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Review: Stand Up for Week @ Koko

In comedy, Reviews, TV on August 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm

‘Stand Up for the Week’ seems to have outraged critics. Not actually because of the show- in brief, it is a Channel Four comedy show, in which stand-up comedians talk about the goings-on of the week in front of a live studio audience. The reason the critics have united against it is because the press release described the show as ‘edgy’ and ‘outrageous’. For some reason, this has been taken to mean the jokes will be unnecessarily rude and belittling, and brimming with enough coarse language to make a hooker blush. 

Well, as I stood on balcony at the intimate-yet-decadent Koko Club on Wednesday night, I decided to throw these preconceived notions out of the window. So the press release may have made lofty assumptions and pissed people off- does that really matter if the jokes are good?

With that thought in mind, on struts Patrick Kielty, our emcee for the evening. Now, I had to agree with the most of the reviews I’d read- his pre-prepared material came off as quite mechanical. Yet, his rapport with the audience was brilliant- he was easily at his most charming and hilarious when he was off the cuff. Yet, of course, these moments of ad-lib banter were cut from the TV show.


After being nicely warmed up by Kielty, out comes the first guest, Jack Whitehall. Now, if we’re being honest, it is very hard to say anything in that accent without sounding like a smarmy, privately-educated bastard. What I’d seen of Jack Whitehall previously was hit-and-miss; sometimes, it was incredibly accurate and blisteringly funny; other times, it seemed unnecessarily mired in filth. But, I have to say I was very impressed with his performance. His routine flowed ridiculously well- he managed flit from Top Gear to Michaela’s Zoo Babies with impressive ease- not an easy feat, I can tell you.


Whitehall was a tough act to follow, and Kevin Bridges took up this unenviable task. Bridges may have the hardest job of the night- he is the sports correspondent, and as you may know, fuck all happened in sports this week. Unfortunately, this meant Bridges’ opportunities for laughs were limited- he even at one point had to rehash the old vuvuzela jokes. Needless to say I was a little disappointed by the promising young comedian, but he did his best with an exhausted topic.


The second least desirable job of the night was that of Andi Osho, who basically has to talk about stuff she’s found on the internet. I find this subject matter a bit of an insult to this hilarious comedian- her peers get World News, Entertainment and Sports- in comparison her job title seems, well, pretty shit. Surprisingly, Osho took this in her stride, and had one of the best routines of the night. Unfortunately, on the final cut of the TV show, some of her funniest jokes (about her mother and a hysterical Mr T impression) were left out, presumably because they were ‘off subject’. However, her piece on the Darth Vader robber made it to the final cut, and was hysterical- I literally cried with laughter.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the night was Rich Hall- a surprisingly big name for this show. As he walked on stage, he was greeted with five minutes of cries and cheers before he even told a joke. Anticipation was high, and by God he didn’t disappoint. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how simultaneously accurate and side-splitting this guy is. It was a real treat to see him live, and I’d whole-heartedly recommend him to anyone.


After the usual correspondents comes a segment of the show that has attracted alot of media attention- The Chair. Basically, a Z-List celebrity is sat in a chair (shockingly) and is verbally abused for two minutes by Patrick Kielty, in the fashion of celebrity roasts (a trend which Channel 4 is currently toying with). The celebrity this week was Chantelle from Big Brother. It was, in a word, excruciating. It was pretty painful to watch the perma-tanned young lady stare up at Kielty with a nonplussed, doe-eyed look on her face, as he referred to her as a ‘cheap slapper’. What made it all the worse were her constant interjections of ‘I don’t get it!’ Personally, I don’t think the ‘celebrity roast’ will take off here as it has in the US- it just seems cruel to have the butt of all of the jokes sat in the spotlight as their career and reputation are slandered.

After we’d all finished cringing, the guest comedian Steve Hughes takes to the stage. Now, he has the easiest job of the night- a longer slot, and he can talk about anything he wants, giving him alot more creative reign than his colleagues. Yet, the light applause that beckons Hughes’ entrance is punctuated with calls of ‘Who the fuck is this guy?’ Things only get worse when, as the audience chatter dies down, a lone voice shouts ‘YOU’RE FUCKING SHIT!’ Oh dear. Hughes turned, his expression completely composed, and retorts: ‘I’ve been on the circuit ten years- don’t worry, I know how to deal with c***s like you’. Cheers all around. What follows is more of the same- acerbic wit and impeccable timing. His routine about trains and the underground is particularly well-received in the Central London location. Some of his jokes may not have been to my personal taste, but you can’t dispute his talent.


