Friday, July 13, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man does a decent job of retelling the same story we've seen before in previous film versions, but it doesn't bother to reinvent anything. It isn't any more serious than Sam Raimi's vision and no less silly either. The action, adventure, and drama are all there, but so are the contrivances, the overabundance of computer animation, and the abysmal villain's ridiculous plan to rule the world. The origins story is rushed at times, but still thorough enough that one would hope for more originality or a different tone. It's more of the same, but if you've been enjoying the repetitious superhero trends of late, there's little reason to skip this one.

When his parents are killed in a plane crash, young Peter Parker goes to live with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Several years later, now a teenager in high school, Peter (Andrew Garfield) finds a clue in his father's briefcase that leads him to brilliant Oscorp scientist Dr. Curt Connor (Rhys Ifans), a herpetologist devoted to cross-species genetics and its power to cure deformities. Sneaking into an Oscorp intern tour led by his high school crush Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Peter spies several of the projects Connor worked on with his father, including genetically altered spiders and their bio-cable manufacturing. When one of the spiders in the lab bites Peter, he rapidly begins to gain increased strength and agility. Initially using his newfound skills only for his own amusement, a tragic loss finds Peter determined to utilize his powers for good. Becoming the masked vigilante "Spider-Man," Peter sets about apprehending criminals, much to the dismay of police captain George Stacy (Denis Leary). But when a vicious reptilian monster begins tearing through New York, Spider-Man becomes the city's only hope against the beast's diabolical plot.

The idea is to revive the Marvel moneymaker - make him more relatable, more heroic, more powerful, more believable, and more iconic. But as much as this new version tries to start over and distance itself from Sam Raimi's highly successful trilogy, enough time just hasn't passed. It's only been five years; special effects haven't improved so drastically that it feels like a completely different superhero, the story hasn't changed to the point of being unrecognizable, and the actors have been switched but essentially play the same, familiar roles. The reboot fails to be original and it fails to achieve its goal of reinvention. Its very existence, other than to sell tickets, is utterly pointless.

3 Places To Find Rare Kung Fu Videos

For martial arts fans there's nothing quite like watching some classic kung fu videos. The genre that ushered in a great deal of action in the 1970s is alive and well, even though some of the major players have started to wind down and retire. Even though the major performers are getting over the creative process of stunts and action, they did put many grand details on film and they are available to watch at any given moment. Believe it or not, you don't need to spend a lot of money on purchasing movies, especially when a wide variety of options are available online. There are so many options available today, that you can simply go to the following options and watch full-length martial arts cinema at the push of a button.

The first place to check out is the Internet Archive. Believe it or not there is a massive archive of movies, lesson plans, audio, books, and so much more that is in the public domain. Because these things are in the public domain, they are available for streaming, downloading, and sharing at no cost to the end user. If you're a true fan of martial arts on film, then you owe it to yourself to look through the many clips, footage, and more that is freely given away on the web.

The second place to look in order to find rare footage and movies is YouTube. The site with one million and counting videos also lets certain public domain films continue to flourish at no cost to the consumer. Sure, there are some that have commercial interruptions, but they are few and far between, and are well worth investing some time into.

The last place that you should look is video stores. No, not just your average video store, but rather the ones that are closing down in droves, which might be many. Look around your area and the surrounding areas for going out of business signs, and liquidation sales. You'll find that these stores are practically giving away their inventory, which means that you can drop a small amount of money and watch all the great movies that people like Quentin Tarantino like to rip off on a regular basis.

The Vampire Diaries' Nina Dobrev

In case you've been living under a rock for the last 3 years, you're probably familiar with a little TV show called The Vampire Diaries. The show centers on human Elena Gilbert and her relationships with vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore. The part of Elena is played very skillfully by actress Nina Dobrev.

