Month: July 2013

20 Things I Learned As A Teenager

Tomorrow is my birthday. Not just  any old birthday, but my 20th birthday. This means I won’t be a teenager anymore. I had a lot of good and bad times but there’s one certain thing: I learned a lot. Here’s 20 of the things I learned:

1. You can’t choose who you’re attracted to.

2. Everyone has that “awkward phase”.

3. Exams are awful and soul draining.

4. Friends make everything better. (Cake can also apply to that).

5. You never realise how old you are until you see how weird and tedious children’s TV is.

6.  Never drink vodka straight. It tastes like battery acid.

7. The internet is brilliant but time can be spent so easily and quickly.

8. Watching Mean Girls is considered a rite of passage for teenage girls.

9. How you think people see you and how people actually see you can be completely different. The trick is to find which is which.

10. Nothing brings teenagers together like a mutual love of food or a mutual hatred of school.

11. Everybody loves turning 18 because it’s legal to do anything other adults can do (mostly buy drink)

12. Just because you’re an adult in the eyes of the law doesn’t mean you’re an adult in the eyes of your parents.

13. Most things that parents worry about for teenagers are greatly exaggerated by the media. As long you have the knowledge, you’ll be fine.

14. Internet friendship is not as creepy as it seems. It’s like a penpal for the digital age.

15. Teenagers are always on a tight budget, regardless of economic situations in the outside world.

16. Friendships change and are sometimes lost through no fault of their own.

17. Older teenagers always refer to younger teenagers as “like 12”.

18. Sleep is a rare but precious time to a teenager.

19. Peer pressure isn’t as dramatic and drug fuelled as people think.

20. Teenagers are not alcoholic morons with no respect for anything or anyone. They are real people with rights, duties, hopes, dreams, passions and intelligence. Treat them with respect and they will do likewise.

Tom Hiddleston

ChesterDEAN

Let me introduce you. Guys, this is Thomas William Hiddleston. A very talented English actor who’s mostly known for his role of Loki, Thor’s misunderstood adopted brother. But let’s just call him Tom. Anyway, this is the story of how and why I started liking this incredible man.

Let me take you back to 2008 —a little before Iron Man was released— I watched the movie Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang one afternoon and fell in love with Robert Downey Jr. and been his devoted fan since then. But this is not about Rob, is it?. Thanks to that small moment in my life and brand new “favorite actor” I went to see Iron Man to the movies —and every RDJ movie premiered since then—. I’m more of a DC girl, a huge Superman fan and loved Batman’s trilogy. But if it wasn’t for RDJ, probably I wouldn’t…

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The Coronas – Live at the Marquee: A review

On June 29th, I went to see The Coronas at the Marquee in Cork city with my older sister who has seen them in concert 8 times and has met them 3 times. (To say that I envy her is very much an understatement.) This wasn’t strictly my first time seeing the Coronas either, but it was my first time seeing them fully (The first time was Indiependence 2012 at Mitchelstown. They were on later than scheduled and I had to leave at an agreed time with my parents, meaning that I only saw them for 20 minutes.) I was excited.

The Coronas at Indiependence 2012.
The Coronas at Indiependence 2012.

I met up with my older sister in the city (she met up with a college friend earlier that day), had our al fresco meals from make shift restaurants and walked our way to the venue. We were in line for less than an hour, behind some photographer enthusiasts.

There was two support acts at the concert: Miracle Bell and Ryan Sheridan.
First up was Miracle Bell. I thought they were okay but I could not hear them very coherently for some reason and because I’m not overly familiar with their songs, their performance was not very memorable either.
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Next was Ryan Sheridan. I rarely say this about support acts but he was the best I’ve ever seen. He was energetic, talented and captivating. Highlights of his set included his cover version of “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes where the whole crowd sang the riff for the entire song, the play off between himself and the box drum player, and his closing song “Dreamer” aka that song that was in a Heineken ad.

Ryan Sheridan captivating the audience.
Ryan Sheridan captivating the audience.

Finally, after much waiting due to technical sheet difficulties (only in Ireland!) The Coronas made their introduction. The band not only performed the songs the fans know and love from their three albums, but sampled two new songs from their forthcoming album (yes Coronas fans, the band confirmed that there will be a new album by the end of the year).

My impression of the concert was lively, fresh and fun. The suspense of a giant white sheet over the front of the stage, concealing the band, was a simple but extremely clever idea. The reason why I believe this is a clever idea is that the audience can hear before they can see. Then the lighting is adjusted to project the shadows of each band member playing their respective instrument, adding to the element of mystery. As the sheet collapses, the band can be seen for the first time and the audience goes crazy! The audience were so excited that on several occasions during the concert, they would pause the song they were playing, stand completely still to listen to the manic screaming and then resume their song. They had other tricks up their sleeves, including the release of big inflatable balls into the crowd, the lead singer Danny entering the front couple of rows (not bad for my sister and I as we were positioned there), and the release of confetti during the closing song “Closer To You“.

Closer to them: The Coronas bowing to their enthusiastic audience.
Closer to them: The Coronas bowing to their enthusiastic audience.

The interaction between the band and the audience was brilliant and the sheer dedication of the fans was impressive, from their knowledge of the lyrics of each song to the relentless excitement and love they had for The Coronas.
The Coronas are consistent with their quality of music and showmanship that makes people come back for more.