Walking away from the evening, my thought is this: this show is a gem, but only if you see it live. The editors appear to favour ‘outrageous’ jokes over funny ones, and the choppy editing subtracts from the overall flow of the routines. I urge you, come see the show live- the atmosphere of the Koko and sheer hilarity is lost somewhere on the cutting room floor. This show undoubtedly has potential, but if optioned for a second series, the production team should have a long hard think about their editing- it compromises the very heart of this show.

June: A Memoir

In Fashion, Film, Film Reviews, Folk, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews on July 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm
First of all, I have to issue an apology to all of our readers who have had to go a month without their ATS fix. We’ve been ridiculously busy with exams, but are now back to normal, and hopefully our posts will become a wee bit more regular.

ALBUM OF THE MONTH- Good Old War- Good Old WarFor some reason, holing oneself up in isolation seems to be a good way to make some great music- Good Old War is no exception. The album was recorded at a time when the three gents stowed themselves in the Pocono Mountains, learning new instruments and writing some of the most heartfelt material of their career. This album is packed with the usual indie-folk jolliness we’ve come to expect from the trio, but at its heart is a greater emotional vulnerability. You only have to listen to ‘I Should Go’ (below) to hear the true feeling woven into every track. It’s this sense of heart and soul that you can hear in their music that provide the backbone for this immense album.

FILM OF THE MONTH- EclipseYesterday, as we huddled down with our shared popcorn bucket in Row C, there was one question on mine and Chloe’s minds- how the Hell did we end up here?
As many of you will know by now, me and Chloe hate the Twilight Saga and everything it advocates- domestic violence, teenage suicide and Mormonism amongst the worst of it. And yet every time a new film is churned out, we always end up going to see it. I think that says alot about the almost magnetic pull of this franchise- it becomes compulsive viewing for even those who solemnly hate it.
Yet, obviously, the third film in the series (out of five, joy of joys) suffers from the same pitfalls as its predecessors. A shoddily-written source text, pitted full of narrative holes (for instance- how does Edward just ‘get over’ the fact he wants to drain his lover’s blood?), some pretty awful acting at times, and the cheesiest chat up lines I have ever heard.
So how does this film differ from the others? Well, there’s more action, a few extra pieces of guy candy and a few more back stories for the bit parts. But yet for me, this is still overshadowed by the fact that countless tweens will look upon Edward’s emotional blackmail, lies, and coercion into marriage as true love. And for that, Miss Meyer has alot to answer for.

FASHION DESIGNER OF THE MONTH- The Cassette Society
It is often the curse of the young and the cool to be alienated by designers. Most of the designers I could name certainly do not scream ‘young and edgy’- the gently whisper ‘sophisticated and elegant’- and, most crucially, ‘rich’. Step in The Cassette Society- two ladies with a vision of breaking out and designing their own label. A few years on, and they have hipsters everywhere drooling over their unique, sexy designs. And, best of all, you can pick up TCS clothes for comparatively modest prices- the blue fringed dress above, for example, it $14.99. Snap it up whilst you can.

POSTS OF THE MONTHLookbook.nu- A Man Market- The three ladies of At the Sinema share their thoughts on the styles and bods of Lookbook.nu’s finest gentlemen. Warning: may contain shameless objectification.

A Remedy for the Reviser-
Exams may be over, but I’m sure we can all still appreciate Chloe’s collection of Youtube phenomena, ideal for procrastination of any kind.

Playlist 13: Instrumental- It’s so easy to convey meaning through lyrics. Yet, when words are thrown out of the window, the results can be just as moving- as proven by this playlist of Tri’s favourite instrumental tunes.

May: A Memoir

In Fashion, Film, Film Reviews, Memoir, Memoirs, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews, Trash, TV, YouTube on June 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm
TV SHOW OF THE MONTH: Lost
Six years ago, JJ Abrams pitched an idea for a TV show to ABC. He said the show, whilst having an overall story arc, would be comprised of easy to follow story lines and allow viewers to dip in and out each episode with ease, not needing to know what came before it to understand what was happening. If you watched Lost, whether it was just one episode you found yourself not knowing what the hell was going on, or whether you were a devoted fan for the past six seasons, you would know that JJ Abrams lied. And I, like the millions of like-minded Lost fans around the world, am thankful for it. First Abrams, then Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof took us on an adventure of epic proportions, in the truest sense of the word. They made us laugh, cry, theorise for hours over what was in the hatch, who the Others were and whether Tom Friendly was gay. So, when it came to the finale, many of us were on edge over whether it would be a fitting finale. It was. They gave it full closure, but still left plenty open for interpretation, and whilst everyone had been fretting over the mythology and possible clashes of alternate realities, they made us realise one of the true reasons why Lost was as successful as it was: the characters. And it gave them just the send off they deserved.
-Charles

