Spectre- Film review


Daniel Craig makes his fourth appearance as Bond in Spectre

SPECTRE promised a monumental end to Daniel Craig’s Bond, but did it deliver on the brilliance that was Skyfall?

Well, yes and disappointingly no.

For the first time in the 50 year history of the films a director jumped on board to direct two Bond films on the bounce.

Sam Mendes saw great success from Skyfall with many a Bond fan hailing it the best film of the series- and with perfect reviews floating about it was a no brainer getting the British director on board for a second time.

The film starts in typical Bond fashion, edge of the seat action, jaw dropping special effects and stunning cinematography.

And that is the first thing that struck me about Spectre, the cinematography is beautiful. The first shot of the film is one endless shot with no cuts that spans a two  minute period. Stunning!

Having a stunningly shot film is one thing, but a story that lacks substance, characters that are criminally underused and action that at times missed the mark- issues begin to arise.

It would appear Spectre is a Bond film that is for want of a better word confused. It isn’t sure about its identity or what it wants to be.

The action in one moment is tense and gritty and in the next it’s the Bond of old, suave and over the top. And for me, it doesn’t work simply because it feels like two films mashed into one.

The action is however fantastic, but would you expect any different from a Bond film? There is a number of massive set piece moments which truly are a spectacle.

But with the weak story these massive action moments miss the mark as they feel like they are just jammed in there for the sake of looking impressive.

And the biggest gripe for me is the criminally underused Christoph Waltz. Possibly the best actor on the planet at the moment. The perfect Bond villain. And he gets 20 minutes of screen time. That is unforgivable in my opinion.

All in all Spectre is a good film. But what I hoped for was a brilliant film, Skyfall set the bar so high I think whatever Mendes produced it was never going to live up to the expectations of many, me included.

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Online Affordable Fashion

OK girls…we all love a great bargain when we are shopping but I am going to choose my picks online and show you girls whats affordable and of course on trend!!! 


MISS GUIDED…is most definitely one of my favorite online clothes website! Its that time of the year when us girls need to get a new coat. It’s totally fine to splash out a bit more to get that ‘trendy’ winters coat. HOWEVER DON’T PANIC….if you don’t want to splash out too much Miss Guided do offer coats at an affordable price……. Check below look at this!!!


THE CAMEL WATERFALL COAT – This coat is SUPER COSY and will keep you SUPER WARM for only…..£30…. looks a lot more than £30!!! Not to mention, how this camel coat is so on trend and its a neutral colour…which it will go with EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING! #bargain!! Get yours on www.missguided.co.uk


IF you ladies want to splash out that little bit more on a coat…




Get the layered look this season with this beaut flawless over-sized tan coat. I love the faux fur collar ..it just makes it super FABULOUS!!! This coat is £70 from www.missguided.co.uk ….. As I say (We totally can splash out………can’t we?)










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John Lewis Christmas campaign unveiled

EMBARGOED TO 0001 FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6 John Lewis undated handout video still from their latest Christmas TV advert. The retailer has partnered with Age UK for its Christmas ad with a reminder to consumers to consider those who will be alone this year.  The full two-minute ad features the whimsical story of a young girl named Lily as she strikes up a connection with an elderly man who she spies through her telescope living alone on the moon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday November 6, 2015. See PA story CONSUMER JohnLewis. Photo credit should read: John Lewis/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

MAN ON THE MOON: This year’s campaign

The John Lewis 2015 Christmas campaign has been unveiled, and it’s another tear-jerker.

Titled Man on the Moon, the ad tells the story of Lily, a girl who spends her time staring through a telescope looking at the moon.

In the build-up to Christmas, she spots a lonely old man sitting on the moon, and tries to get in touch by sending letters through a bow and arrow… but to little success. When the big day finally arrives, Lily manages to send up a gift by balloon – a telescope so he can look down and say hello.

The campaign is in partnership with Age UK to raise awareness for old, lonely people this Christmas.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “The festive season is usually a time for celebration with those you love, but for too many older people it can reinforce feelings of loss, loneliness and of life passing them by. Contrary to what many people think, loneliness is not a normal part of ageing, and it not only makes life miserable, it can have a serious impact on physical and mental health too.

“Today, many families are widely dispersed so it is certainly true that visiting older relatives can be challenging. But as our research shows, making the effort to keep in touch often makes an enormous difference to older people who tend to be stoical and therefore reluctant to admit how lonely they are.  We all have a role to play as individuals, families and communities in ensuring older people feel valued and included and that’s why we’re asking everyone to join us in taking action. By donating and signing our petition you can help older people to enjoy the festive season and the year to come; everyone should have someone at Christmas.”