Born on January 9, 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria as Nina Constantinova Dobreva, this willowy and statuesque actress stands 5' 6"with long dark hair and her trademark big brown eyes that mesmerize anyone that falls under their gaze. She moved to Canada when she was just 2 years old and lived in Toronto, Ontario until relocating to the Atlanta, Georgia area for filming of The Vampire Diaries. She was quite young when she first started showing a flair and enthusiasm for such things as Music, Gymnastics, Dance, Theatre, Acting and Visual Arts. First, Nina was a model, which led to commercials, and then auditions for films. It wasn't long before she had roles in such feature films as "Fugitive Pieces," "Away from Her," "The Roommate," "Chloe," the upcoming "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," and numerous Lifetime Movies. She also co-starred in the very popular TV series "Degrassi: The Next Generation." She played the part of Mia Jones, a teenage mother.

Traveling has always been a passion of Nina's and she visited Europe often for pleasure as well as for international competing as a representative for Canada in the Aesthetic gymnastics. She's pretty athletic, enjoying volleyball, swimming, soccer, horseback riding, snowboarding, and rock climbing. However, acting is Nina's passion and she views this as a long term adventure that's only begun. She believes that the journey and characters created along the path go a long way in helping to understand herself.

Her experiences on The Vampire Diaries has enabled her to really spread her acting wings as she's portrayed both Elena Gilbert and the vampire Katherine Pierce. These characters are entirely different from one another and Nina captures those differences perfectly. Sometimes, you can even see physical differences when the various characteristics come out in each one of them. Now, she'll get a chance to play a third character. That one will be Elena the vampire as she was turned at the end of the Season 3 Finale. It's going to be lots of fun to see what Nina does with this new aspect of Elena.

On top of Nina's beauty, intelligence, talents and abilities, she's got something else that a large part of the world's female population, and, possibly, some males, too, would love to have at their disposal. That extra added spicy ingredient is none other than her co-star, Ian Somerhalder. They've been in a romantic relationship for a couple of years, now, even though they kept it quiet until sometime in 2011. It's a good thing that she's a star in her own right because most women would probably just gaze into those phenomenal neon blue eyes of his within that remarkably beautiful face and be rendered speechless. However, Nina can apparently resist that urge, which is probably one of the many things that keep them together.

Frank Ocean Talks 'Channel ORANGE' Release, Jimmy Fallon Performance and More

As one of the hottest artists on the planet right now, Frank Ocean has finally broken his silence and chatted to Radio 1's Zane Lowe. Check out Frank talking about everything that has happened in the last two weeks leading up to the release of 'Channel ORANGE'.

Behind The Scenes of Nicki Minaj's 'Pound The Alarm' Video

Nicki Minaj's latest pop single is climbing rapidly up the charts here in the U.K and to further tease fans  Nicki has released an official behind the scenes look at the video for the Red One produced track.

Jennifer Hudson Performs at 'Taste of Chicago'

Returning to her hometown, Jennifer Hudson performed at Taste of Chicago Festival earlier this week. The former American Idol contestant performed her hit 'Spotlight' alongside the David Guetta assisted 'Night Of Your Life', 'Gone' and 'Where You At'.

Where You At

Night Of Your Life



Rita Ora Performs for 'Channel 955'

Rita Ora's latest stop in Detroit saw her visiting Channel 955 to perform her singles 'R.I.P' and 'How We Do' alongside a cover of Gotye's breakthrough hit 'Somebody That I Used To Know'.

R.I.P/ Somebody That I Used To Know

How We Do (Party)


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FREE MIXTAPE: Fantasea - Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks fans rejoice. The rising star has today released her 19 track EP 'Fantasea' for your listening pleasure and guess what. It's free!

Click here to download.

NEW SONG: That Girl - The Noisettes

Three years after debuting with 'Wild Young Hearts', The Noisettes are back with a brand new track entitled 'That Girl'. The song is set to feature on their forthcoming album 'Contact' and embraces a much more pop sound than their previous material.