CELEBRITY SCANDAL OF THE MONTH: Hayley Williams Gets Naked!
So, this feature died a few months ago, but I have decided to resurrect it, because it’s awful and fun.
Tweens everywhere were having a Riot! as a topless snap of Paramore’s lead singer, Hayley Williams, emerged on Twitter. You could say we saw the previously wholesome and Christian Hayley with Brand New Eyes- ok, I’ll stop now. However, a few questions have been raised:

1. Hayley claims her Twitter account was ‘hacked’- that may be, but how did the alleged hacker get hold of the picture in the first place? Could it be a little bit of Paramore-produced salacious gossip to keep the wemo-train rolling after we all got fed up of ‘The Only Exception’?
2. Surely Hayley should know that lying on your back is the most unflattering tit pic pose ever, as said mammary glands have a tendency to roam to the sides?
3. Does this mean redheads are cool again, and I no longer have to live in fear of MIA exterminating me?

-Eileen

FILM OF THE MONTH: Prince of Persia
This month saw the Disney video turned movie hit the scenes and man, was it awesome. In the movie, Dastan, played by the uber sexy Jake Gyl-something, is taken from the streets and turned into a prince. His country, Persia, are known for their miltary prowess and guerilla tactics attack the holy city of Alamut, overseen by Princess Tamina’s, played by my favourite actress Gemma Aterton. Course, things are never simple and after the intinal celebration of Alamut’s fall, things start to go terrible wrong. Cue a magical dagger, orstich races, poisoned cloaks and lots of sand. All the ingredients to a fantastic movie, I must say. The Prince of Persia, is a movie of hair breath fight scenes, amazing CGI, fantasticly interesting plot twists and a love affair that will made you swoon, not vomit. Oh and lots of sand.
-Chloe

ALBUM OF THE MONTH: High Violet

‘High Violet’; The National’s fifth album, was released on May 10th. Pitchfork reviewed it as “the sound of a band taking a mandate to be a meaningful rock band seriously,” giving it a score of 8.7 out of 10, only 0.1 marks higher than their most well known album ‘Boxer.’ To be honest, my expectations for this album were unreasonably high, due to a love for ‘Boxer,’ leaving me slightly disappointed. However, in its own right ‘High Violet’ is an outstanding album from an outstanding artist, and almost certainly deserves a place in this year’s album charts.

-Tri

FASHION DESIGNER OF THE MONTH: WhitIf I (God forbid) end up having to put in my nine to five in some office somewhere, Whit would be my first choice for smart yet awesome attire. Whit is the debut line from Whitney Pozgay (Kate Spade’s niece), and is said to be influenced by Henry Darger, Nouvelle Vague and Birkin. Combining playful with timeless, polka dots with silk screen and classic cuts with kooky headwear, every piece in this collection is a show stopper. Grab it from July here.
-Eileen


DANCE OF THE MONTH: Diversity

This month’s best dance routine comes from the first semi final of this year’s ‘Britains Got Talent’. Last years winners; Diversity, graced our screens with yet another outstanding performance that shows their…well, their diversity. The things most notable about this routine, other their trademark imaginative choreography, are the way they combine shapes, are always in unison when dancing together, and the little kid with curly hair – so talented and so cute!
-Tri

POSTS OF THE MONTHZooey Deschanel- Charles shares his fool-proof plan to finally get close to the girl of his dreams. To follow this plan, you will need to buy fake sideburns and partake in a bit of good old-fashioned breaking and entering. Trust us, it’s as creepy as it sounds.

Random Thing I Want: One Sketch a Day Journal- So far, in her ‘RTIW’ series, Chloe has brought us edible facial hair, poultry, and launched a campaign to prevent cruelty to lobsters. This edition shares a common ATS love- notebooks.

5 Vintage E-Bay Sites- E-Bay isn’t just a domain for used lawn furniture and tat you couldn’t flog at a flea market. A select few sell exquisite vintage clothes, and Eileen has trawled through the used bathrobes and authentic Shatner toupees to bring you the best of the best.