The advert features vocals from Aurora, an undiscovered 19-year-old from Norway, covering Oasis’ classic song Half the World Away. It cost £1 million to produce, with a further £6 million being plowed into promotion on television and online.

John Lewis have already begun merchandising the campaign, selling cups, pajamas and telescopes. Some of the proceeds will go towards Age UK.

You can find out more about John Lewis and Age UK’s partnership on their website.

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“I Am Not Like Other Girls”

Are you ready to take a stylish trip down the rabbit hole, Alice in Wonderland fans? Marc by Marc Jacobs just dropped a collection inspired by the classic Disney film.

Marc by Marc Jacobs will be going out with a bang. Before the designer ends his contemporary line the brand will retail its final collection, resort 2016.Alice-in-Wonderland-1951-alice-in-wonderland-1758684-640-476

The designer has also collaborated with Walt Disney for a new range of merchandise to accompany the upcoming film “Alice Through the Looking Glass.

I Am Not Like Other Girls” is the brand name and it will be a holiday collection based on the movie.

Inspired by the imagery from the classic movie, the merchandise will include accessories and clothing including sweaters, sunglasses, bags, jewelry and watches, and also oversized bows, hearts and flowers.

The whimsical line will be launching in November, ahead of the film’s May 2016 release. Products will be priced between £40 and £260.

Alice in Wonderland inspired clutch bags.

Alice in Wonderland inspired clutch bags.

The sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 “Alice in Wonderland,” will star Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Mia Wasikowska.

Reviews for the last Alice in Wonderland were mixed, it remains the biggest box-office hit of Burton’s career to date. Now more than five years later, Disney is getting set to unveil its follow up

Here is a small preview of the upcoming movie:



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Acoustic singer Lucy Rose Back in the North-East

Acoustic singer Lucy Rose is set to head up North as she comes back to Newcastle for the second time this year to play at the Riverside.

After playing Think Tank? earlier this year she will be gracing the North East again with her presence on  Thursday  November 12 after the launch of her second album  in July called ‘Work It Out’.

 With beautiful vocals, fresh funky tones and a blissful folky atmosphere this evening is definitely not one to be missed.

Lucy Rose, who previously played at T in the Park this summer as well as other festivals, first started up with the loveable Bombay Bicycle Club lads, and featured on the backing vocals for their exclusive folk acoustic album ‘Flaws’ in 2010. 


Singer Lucy Rose is back in the North-East as part of her solo tour.

She spent a lot of time touring with them, and would set the scene for their shows before they came on stage, as well as playing along side them.

Now the talented singer songwriter, who taught herself to play guitar at the age of 16, is  headlining her own shows with her current tour.

Lucy Rose, being a huge fan of tea, offers her own blend of English Breakfast Tea and Early Grey, to be purchased at her shows along with other official merchandise. 

Tickets can be purchased online for £15 plus booking fee at:  http://ift.tt/y4hw9Vevent/lucy-rose/riverside/880384

Over 14’s only. 

Doors open from 7:30pm.

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Star Wars: The Force is Weak in This Troll?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a troll started a weak trend on Twitter.

Now the #BoycottStarWarsVII has become a huge topic scanning across all social media.

The idea that the new and upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens has more ethnic diversity and it being a bad “thing” is ludicrous; to put it simply they spat their dummy out because there are “too many” black people in the upcoming film.

James Earl Jones (R) voiced Darth Vader (L)

James Earl Jones (R) voiced Darth Vader (L)

For starters, the main enemy of the Star Wars franchise is, as we all know, Darth Vader, who was voiced by the magnificent James Earl Jones.

And come on, who doesn’t love Jones? I mean come on, look at him! Look at that smile!

Never mind that Samuel L. Jackson played Mace Windu, again, who doesn’t love Jackson? He even had a purple Lightsaber. Now that is cool.

Speaking to people across Teesside about the idea of boycotting Star Wars, it became clear that the topic is “blasphemous” and the “whole concept is stupid”. Even the people the boycott is aimed at, are laughing it off with casual amusement.

Ashleigh Robinson, from Hartlepool, said: I genuinely thought we were in the 21st century. How can there be too many black people in an intergalactic film when the likes of Mace Windu were so prominent in 1, 2 and 3? Let the film be cast and enjoy it. Race has nothing to with acting skills.”

So far the film has already sold over 200,000 tickets since going on pre-sale  breaking the record for the most advance ticket sale in the UK alone. Impressive to say the least. So it begs the question; who on earth would start this “boycott”?