Misha B Performs 'Home Run' for 'SB.TV'

Misha B is set to release her debut single 'Home Run' this Sunday and is keen to visit all media outlets to make sure she secures a good spot on the charts. By visiting SB.TV and performing for their 'A64' series, Misha is tapping into a huge online audience.

'X Factor USA' Season 2 Promo and Interviews

With the debut of X Factor USA two months away, the promo for Simon Cowell's music giant has kicked into gear. Check out a brand new advert and interview with judges Britney Spears, Demi Lavato and L.A. Reid.



NEW SONG: Neptune (feat. Shystie) - Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks has today released a brand new track entitled 'Neptune' which is set to feature on her forthcoming mixtape 'Fantasea'.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Esco Williams Wins 'MOBO Unsung National Competition'

After getting down to the final 20 in MTV Brand New 2012, Esco Williams was last night announced as the winner of the MOBO Unsung National Competition.

A thoroughly deserved winner, Esco will know perform at the MOBO Nominations Launch later this year in front of key industry executives and will feature in MOBO Magazine and on MOBO TV.

Speaking of his win, Esco said:

"This is amazing, I am so grateful right now. There was some immense talent in the competition, many of them from Liverpool and I've won – its unbelievable. I have been doing this for about 10 years now and its starting to pay off."

"I've just released an album through pledge music and I'm going to continue working on that for a while. I'm going to continue to play live shows with my band the super awesome Kontrollers. Then in September I am looking to put out a single called 'New Challenger' which is my Game Boy, Supernintendo, Street Fighter love anthem."

"For anyone that has even remotely supported me, thank you very much. I am eternally grateful."

Want to see what all the fuss is about? Click here.

Spotted over at Liverpool Live

Pink Stuns at 'Z100'

In the build up to her highly anticipated album 'The Truth About Love', Pink today visited Z100 to perform classic track 'Who Knew' and more recent hit 'Perfect' acoustically for the radio station.

Who Knew



NEW SONG: In & Out - Marcus Canty

X Factor USA's Marcus Canty has today launched his career with 'In & Out' featuring Wale. Steering clear of a typical dance sound, L.A Reid's top contestant has here experimented with a whole range of genres to create a brand new sound.

Frank Ocean Makes His T.V Debut on 'Fallon'

Frank Ocean made his television debut last night performing brand new track 'Bad Religion' on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Following his performance of the track (the one that spawned all the sexuality controversy), Frank's team released his album 'channel ORANGE' to iTunes one week early. Needless to say, the album is sitting pretty at #1 in both the U.K and U.S already! Great marketing strategy or what!?

FREE EP: Doleo - Wynter Gordon

Wynter Gordon has today released her follow up to her debut album 'With The Music I Die'. 'The Human Condition' will consist of four EPs each exploring a different emotion.

The first of four, 'Human Condition: Doleo', explores pain and was released last night as a free download. The EP explores a more serious sound for Wynter who has been mainly categorised as a dance act so expect to hear some meaningful lyrics and powerful ballads here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

NEW VIDEO: These Days - Maverick Sabre

Maverick Sabre has today unveiled a brand new video for 'These Days' which comes from his top 5 debut album 'Lonely Are The Brave'.

NEW SONG: Let Me Love You - Ne-Yo

After slowing things down with his latest single 'Lazy Love', Ne-Yo is ready to whip his fans into a frenzy with latest cut 'Let Me Love You'. The track will serve as the second single to be taken from his forthcoming album 'R.E.D' which is due to hit stores on September 18th.

Nicki Minaj Performs at 'T In The Park' and Is Criticised By Other Artists

This weekend everyone's favourite Barbie took to the stage at T In The Park, Scotland where the femcee performed some of her biggest tracks to a huge crowd.

However, Ms Minaj is starting to get a reputation that precedes her. We're no strangers to hearing about Nicki's backstage diva antics but her atitutde prompted other artists at the festival to comment this time. Check out a report from Entertainment Wise below:

The rapper was nearly an hour late taking to the stage and gave no fans an explanation to why.