April: A Memoir

In Fashion, Film, Film Reviews, Math-Rock, Memoir, Memoirs, Music, Music Reviews, New Releases, Reviews, Rock, TV, YouTube on May 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm
ALBUM OF THE MONTH: SIX GALLERY- BREAKTHROUGHS IN MODERN ARTOk, so technically speaking, this album was released in March, not April, but it would actually be a crime not to share this with you. The few who were familiar with Six Gallery before ‘BIMA’ were acquainted with a supremely talented instrumental math-rock band, known for their ridiculously complex rhythmical structures and downright amazing guitar skills. What’s been added to the mix this time around, surprisingly, is a young vocalist by the name of Daniel Francis. It’s a decision that could’ve completely compromised the core sound of Six Gallery- fortunately, it’s allowed them to scale all new heights of genius. Francis’ voice acts as a soothing lullaby when accompanying the fleetingly soft percussion, and as a commanding roar as the guitars rage on in a cavalcade of perfect, delicious noise. It’s difficult to remember as you’re smacked in the face with their sheer musical prowess that this is a debut album- and it’s easily the best debut I’ve ever heard.

FILM OF THE MONTH: KICK-ASS
It was one of my ‘Could-Go-Either-Way’ film picks, and it definitely went in the right direction. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was how dramatic this film was. When watching the trailer, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were about to watch a comedy film- well, you’re not. As well as feeding the more violent appetite in turns both bloody and brutal, it would take an audience with a heart of stone not to be touched (or slightly disturbed) by the father-daughter relationship between Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (the talented Chloe Moretz). If you’re looking for something light-hearted, this potentially isn’t the film for you- but if you’re looking for violence, kick-ass stunts, laughs, sex, bazookas, and maybe a tear or two, you’re onto a winner.

TV SHOW OF THE MONTH: GLEE (MADONNA SPECIAL)
I’m doing it a little different this month when it comes to TV- why? Because I can. Instead of a show as a whole, I’m zooming in on just one episode and I’m doing ‘Glee’ again. Why, you might ask once more? Because it was fucking AWESOME. Last week’s episode saw the cast turning to the pop goddess that is Madonna and I don’t think anyone in the whole world cannot appreciate that pointy boobed, trend setting, leotard wearing, gyrating wizard of music. With amazing renditions of Marge’s best loved hits including ‘Like a Prayer’, ‘Express Yourself’ and ‘Like a Virgin’, it was an almighty hour’s TV to behold. I got very excited. However, the cherry on top of this momentous episode had to be Sue Sylvester’s copy of the almighty ‘Vogue’ video. Watch it below- enjoy!

FASHION DESIGNER OF THE MONTH: LEWIS

It’s pretty difficult not to fall in love with Lewis’ Spring/Summer collection just for the pictures- bright, gorgeous images that capture all the fun of the fair. But the collection itself is just as playful- by turns both delicate and bold, capturing the pastel shades of ice cream with clashing block colours straight from the big top. Not only that, but the collection taps into the floral trend, and the sudden vintage fetish that’s swept the high street. It does come at a price- each piece costs upwards of $200- but still, we can dream, can’t we?

POSTS OF THE MONTH
Spotify Discoveries- Chloe shares some hidden musical treasures discovered through Spotify.

5 Male Artists I Have A Man Crush On- In this post, Charles finally puts rumours of his sexuality to bed. Expect naked pictures of Kevin Barnes, and footage of Ryan Dicks ‘Ridin’ tha Chillwave’. Whatever that means.

The Sex Playlist- Our most viewed post this month (wonder why) featured Eileen discussing the dirty and depraved depths of her musical tastes. Giggidy giggidy.

The Short and Skinny I

In Alternative, Hardcore, Indie, Music, Music Reviews, New Releases, Reviews, The Short and Skinny on April 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Ok kids, I’ve formulated a new feature in which I aim to give voice to the more concise side of music- EP’s, Mini Albums, B-Sides- which are I feel are too often overlooked in favour of bigger, meatier albums. So, let’s get down to it, shall we?
1. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- RULES DON’T STOPRaise a cheer, We Are Scientists are back in town. They bring with them this single, which is pretty much everything we’ve come to know and love from the California trio- a stomping indie dancefloor hit, that you’ll be humming for weeks. The B-Side, Down the Hall, largely follows suit, with a slightly more intimate vocal. But the inclusion of an acoustic version of ‘Rule Don’t Stop’ adds another dimension. This isn’t a throwaway, careless guy-and-guitar reworking with little else added to the mix- it’s an ambient piece that stands up as a song in its own right. Overall, this single and B-side is short and sweet, but definitely worth a listen.
MP3: Rules Don’t Stop (Acoustic)

