydoux (Madeline Swan), Ralph Fiennes (M) and Christoph Waltz (Oberhauser).

I thought the film was overall an amazing action film. Once I understood the beginning, I really enjoyed the film. I specifically enjoyed the storyline as it seamlessly followed on from the previous bond film Skyfall. I found the acting really good and that the actors who played the main roles, portrayed there characters really well, especially Christoph Waltz and Daniel Craig. I was also happy to see Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (Q) in on some of the storyline as they weren’t in the previous film that much. I also liked how all the Bond films Daniel Craig played 007 in are tied together. One of my favourite scenes was the car chase between Bond and Mr Hinx, it was exciting and humorous.  One thing I found unrealistic was the fight on the helicopter scene as I didn’t see how the helicopter stayed in the air when the pilot was dead. I didn’t like the fact that the scene where the building was falling and Bond had to jump was similar to the train scene in Skyfall. Also, I didn’t like the train fight between Bond and Mr Hinx. Whenever Lea Seydoux’s character was involved in the fight, she would be knocked unconscious for a few seconds and then be involved again. It didn’t seem that realistic.

The film was released October 26th 2015. Overall I found the film really enjoyable and action packed. Even though it was a stereotypical Bond film with a car chase, random destinations and a lot of fight scenes and explosions, I never sat there knowing what would happen next, it always left me guessing. I would definitely recommend people to see this film and all of the Daniel Craig Bond films, even if you aren’t that into action.

Allied Film Review

Allied is a romantic war thriller about Max Vatan, an intelligence officer, who in 1942 meets the French  Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour on a mission behind enemy lines. When reunited in London their relationship is threatened by the suspicion of Marianne being a German spy. Starring Brad Pitt (Max Vatan), Marion Cotillard (Marianne Beausejour) and directed by Robert Zebecks.

In my opinion, the film was great and intense. I was initially put off by the fact that Brad Pitt stars in the film as I don’t like him as an actor, but my mind was soon changed when I watched him in Allied, and even though I don’t enjoy films about war and history, I was really excited to watch the film and wasn’t left disappointed.

Even though I don’t enjoy films about war and history, but  I was really excited to see it and wasn’t left disappointed. I really enjoyed that it wasn’t just a war film, it had more thriller elements, and that I was constantly on the edge of my seat. I also really loved the intensity of the film and how it always made me second guess whether Marianne was a spy or not. I think Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard portrayed their characters amazingly and were incredible throughout.

The film was released 25th November 2016. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone, especially if they enjoy war/historical films or thrillers.

 

 

Top 15 Songs of the 00’s

For the current generation there was nothing better than the cheesy hits from the 2000’s. They are constantly played at parties and are guaranteed to get everyone dancing. Here are a list of the top 15 songs of the 00’s :

Umbrella by Rihanna and JAY Z
Don’t Cha by The Pussycat Dolls
Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira and Wyclef Jean
Crazy In Love By Beyonce and JAY Z
Yeah! By Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris
Hey Ya! By OutKast
It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy and Ricardo Ducent
Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child
Don’t Stop The Music by Rihanna
Tik Tok by Kesha
Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon
Low by Flo Rida and T-Pain
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyonce
Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
Dance Wiv Me by Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris and Chrome
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The Girl On The Train Review

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The Girl On The Train, released 7th October, follows three women – Rachel, Megan and Anna – whose lives intertwine. Starring Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux and Luke Evans.

Rachel (Emily Blunt), a divorcee and alcoholic becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation. Since her husband left her for another woman Rachel has turned to alcohol for comfort. She catches the train into the city everyday “for work” and passes her old house where she spies on a couple whom she names Jess and Jason. However when “Jess” goes missing, is Rachel to blame?

In my opinion, the film was really good and gripping, even though I knew what was going to happen because I had read the book. I really liked all the cast and thought they suited their role perfectly, especially Emily Blunt as Rachel and Allison Janney as Officer Riley. Also the music they added at certain parts helped build suspense. Once the end credits began I had to take a moment to process the whole film and were even thinking about it the day after, it made a lasting impression.

However, I found it a bit slow at the beginning because the plot hadn’t begun. Also, I didn’t like how they changed where the film was set, the book is set in London and in the film it is set in New York. Furthermore, the actor that played Dr Kamal Abdic, Edgar Ramirez changed his accent throughout the film, at the start he had an American accent and then towards the end he turned European.

If you love gripping psychological thrillers then The Girl On The Train is perfect for you. I would highly suggest for fans of thrillers and mysteries to watch the film and/or read the book because they are both great.

 

 

 

 

Mental Health

Over the past few years mental health has become more apparent. On both online and offline people are talking about it, their experiences and in general.

People are becoming aware of mental illnesses and are able to be diagnosed due to coverage in the media and word of mouth.

In 1990, 416 million people suffered from depression or anxiety worldwide – these numbers rose to 615 million in 2013.