Singer Frank Turner tweeted: "You can (I suppose) be a d*ck to your own crew, you're paying them. But everyone else? Not to mention the people out front. Ugh."

"To clarify: Nicki Minaj has been being a total selfish s*ithead to all the hardworking crew backstage at T. Pathetic. F*** off," added Turner.

Also The Sleeping Souls slammed Minaj for her lack of respect for others backstage. "You know what? Nicki Minaj can just f*** right off," the band tweeted.

"I know nothing about her music but backstage her security guy just pushed a crew person off the path into the mud so she could walk past."

Minaj later told her Twitter followers she was feeling unwell before the gig, writing, "Still sick but the show must go on... right?"

Do we believe her?

During live coverage of Radio 1's Hackney Weekend members of Kasabian commented on Nicki's entourage and huge barricaded dressing areas meaning their band were esstentially squashed into a broom cupboard. Is it right that Nicki has started believing her own hype?

Spotted over at Martian Leaks

Josh Osho Covers Cheryl Cole's 'Call My Name'

While promoting his debut album 'L.I.F.E', Josh Osho recently stopped by to exclusively perform a cover of Cheryl Cole's #1 single 'Call My Name'.

Joss Stone Performs 'While You're Out Looking For Sugar' on 'Sunday Brunch'

Joss Stone is currently on the promotional trail for her forthcoming album 'The Soul Sessions: Volume 2'. Her latest stop saw her visiting Sunday Brunch where she performed a cover of The Honey's Cones track 'While You're Out Looking For Sugar'.

NEW VIDEO: 30 Minute Love Affair - Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith is back with the follow-up to her top 10 single 'Picking Up The Pieces'. '30 Minute Love Affair' is taken from her sophomore album entitled 'Fall To Grace' and serves as the second single to be taken from the set.

ALBUM REVIEW: Is Your Love Big Enough? - Lianne La Havas

22 year old South Londoner Lianne La Havas has today unveiled her debut album 'Is Your Love Big Enough?'. As debut albums go, this is pretty fantastic.

Appearing late last year on Later... with Jools Holland, La Havas stepped out for the first time to the wider public. Brandishing her guitar and showcasing her delightful vocals, I was sold immediately. Her folk inspired soul music is a breath of fresh air in a stagnant market of euro-dance pop. 

From the opening notes of the album opener 'Don't Wake Me Up' you hear La Havas unique take on a formerly over done genre. Focusing, for the most part, on love and relationships La Havas is treading dangerously familiar ground but steers well clear of any inevitable comparisons to her contemporaries by forging her own lyrical style and the arrangements and minimal production perfectly complement her honest lyrics. You won't find any ostentatious bells and whistles here. Subtlety is key.

As the album progresses, we get diary-like insight into her past relationships showcased perfectly by the painfully beautiful 'Lost & Found' where La Havas talks about being broken down in her relationship. 'Au Cinéma' sees the songstress tackle love balladry from another angle by writing from an outsiders perspective while 'Forget' contrasts with her softer tones as she roars over the tribal inspired beat while retaining her jazz edge. Her folk influences are explored most successfully in the Willy Mason assisted 'No Room For Doubt'.

What's most exciting about La Havas' debut is how versatile she is. Flitting effortlessly between genres, 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' would suggest that Lianne has a lot more to give in the future with this debut serving as a tantalising teaser as to what is to come.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Marsha Ambrosius Debuts 'Friends and Lovers' at 'Essence Festival'

The U.K may have been host to two huge festivals this weekend in the form of Wireless and T In The Park our friends across the pond also played host to Essence Festival in New Orleans.

 Former member of Floetry, Marsha Ambrosius took the opportunity to debut some of her brand new material. While perfoming her set, Ambrosius hinted at what was to come on her sophomore solo outing by performing the title track off the album 'Friends & Lovers'.