2. THE ROYAL CHAINS- BEAR ISLANDPinning down the nature of this EP is a puzzle in itself- straddling the lines between indie, pop and rock, and throwing in a few lo-fi and retro riffs for good measure, ‘Bear Island’ can be savoured on most musical palettes. Confused? You won’t be. This band offer something innovative that still gives a nod to their musical predecessors- and boy, does it sound good. Some of the tracks- such as the standout, ‘The Wolf’- have a polished edge to them that you simply wouldn’t expect from a band as new as this. Watch this space- I have a feeling you’re going to be hearing about ‘The Royal Chains’ alot more in the future.
MP3: The Wolf

3. BOYS WITH X RAY EYES- OH MY! HOW WE TERRIFYWhen you click play, prepare for a riotous, electric barrage of noise delivered with equal parts aggression and youthful exuberance. There’s little here that deviates from a tried-and-tested hardcore format- explosive guitar riffs, heavy drums, and a snappy beat- but it does make for good, gory fun. There is of course room for improvement- for me, the balance between singing and screaming hasn’t yet been struck- but a highly impressive listen, from a group who are definitely going places.
MP3: Electro the Human Lightning Bolt

4. SASHA IS ACOUSTIC- WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOWFor an album played entirely on a guitar and a drum machine, this is pretty good stuff. What can be deciphered almost immediately is that this young London-based boy is a dreamer, penning songs about lost loves and human will. Such ideas are expressed in some rather eloquent touching lyrics- in ‘This Year’, he goes from ‘sending my head to sweet decay’ to contemplating the bigger questions: ‘Have you ever thought this was all a test?’ Something sweet and simple just in time for summer.
MP3: Celia

Eileen’s ‘Could-Go-Either-Way’ Upcoming Film Picks: The Twilight Showdown

In Film, Reviews, YouTube on March 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm

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Welcome to another slice of ‘Eileen’s ‘Could-Go-Either-Way’ Upcoming Film Picks! Let me break it down for you:
‘Could Go Either Way’:(adjective):1. A term used to described an object, situation or idea with an indefinite outcome; that is to say, the reception and consequences of such an object, situation or idea, could be really awesome or remarkably shitty.
In this instalment, it’s the battle of the Twilight thespians- Kristen Stewart vs. Robert Pattinson. Not that it matters, because Twilight’s for pussies, and it’s likely that neither of them will outshine their co-star Anna Kendrick’s performance in ‘Up in the Air’. Anyways:

1. THE RUNAWAYS

What is it, and Why Should I Care?: ‘The Runaways’ is a biopic of the rock band by the same name, charting their rise and fall, and in particular the relationship between band members Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning)- which apparently, has been quite lesbo’d up for the film.

Hell Yes:
1. Leather, lingerie, lesbianism. Need I say anymore?
2. The Runaways are a pretty decent band, a did a lot for women in music, and the soundtrack in general looks awesome.
3. I’m quite into my rise-and-fall films. You know the sort- band gets successful, fames goes to their heads, they nosedive into a pile of their own shame in some drug-and-debauchery related scandal. Think ‘Lords of Dogtown’- create radical new ways of skating, get really famous, burn out, shave head and watch best friend die of cancer. Yeah, those films are great.

Hell No:
1. I’ve heard Dakota Fanning’s version of ‘Cherry Bomb’- let’s just say she ain’t no Cherie Currie.
2. It’s a film about a 70′s rock band, so we can expect sex-a-plenty. Whilst this in itself doesn’t seem like a downside, I’d like to remind you all that Dakota Fanning is fifteen. Yes, fifteen. Thus, if the rumours about a scene in which she plays with her, umm, Fanning whilst clutching a picture of Farrah Fawcett are true, there is some truly illegal shit going down in this film.
3. A lot of rockstar biopics can be quite self-indulgent/ inaccurate/ godawful.

2. REMEMBER ME

What Is It, And Why Should I Care?: ‘Remember Me’ is a romantic drama in which a young ingenue helps a troubled, rebellious, generically handsome stranger heal the scars of his troubled/rebelled/generically handsome past. And, as for why you should care: well, you probably shouldn’t.
Hell Yes:
1. I like the stock ‘ingenue’ character, Emilie de Ravin. She’s in Lost.
2. It was mildly satisfying to see ‘R-Patz’ get all roughed up in the trailer.
3. Ok, I’ve got nothing.