In the UK 2.6 out of 100 people have depression, 4.7 out of 100 have anxiety and 3 out of 100 have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Also, nearly a quarter of a million children and young people are receiving help from the NHS for problems including anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

Sarah Brennan, the chief executive of the mental health charity Young Minds, said: “It’s staggering that so many children and young people are in need of specialist mental health care. These figures should act as a wake-up call.”

According to The Gaurdian “among the 235,189 young people who were in contact with mental health services in June, 11,849 boys and girls were 11,849  aged five and under, 53,65 9 aged between six and ten, and just over 100,000 patients were eleven to fifteen and 69,505 were 16+.”

Children are more receptive to mental illness because in this day and age there are many events that are traumatic for everyone, but have a lasting affect on children.  It is estimated that 25-43% of youths are exposed to sexual abuse which can cause a mental illness in the future

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/03/quarter-of-a-million-children-receiving-mental-health-care-in-england

 

 

 

When Is The Right Time To Be In The Christmas Spirit?

With the 25th December looming people are becoming increasing more excited for Christmas. However, people are still left annoyed when Christmas decorations are put up in shops in November.

Kirsty McFarlane, 17, said: “I think it is acceptable to become excited for Christmas on December 1st because thats when the music is in the shops, you put your decorations up and start opening your advent calendar. December just seems more Christmassy to me.”

Some people enjoy the transition from holiday to holiday, e.g. Halloween to Christmas,  some enjoy christmas just in December and others are in the Christmas spirit all year round.

Ashleigh Wilson, 18, said: “I get into the spirit in November but very low key. I start buying presents and get excited about christmas adverts and decorations, but don’t actually put decorations up until December.”

A lot of people find certain aspects to be christmassy to them, for example the John Lewis advert. Once that is they deem is acceptable to celebrate christmas. Some become in the christmas spirit when they hear Christmas music and when they start buying presents for people.

Originally, christmas was the 12 days leading up to it so people don’t start celebrating until then. But now, everyone becomes excited at different times.

For children they are excited from November onwards because they start doing christmas activities and performances (nativities) at school, but for adults it is typically during December.

I remember when I was a child at Christmas time looking through the Argos catalogue and circling things I wanted. Now I get excited in November, says Ashleigh.

Where to buy cheap books…

By Jessica Bradley

Books are becoming increasingly popular with people spending over £500 a year on them alone.

Ashleigh Wilson, 18, a book blogger and booktuber said:  “I spend around £20 a month on books, but it depends on where I buy them from.”

The typical price for a book is between £6.99 and £9.99, however, there are now loads of ways to get books but for a fraction of the price.

A lot of charity shops sell second hand books for as cheap as 50p and there are a select few charity shops that are specifically dedicated to books.

Lots of libraries also have a section that sell second hand books to help raise money to keep the library running.

And if you don’t want a second hand book or can’t find a book that you want, then you can use Amazon.

Lauren Siddy, 17, a Sheffield student said: “I mainly buy my books from Amazon and The Works because you can get them cheaper but they are still brand new which is always a bonus.”

Amazon is incredibly popular among book lovers because you can buy practically any book or any edition of a book but for a discounted price.

“The more popular the book, the cheaper it is on Amazon. There is also a section that sells three paperback books for £10″ says Ashleigh.

A lot of book shops, mainly Waterstones, also do offers on certain books. Depending on the popularity of  the author or the  hype around the book, new releases tend to be discounted and other books tend to be on buy one get one half price.

Sasha Alsberg, an American book tuber (abookutopia) said:”half price bookstore is perfect because all the books at this are half price or less. bookdepository.com is perfect especially for international readers because you can get books shipped to you for free.”

 

 

 

Book To Movie Adpatations

By Jessica Bradley

Nowadays a lot more books are being turned into films. However, does that deem the film better than the book?

Lauren Siddy, fan of The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins said: “if the film is done well and things from the book is actually included then I like the adaptations. However, they’re not great when they don’t stick to the story of the book.”

What forms a lot of peoples opinions is down to who plays the characters in the film and how attached the person is to the book. Some people become so attached to the book that they will not even go and watch the film because it could potentially ruin the book.

Abbie Akers, lover of the book Me Before You by Jojo Moyes said: “the book is obviously better. I think it was a good adaptation, but I preferred the book.”

It is not just book to film adaptations though, it is also comic books to films. A lot of people become incredibly attached to comics and become very critical when it comes to the film adaptations.

Liam Flahery, comic fanatic said: “there is a good motive behind it, bringing something to life such as a comic. However, although it can be satisfying seeing our favourite characters come to life, it can also be upsetting when the finished product is not as good as the book or comic.”

A lot of comic book/ graphic novel fans were left disappointed after Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice wasn’t up to scratch. It was too highly CGI’ed and was badly put together.

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