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Thursday, 21 February 2013

'Hitchcock' Review

'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' photo (c) 2010, Fr. Dougal McGuire - license: is my first film review, so it may not be that successful.  I have chosen to review the recent 'Hitchcock' film...

Running Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Rating: 12A 

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D’Arcy, Kurtwood Smith, Richard Portnow, Michael Wincott, Ralph Macchio

Director: Sasha Gervasi 

Alfred Hitchcock is a world famous director. His face is recognisable all over the globe. For 50 years he produced his wonderful films, making him a highly regarded and influential figure in world film.

On 23rd November 2012 a new biographical drama of his life was released, based on Stephen Rebello's 'Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho'.

It's 1959, just after the opening of 'North by Northwest',  and Alfred Hitchcock is troubled. Is he too old? As a certain reporter suggested, should he quit while he's ahead? He's desperate to prove he's got life in him yet. He needs something fresh and something new, not 'Casino Royale' or 'Anne Frank', but 'Psycho'. The horrific novel based on the crimes of serial killer, Ed Gein. But his colleagues are distraught, Motion Picture Production Code horrified and his wife Alma's no happier. With their home riding on the film's success, Hitchcock has to pull it off...

The film focuses on the relationship of Alfred and his wife during the production of 'Psycho' and the problems their marriage faces. When Hitchcock discovers Alma and Whitfeild's screen play collaboration, he accuses Alma of an affair, which Alma angrily denies. However, her loyalty allows her to sallow her anger and help cut the film to shape.

Despite the topic, this film did not do Hitchcock proud. With a fantastic cast and great material, this should have been a success. The problem was in the detail. Done well, this film would have gone into depth about 'Psycho''s controversies and the Hitchcocks' relationship. But instead it was un-original and rushed.

However, it was entertaining and Hopkins performed brilliantly.

Rating: 3/5                                                          

Monday, 11 February 2013

San Cisco

The Band
San Cisco. They’re new, they’re fresh and they’re taking over the Australian music scene like a wildfire. They may not be so hot here in the UK, but their followers are increasing day by day.

All members of San Cisco are young, with their lead singer Jordi still in high school. However, age has never held them back. With the band’s first tour lined up and many successful songs on their back, they’re already on their way to becoming a roaring success.
What I love about the band is they’re not scared to be different. They’re an indie-pop band with quirky lyrics and fun music videos, they stand out in an overcrowded and monotonous music scene. Take their most successful song, ‘Awkward’; it is is full of catchy rhythms and inspired wording. What’s not to like? Their songs portray things teens like and understand, instead of the high pitched screaming of the likes of Jessy J.

Recently, many artists, such as Katy Perry, have been criticised for inappropriate music videos, while with San Cisco, they’re fun, quirky and hilarious videos, but they’re not what I’d consider inappropriate. Personally, I don’t see the point of creating a track for teenagers, which is in turn not suitable for them.

So, if you’re tired of the same sounds and lyrics or the never ending topic of love, don’t be disheartened. Check their new album out at:, there’s a whole new world of music out there.

Originally posted on:

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Chromebook Review

For Christmas I received a chromebook from my parents. In this article I'll be talking about how I found it so far...

The first thing I noticed about the chromebook was how light it was. At a weight of 1.1kg and as thin as 17.5mm,  it's amazingly light and thin.You can carry it to school, college or a friend's house with no hassle but a small shoulder bag, backpack or briefcase. But it still maintains function with just enough space for your average USB and SD card ports.

Another feature is its speed. I use the Samsung Chromebook with starts up in less than ten seconds, so there's no wasting time waiting for your laptop to load. You're working, playing or catching up with friends in no time. And if you need to take a break, just close the lid. When your ready to open it again, it's available instantly. 

This laptop is very portable due to it's size, but it's just added to when you don't need to carry round a charger. With six and a half hours of battery, it should last you all day. But even if you need more, the charger is small and sleek so you don't have a heavy load. 

The Chromebook is able to be personalized. From your icon picture that greets you on entry, to your chosen wallpaper and Google Chrome theme you have a choice of preloaded pictures or your own images. Additionally  when you create an account your apps, bookmarks and preferences are automatically synced  so it always feels like home. 

Many people are put off the Chromebook by its lack of software such as iTunes, Spotify and Microsoft Office, instead it relies on apps from the Chrome Web Store. But there's no need to worry, the web store holds apps for all your needs. From Aviary photo editor to documents, slides and sheets on Google Drive to media player and store Google Play, you're covered. To make sure you're up to date, the Chromebook updates automatically and you can even change from the Stable channel to a Beta or Devolpment channel to get the latest technology, before its even released.  