Hell No:
1. ‘I’m Robert Pattinson- I’m deep and profound. Girls find me attractive, but I don’t play up to that- I only took my top off and bared my weirdly purple nipples to the world in New Moon because that’s what my character would’ve done. I spent two weeks in a forest to find my inner Cullen’- what a douche, really.
2. This entire film has been done a million times before.
3. Who even thought ‘romantic dramas’ were a viable concept for a film? All people do in these movies is cuddle and weep. And then cuddle. But then they just weep some more. The only romantic drama I can think of that didn’t make me want to tear my eyes out was ‘Hallam Foe’, and that was because the ‘troubled’ lead was homeless, Scottish, and banged his stepmom.

Avatar: A Rather Late Review

In Film, Film Reviews, Reviews on March 8, 2010 at 10:06 pm


Avatar; a futuristic take on the story of Pocahontas, set in 2154 in the breathtaking world of Pandora, where plants and animals alike are joined by a bio-botanical neural network spanning across the entire planet but all leading to Ewya, their mother and God. At first glance, although beautifully crafted by the wonders of modern technology, this film appears to be shallow – a mere upgrade of a well known story where love conquers all. However, after watching it for a second time, other themes started to push their way to the surface, and I began to realise that perhaps this film does have some depth (other than the 3D effects).

I find it hard to believe that anyone who watches this film will come out feeling disappointed that the Human invaders, led by Colonel Miles Quaritch (Steven Lang), did not win in their battle for Unobtaniun; a source of money and power. In fact, the film challenges the very structure of Human society. It is hard not to notice how at the start of the film, the Na’vi (natives) are referred to as ‘Aliens’, but at the end it is the Humans who receive this title. As it is the Na’vi’s home, surely this should have been true from the beginning, but of course, Human nature and ego-centricity led them to believe that they were the superior race – all others should learn their language, their ways and comply with their unquestionably correct rules. Sound familiar?

Which leads me to the ever relevant and controversial theme of Region, which is just as prominent in 2154 Pandoran society as it is today, on Earth. The only difference is that an entire world believes in one God, Eywa, who ‘maintains the balance of all life’ on the planet. In this way the people of Pandora are more united than those on Earth, and are able to come together to fight a common enemy in defence of their God. Can’t exactly see that happening today, not now that religion serves as a weapon rather than a defence; a motivation rather than a deterrent.

Ok, so maybe I’m reading too much into this film, but I really did believe that the Director was trying to convey some sort of moral, or a warning at the very least – fighting almost destroyed Pandora and everything they believed in just like its currently destroying parts of Earth. Pandora is a world of freedom and flight, an almost brain like structure where birds dress like dragons, mountains float on air, trees act as speakers for their ancestors and everything is connected so perfectly in balance – who wouldn’t want to live there! (Well, the blue skin with fluorescent freckles may put some people off I’ll admit.)

Overall, Avatar is an amazing film in terms of graphics, which almost goes without saying, but also in terms of depth and moral; things you rarely find in films these days.

February: A Memoir

In Dance, Fashion, Film, Film Reviews, Fun Facts, Indie, Memoir, Memoirs, Music, Music Reviews, New Releases, Reviews, TV on March 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm
FILM OF THE MONTH: Youth in Revolt“I Want To Tickle Your Belly Button… From The Inside”
The words of a genius? I definitely think so! This line is from the hilarious new film ‘Youth In Revolt’ starring the boy who have made his money off being awkward, Michael Cera, as well as host of others; Jason Long, Zach Galifianakis (the guy from ‘The Hangover’) and ‘new star’ Portia Doubleday- at least, that’s how she keeps being described. It tells the story of Nick Twisp, your stereotypical sensitive virgin who lives his mother who can’t hold down a stable relationship and her idiot boyfriend who rips off three sailors. Because of this they flee to a cabin for a week, where Nick meets Sheeni. Cue the madness. In order to get back to the cabin when they eventually venture back, Nick invents Francois Dillinger, his evil alter-ego with a pedo mustache and the freakiest fucking eyes I have ever seen. But setting fire to his town with his mums car, old caravan and a lot of petrol is just the tip of the iceberg. The best movie I have seen so far this year!
-Chloe


ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Los Campesinos!-Romance is Boring‘In Media Res’ kicks things off with the heart-wrenching first line, “Let’s talk about you for a minute.” It builds into an angry, brooding middle section before again threatening tears in what has to be one of Gareth, and indeed the band’s, finest moments: “If you were given the option of dying painlessly in peace at forty-five/But with a lover at yr side, after a full and happy life/Is this something that would interest you?”
From then on, the album takes us on a roller-coaster journey of emotion and musical styles, ranging from traditional Los Campesinos! twee pop such as ‘There Are Listed Buildings’, to the more rockier title track ‘Romance Is Boring’, eventually culminating in the final, devastating Coda, which leaves me swallowing sadness I feel every listen. It is a record crafted from the heart, and an early and surprising contender for album of the year.