Spotted over at The Lava Lizard

Jessie J Performs at 'T In The Park'

Vocal acrobat Jessie J took to the stage at T In The Park to perform a 20 minute set infront of thousands. Promising to warm up the freezing and soaked crowd, Jessie stormed through some of her biggest hits to come from her debut album 'Who You Are'.

Emeli Sandé Soars At 'T In The Park'

 One of the UK's most popular festivals, T In The Park, played host to some of the world's biggest acts this weekend. Scottish songbird Emeli Sandé took to the stage to perform a 20 minute set to a drenched crowd! Got to love British weather eh?!

MiC LOWRY Cover Frank Ocean's 'Thinking About You'

Liverpool based boy band MiC LOWRY have unveiled their cover of Franck Ocean's hit 'Thinking About You'.

These guys could sing circles around any current boy bands out there with their slick harmonies and smooth voices.

Great stuff.

UK Chart Update 08/07/2012

Check out who's topping this week's charts!

Top 10 Singles

1. Payphone - Maroon 5
2. Don't Wake Me Up - Chris Brown
3. This Is Love -
4. Whistle - Flo Rida
5. Black Heart - Stooshe
6. Feel The Love - Rudimental
7. We Are Young - fun. (feat. Janelle Monáe)
8. Princess of China - Coldplay & Rihanna
9. Wide Awake - Katy Perry
10. Call My Name - Cheryl Cole

Top 10 Albums

1. Fortune - Chris Brown
2. Overexposed - Maroon 5
3. Living Things - Linkin Park
4. + - Ed Sheeran
5. Our Version Of Events - Emeli Sandé
6. Graceland - Paul Simon
7. Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
8. Talk That Talk - Rihanna
9. 21 - Adele
10. Watch The Throne - Jay-Z & Kanye West

NEW SINGLE: Spectrum (Say My Name) - Florence and the Machine

Florence Welch led Indie Pop band return with their massive new single 'Spectrum (Say My Name)'. The track is the 4th single from their Platinum selling #1 album 'Ceremonials'

A massively uplifting song to Florence's usual standard with a spectacular video to match.

The song is available to download now on iTunes, with remixes from artists including Calvin Harris.

PLAYLIST: 08/07/2012

PLAYLIST is fortnightly collection of songs that I haven't been able to stop playing. Collections will be between 5-10 songs.

I encourage you guys to submit your selections in the comments section below too. Let's see if we can share some music/artists. It can be absolutely anything. Old, new, weird or wonderful just as long as you've been listening to it!

1. Brown Sugar - D'Angelo
2. Guess You Didn't Love Me - Terri Walker
3. Higher Love - James Vincent McMorrow
4. All Falls Down - Kanye West
5. Hanging On Too Long - Duffy
6. Leaving Tonight - NeYo feat. Jennifer Hudson
7. Still - Macy Gray
8. Walking Away - Craig David
9. Home For Your Birthday - Josh Osho

Download the PLAYLIST here.

Don't forget to leave your PLAYLIST and comments below.

NEW SONG: You Bring Me Joy - Amelia Lily

It would seem that a slew of last year's X Factor are keen on releasing their material before this year's shows kick off. Amelia Lily is the latest of the bunch and her new Xenomania penned/produced track comes in the form of 'You Bring Me Joy'. 

Minus the inevitable Kelly Clarkson comparisons, this is a genuinely good pop song. It's not groundbreaking but it seems inoffensive enough and will probably garner her enough attention to release a few more singles and an album.

What comes after that? We'll have to wait and see.

Jay Alexzander Covers Miguel's 'All I Want Is You'

London born, Liverpool based talent Jay Alexzander has today unveiled a brand new acoustic video of Miguel's 'All I Want Is You'.