In conclusion, I love it. Google have redesigned the computer and made it faster, sleeker and thinner. What more could you ask for? 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Back to School

September. The month of the year where the holidays are over and you're forced to settle in a new routine. It's the month of early mornings, homework and never ending Mondays. But don't despair, we've come up with five top tips to help you back to school. 

Tip 1 - Make a Timetable
Timetable aren't only for classes. Draw up a schedule of all clubs, groups, activities and commitments you have. This will give you an idea of your free time and help you balance work and play. It may be an idea to buy a planner so you can timetable day to day.

Tip 2 - Cover your Books

Your books get a hard time. You lug them around in your bag and dump them at home or in your locker. They get damaged, torn and spoilt in a matter of months. By covering your books the can last for the whole year. Use whatever materials at hand and get to work. Wrapping paper, fabric, paper bags and playing cards are only a few examples. After affixing your cover, add a coat of glue on top to secure your design. Make your own labels to avoid confusion and you could even add ribbon to the spine for an extra detail. To hold timetables and notes, glue round three sides of paper, attach to your book and slot in your files.

Tip 3 - Personalise 
Nothing's worse then losing equipment and have to hand out for replacements. Use permanent markers and home-made or shop bought labels to stamp your name or initials on your gear. Addionally, when lend out stationery, make sure you give a clear return time so you can guarantee you'll get it back.

Tip 4 - Lockers
At school you're guaranteed to acquire textbooks, exercise books, pens, highlighters and other equipment. And do you really want to be lugging it  around all day? The solution - A locker. A safe place to keep your things until you need them. With loads of locker decorations on the market (whiteboards, shelves, pen holders) there's plenty of room to customize.

Tip 5 - The Bag 

Even with a locker, you're still going have to carry things around. You need to ensure you have a practical bag. If you can, go for a rucksack instead of a tote. There are lots of cool designs and even the drabbest bag  can be personalised. Use button badges, patches and anything else to hand to give your bag your own touch.!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

An Inspiration - Olympic Atheletes

 Normally I reserve this space for inspirational writers, but the overwhelming effort, commitment and hard work delivered by Olympic athletes deserves to be recognized.

The Olympic Stadium 
The early morning sun shines down on the newly built Olympic Park in the heart of Stratford. The world holds it's breath as the first day of London's third Olympic is about to commence. All over the country excitement builds, drum rolls start. The crowd take their seats, and suddenly the final buzzer yells out its ear piercing sounds and suddenly the water is filled with excitement. It's begun...

With Some Angolan Athelets
With some Russian Athletes
The Olympic Swimming Pool  
The Aquatics Centre is bursting to the brim with athletes from all over the world trying to make their mark on history. Seeing the likes of Michael Phelps pouring their hearts out over one of the most important races in their life opened my eyes to the true spirit of the Olympics. That it's the effort you put in that makes you succeed in sport and earn respect. The Olympics can teach us what attitude we should have in life, how we should cope with disappointment and success. I was lucky enough to meet some Russian and Angolan athletes  It was amazing to see their support to their fellow athletes and fans. It is easy to imagine the amount of determination and hard work they hold in their events. I would love to be as talented as an Olympian and as inspired to achieve my best. My trip to the Olympics has taught me a lot and has even inspired me to take up sailing. I can only hope one day I may be able sail half as well as any Olympian.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Caitlin has been an only child since the death of her brother Devon. Somehow, no one else seems to understand her. No one else seems to be able to answer her questions. With her dad always crying, her mum   not to be seen and Devon gone, the world in a confusing place. When she reads about closure in the dictionary she is convinced that it will make things better... But are things always black and white?

Mockingbird is insightful novel that gives you an amazing understanding of Asperger's syndrome, it's impacts and how you can overcome it. It also finds time to give you a look into the terrible, life ruining effects of death and how it tears everyone involved a part. Overall, this book made experiences many have not been through seem real. Although it brought a tear to your eye, the amount of hope Caitlin held was incredible. The story was true to life and you could really feel her emotions. An amazing book!

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Theodore Boone Series by John Grimsaw

'Theodore Boone'
John Grimsaw is a best-selling crime author. Normally his novels are not quite to my my taste, but Theodore Boone is a completely different. It follows the life of Theodore, a budding lawyer who lives in the heart of Strattenburg. His family own the law firm Boone & Boone, and although Theodore is only thirteen, he already spends more time in Strattenburg court then anywhere else. Soon he's facing murder, abduction and a whole load of complicated crimes in between...

'Theodore Boone: The Abduction'
The Theodore Boone series is an amazing set of books. It's a fabulous mix of law, thriller and teenage fiction.  It's a refreshing change from Nancy Drew or The Famous Five. I can't wait for the next book!