-Charles


TV SHOW OF THE MONTH: CSI TrilogyThis spectacle was for CSI lovers what Jesus’ resurrection would be to Christians. Millions of us tuned in to watch Laurence Fisburne (Grissom-replacement-extraordinaire) travel the country, and with the help of a few of his CSI buddies, try to take down a trafficking system responsible for some of the worst atrocities CSI has ever shown us- illegal organ harvesting, sex slavery, and even making girls who weren’t fit for prostitution become surrogate mothers for cash. Despite being a little disappointed that there wasn’t more interplay between the three CSI teams, this trilogy was as compelling as it was shocking, and I loved every moment of it.

-Eileen


DANCE ROUTINE OF THE MONTH- Rufus Hound’s ‘Fight for This Love’.

As its coming to the end of this month, I’ve chosen my favourite dance clip (so far) from the first episode of Sport Relief’s ‘Lets Dance’ – basically a mick take of all the other serious dance shows, where celebrities dress up like other celebrities and raise money for charity by making fools of themselves. Genius.
I don’t really have much to say about this video, other than Cheryl Cole if you saw this, you should be worried, because a ginger man in his 30’s wearing split trousers and less than half a top made this song much more entertaining than you ever could. Sorry love.

-Tri


DESIGNER OF THE MONTH- Peter Piloto

Come spring and summer, you may find your high street stores bursting with all the usual classic cuts and work wear staples, but with a twist- a splash of colour here, a few ruffles there. If this is the case, the man to thank for this is Peter Pilotto. But the real reason this fledgling London-based designer really caught my eye is That Dress (on the left). Although gaining a reputation for being a dab hand at the tunic, this dress is something else- part bird of paradise, part firework, this dress is a melange of colour in irregular, painter-esque swathes. An absolute dream.

-Eileen


FUN FACT OF THE MONTH- Women in Horror MonthSeeing as how I know how much my pointless trivia enthrals you, I’ve decided to give you a fun fact about every month. FUN FACT TIME!: This February was the first official Women in Horror Month. This may seem quite trivial, bit it couldn’t have come at a more crucial. In this month’s ‘SFX Magazine: Horror Special’, which claimed to be an ‘ultimate guide’ to horror in all media, not a single woman was mentioned. Not one. Meaning the hard work of writers from Mary Shelley to Poppy Z Brite was completely ignored. I for one feel it’s about time that the stigma of women only being seen in hotpants screaming in the horror genre clears up for good. Find out more about it here.

-Eileen


BEST POSTS OF THE MONTH
Tri’s Guide to Toe-Tapping: In a new series here At the Sinema, Tri introduces us to the exciting world of dance. Not one to be missed.

5 Presents to Lose Your Partner- No stranger to scaring people, Chloe shares the secret to making people think you’re crazy through the art of tactless gift-giving. Expect bed-wetter covers and toupees.

Lost Knives in a Basement- Charlie’s review of up-and-comers Lost Knives, whom he saw in a basement. Because he’s that indie.

High Heel Hunt- Eileen embarks on the daunting quest of finding a pair of comfy, clumsy-proof yet beautiful shoes. This may be quite a long series…

Lost Knives In A Basement

In Concerts, Indie, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews, Strange on February 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Sometime last week, Manchester band Lost Knives announced a rather secretive low key gig at an unknown location in Manchester. Naturally, curiosity got the better of me and on Wednesday night found myself outside the venue, 117 Oldham Street, home of Butterfly Records, who were more used to band practices than gigs. As we entered we were directed down to the basement, where the band’s gear was laid out at the far end of the room, with an eerie static projection onto the back wall.

The band made their way slowly forward through the crowd to the stage, where, after little introduction, they burst straight into one of three new songs they showcased. The first was a long, brooding crescendo reminiscent of – dare I say it – Godspeed You! Black Emperor themselves. A far cry away the other new songs – one, a raw, aggressive number that proved the band didn’t need their fancy electronics and samples to sound good; and the other, written and sung by guitarist Steven McInerney – a slow sombre affair with xylophones and tender vocals.