To wrap up my review, I will ask myself one question: Would I go again?

The answer: Hell yes!

Rating: 10/10

19 Facts About Benedict Cumberbatch

Today is the 19th of July, which means only one thing in the Cumbercollective: Benedict Cumberbatch’s birthday. For those outside the loop, Cumberbatch (now 37) stars as the eponymous character in the BBC hit show Sherlock and was the insanely relentless villain John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness. He is one of the biggest rising stars in the past 5 years and is set to take over our cinema, television and laptop screens in the near future. And with his growing legion of Cumberbabes, it won’t slow down any time soon.

Off to solve a case: Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes.
Off to solve a case: Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes.

To celebrate Benedict’s birthday here are 19 facts about Mr. Cumberbatch:

1. He was born on July 19th 1976 in London to actors Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham.

2. He was privately educated in Harrow School as a teenager which was mostly funded by his grandmother.

3. After school he took a gap year to teach English at a Tibetan monastery.

4. His debut acting performance was in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Titianna Queen of the Fairies at the age of 13. His school drama teacher called him “the best schoolboy actor I’ve ever worked with”.

5. He studied drama at University of Manchester and London Acadamy of Music and Dramatic Art. Though many predicted he had academic potential in Oxford or Cambridge but apparently wasted it by discovering “Pot, girls and music” and “got lazy”

6. His first critically acclaimed role was his portrayal of the young Stephen Hawking getting to grips with the big bang theory and his motor neuron disease in Hawking of which he received his first BAFTA nomination in 2004.

7. One of his first reviews for his role as Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream saying that “Cumberbatch’s “Bottom” will be long remembered.”

8. In 2005, while filming To The Ends Of The Earth in South Africa, he experienced a terrifying car jacking experience, of which he wrote about for The Prince’s Trust charity.

9. Despite receiving support roles in Starter For Ten, The Other Boleyn Girl and Atonement, he received his big break in the modern BBC adaptation of Sherlock, based on the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, in 2010.

10. For his audition for the role of John Harrison in Star Trek Into Darkness, he filmed his screen test at his best friend’s kitchen using an iPhone and sent it to the director JJ Abrams via email.

11. He is an ambassador for the charity The Prince’s Trust, which aims to help disadvantaged young people in the UK, and is a supporter of Dramatic Need which promotes creative expression as a tool for conflict resolution, social development, gender empowerment, and the assimilation of health messages in underprivileged communities.

12. He has a condition called heterochromia which is a difference in colouration in his irises, each has a different combination of blue, green and gold.

13. Is friends with many actors that he has worked with including Martin Freeman, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy, Johnny Lee Miller, Tom Hiddleston and Gary Oldman.

14. He accidentally got a dual voice role for The Simpsons when he visited Fox studios for an unrelated reason. He voiced the UK prime minister (Hugh Grant from Love Actually style) and Severus Snape in the episode Love Is A Many Splintered Thing.

15. For the London 2012 Olympics, he did a short film on the history of London for the BBC coverage to kick off the opening ceremony.

16. He has done voiceover work for several commercials including Jaguar, Pedigree and Google+.

17. He has been the winner of an Olivier award and named GQ Actor of the Year 2011 as well as being nominated for 3 BAFTAs, an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

18. He has been voted “Sexiest Man Alive” in tabloid newspaper The Sun two years in a row. Not only that, he was 5th in Glamour magazine’s “Sexiest Men 2012” and 3rd in Total Film magazine’s 50 hottest actors 2013. And this is due to his loyal fanbase that he has named “The Cumbercollective”.

19. He originally planned to study law in college, to the advice of his parents. (Good thing he changed his mind)

(Credits: IMDB, Wikipedia, The Sun, Glamour Magazine)

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It’s a Man Of Steel review”

I went to see Man Of Steel with my friend in Cork last Thursday. I was initially hesitant to see it as I am more of a fan of the Marvel cinematic universe films (i.e. The Avengers and the films associated with it) and The Dark Knight Trilogy. However, I had no need to be worried.

Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), Man of Steel is about a young boy named Clark Kent from Krypton who was raised on Earth, realising that he is not quite normal. After a chance meeting with Kent in the Arctic, a young journalist named Lois Lane wishes to write a story about this extra-ordinary man who saved her life.  As Lane and Kent find out Kent’s past, a threatening force arrives to wreck havoc upon the Earth. And there is only one man for the job…

I was quite impressed by this film in many ways. Firstly, Man Of Steel draws a much needed breath of life into the Superman story. It is loyal to the main story but keeps away from the clichés (for example no red underwear on the costume). It perfectly creates a balance between Krypton and Earth, showing the different parts of Clark Kent.
Secondly, this film has a solid and stellar cast including Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner and Laurence Fishburne.

I only found a few flaws in the film. The fight scene near the end was a bit dragged out, it seemed to focus away from Superman for some of it and the conclusion of the scene gave me a sense of “Really? That’s how it’s done?”
I also felt that it was like a mash up of Thor, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and a Iron Man 3 while still being its own film at the same time.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Man Of Steel and I was happy to see that it had potential for a sequel (which film bigwigs have recently confirmed Man Of Steel 2 will be in the pipeline), as this has what it takes to have a successful line of films much like The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Rating: 8/10