It turns out it was made by a troll who didn’t take the idea seriously and wanted to cause trouble, however that all back-fired when a minority of people became interested in the idea and spoke up. #failedtroll

The main issue for this ‘minority’ is that they find it absurd that the main role has been given to John Boyega, a young upcoming actor, for fears that he may ruin the film with his acting, never mind the fact he’s black.

Even if the boycott was started as a troll, the internet has taken it upon itself to make it a genuine issue, as always, even though thousands of people find the boycott to be ridiculous.

Tom Burns showing his dedication to Star Wars and Disney

Tom Burns showing his dedication to Star Wars and Disney

Tom Burns, a huge sci-fi fanatic, said: “Not only are the existing films filled with fantastic performances by actors (male and female) of many races and skin tones, sci-fi in general has a rich history of inclusion of minority groups.

“One of the longest running, and enduringly popular shows on TV, Star Trek, broke boundaries by having a young, female, black character in one of the most prominent roles on TV, who also shared the very first televised interracial kiss! Let the bigots sit in their towers of misery, hatefully criticising the progressive modern world.”


Logically thinking, in our day and age people of ANY colour, race, religion etc. should be accepted. The fact that race is still a huge problem in 2015, especially over a film, is disgraceful. Actions like these do have consequences, whether it’s small or not, it still raises the question of will we ever change?

So in light of this rather grim hashtag, will you be boycotting Star Wars, or will have you already booked your tickets and waiting for the grand day? I know I am waiting like a child for Christmas!

May the force be with you! 

(Click link above to watch the Official trailer now!)

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Cougars sharpen their claws ahead of new season


The Teesside Cougars American Football Team



A new season and a new spirit of optimism beckons for the Teesside Cougars as they look to test their skills on the Gridiron.

Teesside University’s American Football team endured a devastating season last year that saw them lose every game in Division Two of the  North Border Conference.

Head coach Michael Kelly, who has led the team for four years, discussed his hopes for the upcoming season with Tside.

“Our expectations are to have a good winning season and (we are) looking to dominate the division and to score highly on offence. (We want) to be a dominant force on defence so we can shut down all teams this season,” he said.

The revitalised tribes of Cougars – whose Twitter tag is #Rise  – blame last year’s setback on low numbers of players and the strength of the bigger universities they played against.

With the coach introducing a new offensive and defensive playbook into the system, the hopes are that the Cougars can turn their fortunes around and have a successful season by deploying more physicality and dominance into their game tactics.

Anyone interested in joining the Teesside Cougars is  welcome to come to practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights 7-9pm at the Olympia Building. In the meantime check out the video below for an idea on what to expect.

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The rise of Grime in the North East

OVER the past few years, northerners have developed a bigger interest in the grime scene.

UK grime artists: A recreation of the famous collage of Biggie and Tupac

UK grime artists: A recreation of the famous collage of Biggie and Tupac

With the rise of influential artists such as Skepta and Stormzy, the grime industry has gained more fans from the North East.

Corey Major, who DJs for YOYO in Middlesbrough and plays grime songs,  said: ‘’More people are requesting grime now. When I first started it was songs like Nicki Minaj – Starships, Swedish House Mafia – Don’t you worry child, more up tempo commercial songs.”

DJ Corey Major in action

DJ Corey Major in action

“Also on the site I download my music from, it’s always at the top of the charts which means all the DJs all over the country are downloading and playing it.’’

Due to its growing reputation, a few grime artists such as Lethal Bizzle, Bugzy Malone and Devilman have visited Middlesbrough and performed to their fans.

Grime originally emerged from  London in the early 2000s.

It is a mixture of UK garage, drum and bass and dancehall.

The grime sound has developed further since then and given the new generation  a different sound.

One reason for its popularity in England is due to it covering real life issues and many grime artists speak about issues that are excluded from pop songs on commercial radio .

Last year, Skepta walked away with a MOBO award for Best Video after revealing that his music video only cost £80 to make which has inspired a lot of fans since then.

Skepta at MOBO Awards 2014: Image from Dazed Digital

Skepta at MOBO Awards 2014: Image from Dazed Digital

Grime is not just becoming popular in the North of England it has also started to become more known in the United States and Canada due to rapper Drake’s collaborations with Skepta, and Krept and Konan’s hit single featuring Jeremih.

Corey believes that grime will continue to become bigger but will not last.

He said:  “A lot of other DJs are telling me it’s just a phase.”

“To be honest I think it is a phase but it’s created a lot more grime fans.

“I’ve always liked it, but I’m into it right now more than I’ve ever been because there’s a lot more jobs available.’’

DJ Corey Major shares his grime mix.