Will Young Performs 'I Just Want A Lover' on 'Loose Women'

The original Pop Idol Will Young visited Loose Women to perform a superb acoustic version of his latest single 'I Just Want A Lover'.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mathew Knowles Talks New Destiny's Child Albums

Now anyone who reads this blog knows I love me some Beyoncé. However, I love me some Destiny's Child even more so these comments made by Mathew Knowles has just got me all kinds of excited. Check out snippets from his interview with The Huffington Post below:

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Music World. What are your plans to ensure that you’ll be successful for years to come?

We have to be realistic. At Music World we got to shift our direction and certainly stay in music. We’ve grown our Music World Gospel to the fifth largest Gospel label in America. But again, even for the label, we got to partner up. It’s similar to what’s happening in corporate America back in the ’80s. You saw a lot of mergers and acquisitions. We have to be smart in who we can partner with to do it better. We still have our joint venture with Sony and in November we’re putting out two Destiny’s Child catalog records with new material. So we’re going to start doing strategic things like that.

New material meaning previously unreleased tracks?

It’s all released material with some previously unreleased material.

Will there be a Destiny’s Child reunion tour to complement the two projects?

Not on the first release. It takes a year of planning to do these tours, but first it starts with the artist wanting to do it. And I think the ladies are still working happily in their solo careers. And I hope in the next five years that there is a reunion tour. I think it would be incredible. The hardest thing would be choosing which songs they’re going to do, because we would want to mix it up with solo hits and Destiny’s Child hits. We would have to throw away some number ones from off the set list [Laughs].

Destiny’s Child is one of the eight girl groups that you’ve managed in your career. In your opinion, what does it take to put together a successful girl group?

Unfortunately they all weren’t successful, I wish I could say that [Laughs]. But I think with girl groups it’s all about the relationships that the members have with each other. It really boils down to that. And then the second thing is each member accepting what their role in the group is. Followed by great songs, work ethics and talents.

Now, while most fans will sigh at Mathew Knowles' comments, the fact that the words 'tour' and 'album' are getting thrown round by someone so instrumental to the girls success at least proves it's on the cards and not just a wild rumour.

Lianna La Havas Talks Album Track By Track

With her gorgeous debut album 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' set to hit stores this coming Monday, Lianne La Havas has sat down to talk her fans through each track and the stories that inspired the music.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

NEW VIDEO: Hands In The Air (feat. Ne-Yo) - Timbaland

Timbaland is back with a brand new track featuring R&B crooner Ne-Yo. The track, entitled 'Hands In The Air', is in support of new film 'Step Up Revolution'.

Friday, July 6, 2012

NEW SONG: Sweet Life - Frank Ocean

This week has been a big week for Frank Ocean. After penning an open letter about his sexuality earlier this week, the Odd Future star has today unveiled a brand new track entitled 'Sweet Life'. 'Sweet Life' is set to feature on his forthcoming debut album 'Channel Orange' and was penned alongside Pharrell Williams.

NEW SONG: Simply Amazing - Trey Songz

With his brand new album just around the corner, Trey Songz has today unveiled a brand new track in the from of 'Simply Amazing'. The track is set to feature on 'Chapter V' and moves somewhat away from the usual R&B slow jam territory in which he is so comfortable. 

ALBUM STREAM: Is Your Love Big Enough? - Lianne La Havas

Days before the official release of her debut album, Lianne La Havas' 'Is Your Love Big Enough?' is available to stream in full. Scheduled for release this coming Monday, the highly anticipated release features her debut single 'Forget' as well as the previously released 'Lost & Found'. Following the release of the album, Lianne will embark on her headline tour across the UK in October.

Rihanna Graces 'Harper's Bazaar' Cover

Bajan pop princess Rihanna graces the cover of this month's Harper's Bazaar. The spread sees Rihanna rocking some of this season's best looks in addition to talking about fame, fortune and her 'conservative' stance on relationships.

Check out more shots from the shoot below:

If Rihanna gave up singing she could easily become a model full time...