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Hat-trick of wins keeps Boro in Premiership chase


Middlesbrough make it 3 wins in a row against Rotherham


Hot off the heels of an unforgettable night at Old Trafford, Premier league chasers Middlesbrough FC played host to bottom of the table Rotherham United on a cold night at the Riverside Stadium.

The game proved to be an intense affair between the two teams with all three points proving vital to both teams as Middlesbrough were hoping to make it three wins in a row in the Championship and strengthen to their bid for promotion into the Premiership.

On the other side regulation threaten Rotherham United needed everything they could get from their visit to Teesside. However, it was not meant to be for the visitors as the Smoggies took all three points to stay in the top four of the Championship after a first half goal from Stewart Downing.

It was a game that Middlesbrough dominated with 57% possession as they created more chances at goal. However, the game remained closer than the statistics would have suggested as Rotherham United tried their best efforts to create chances at the end.

With four shots on target between the two teams it was the one Downing buried past Lee Camp after he intercepted a loose pass near the halfway line that made the difference in the 16th minute.

Downing’s goal should have been followed by a second moments later after Carlos de Pena hit the bar with a header from a David Nugent cross. Rotherham’s best efforts came from Jordan Bowery who hit his shot wide thus giving Boro all three points.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka said: “It is a tough game but we missed chances to score the second, the third, the fourth.

“But we have to learn from this game, when everybody was expecting the second goal we played worst.”

The game marked the 400th league appearance of Downing’s career – and his third goal of the season – allowing Boro to continue their chase for promotion.



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Disney and dancing who could want more?

Disneyland Paris Parade

Disneyland Paris Parade

DISNEY has grown into a global phenomenon since first hitting our screens in 1937 with the film Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.

The movie made over eight million dollars when first released and the enduring appeal of Disney means that it is a name that still means a lot to people of all ages.

Over the years, the name has become associated with much more than just movies. In 1955, Disneyland, the first Disney Park,  opened in Anaheim, California, while the 1990s saw the opening of Disneyland Paris and the launch of Disney Channel in the UK.

Disney continues to grow and grow with new releases such as Tangled, Inside Out and Frozen. Frozen raised the bar selling over 1.7 million copies which became the biggest selling DVD of 2014. With famous song ‘Let It Go’ written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez reaching number four in the UK Official Music Charts.

Disneyland Paris CInderella's Castle

Disneyland Paris Cinderella’s Castle

Disney completely changed the game by releasing this well known smasher. Story lines usually end where the princess marries their prince charming and they live happily ever after, whereas with Frozen it shows that not every princess needs a man by their side and just their sister.

Young hopeful dancer Olivia Barker, 12-year-old, from Redcar, has had the wildest love for Disney since she can remember. Olivia started dancing at Constellations School of Dance and Performing Arts when she was just five-years-old.

Olivia never keeps her feet still after competing at local and national events including Birmingham’s Clothes Show, Britain’s Got Talent and most recently competed at Disneyland Paris.

An excited Olivia said: “Disney and dancing are my favourite things in the whole world and I was so excited to go and dance there. I got to dance in the parade and receive a medal from Mickey mouse. Dancing on stage with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy was the best thing ever.”

 Brooke and Olivia with Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon

Brooke and Olivia with Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon

Disney has always been apart of Olivia’s life and getting to go to Disneyland Paris was a dream come true for her.

Disney is now such a global brand, building and is expanding its business across the world in both established and emerging markets including Latin America, Russia, India, China, Japan, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Parents will spend excessive amounts of money on merchandise for their children to be able to become their favourite Disney character, from Cinderella’s glass slippers to an Elsa gown.

Merchandise is mainly where Disney makes its profit as you can buy pretty much anything the imagination can think of, from pjs to snow globes, figurines and of course teddy bears. As who doesn’t love a good snuggle buddy.

When Olivia first started dancing she started off with just tap and ballet once a week and now she does tap, ballet, modern, jazz and street five nights a week.

“Dancing makes me feel amazing” says Olivia. Her mum Sarah jokes that Olivia even danced in her stomach when she was pregnant.

Olivia added: “I like to dance in a group with all my friends around me as I like to feel the rhythm of the music and move to the rhythm. It’s so much fun.”

Olivia, who is due to start competing in solo dances which is something she has never done before, claims that appearing on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent was a highlight for her.

Constellations School of Dance and Performing Arts

Constellations School of Dance and Performing Arts

She added: “Meeting people you see on television was so exciting and receiving four Yes’s was even better. Simon Cowell actually liked our dance.

“David was probably my favourite judge because he made a joke about our costumes. We were dressed as Avatars and he thought we were smurfs, which was very funny.”



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