Although blighted by problems including detuned guitars and missing xylophone beaters (I don’t know how this happened, but it did), Lost Knives still put on a worthy performance. In such a short set in a basement in Manchester they proved that they had it all – the long, large epics, short, simple guitar songs and even a slow sombre number to start the waterworks. Oh, and they also proved that playing gigs in unusual venues is fucking cool. I hope to attend and put on shows in similarly obscure venues in the future.

At the Sinema’s Best of 2009

In Film, Film Reviews, Music, Reviews, TV, Twitter, YouTube on January 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm
Welcome, one and all, to At the Sinema’s Best of 2009! In this post, we basically put the year under review, and aim to share with you our picks of 2009′s music, movies, TV and general pop culture goodness.
Oh, by the way, if you’re here for the music, be sure to check out Charles’s, Chloe’s, Eileen’s and Tri’s Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2009 lists- it still strikes me how different we are musically. quite like it.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s get down to it, shall we?

FILM OF THE YEAR: Up

Children’s films are getting more and more adventurous to the point that first showings of Spike Jonze’s ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ managed to bore children to tears. With Pixar’s 10th full length feature film, they have managed to perfect the balance, and in doing so create not only the best Pixar film yet, but a film that can truly be enjoyed on multiple levels – its surprisingly deep nature and tear-evoking moments perhaps add something for the older viewer, but not without losing track of its intention. Put simply – ‘Up’ was the most entertaining film of 2009.
-Chloe and Charles
BEST BLOG: No Good For Me
Within the vast blogosphere, with so many blogs to read and so little time to do it on my hands, I only really follow a handful of blogs even semi-regularly. However, when it comes to nogoodforme.com, I’m fairly sure I haven’t missed a post this year. The team behind NGFM nourish your mind with all the good bits about modern pop culture, along with
personal essays and random pictures of the Beatles. You get what you get with every other blog- all the latest from the worlds of cinema, music, fashion and celebrity- but written better, more humourous, and interspersed with random crushes, phobias and cookie preferences. It has a certain personal touch that keeps me coming back time and time again, and I am totally hooked.
-Eileen
BEST TV MOMENT: Kanye West Steals Taylor Swifts LimelightThe moment that had us all jumping to the sunshiny, country singer’s defence as Kayne jumped up on stage at the VMA and– “Chloe, I’m really happy for you, and I’m gonna let you finish, but Eileen had one of the best blog posts of all time.”FOR FUCK’S SAKE KANYE!
-Chloe
BEST PERSON TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER: Taylor Swift
Have you ever sat back and thought to yourself, ‘I wonder what foxy teen country music sensation Taylor Swift is thinking right now…’ Well, I know! As I write this little paragraph, Twitter has told me Ms Swift has this to say : ‘Sorry to @grantmickelson for, after having a dream where you were bitten by a shark, calling at 4am to make you swear to stay on land.’ See, don’t you feel enlightened by that knowledge?
Unlike most stars, Taylor doesn’t use her Twitter to promote her latest album, or post yet another Tweet along the lines of ‘Another country on tour, playing tonight, soooo tired’- she actually has mildly witty and interesting things to say. And I quite like that.
-Eileen

WORST PERSON TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER: Nico Muhly

So I paid (tweeted) tribute to the awe-inspiring show Grizzly Bear put on in London with the London Symphony Orchestra last year. In this particular tweet I said the band were so stunning they could have done without the orchestra. The arrangements were made by Nico Muhly, so this bitch called me annoying. How dare he! Also, his spelling is very questionable for someone who claims to have majored in English Literature. I went for years thinking he was Icelandic. Whatever.
-Charles

BEST NON-SERIOUS TV SHOW: Miranda

A semi-autobiographical BBC television series written by and starring Miranda Hart. She plays a 6 foot masculine joke shop owner, who lacks the ability for business and has absolutely no social skills when it comes to men. Patricia Hogde, who plays her mother, is constantly encouraging her to get married, so constantly disappointed as Miranda’s attempts to get her dream guy (Tom Ellis) fall flat every time. The show has been describes as and ‘old-fashioned’ sitcom, and filmed in front of a live audience who respond greatly to Miranda’s frequent glances and exchanges with them, which only increase the humour of the show. A second series has just been commissioned – yay!
-Tri

BEST SEMI-SERIOUS TV SHOW: The Mentalist
I’m taking ‘semi-serious’ to mean something along the lines of American crime dramas, because I’m a wee bit of an expert on them, and in many ways, they are semi-serious. I mean, the cadaver-count is way to high for them to be considered a com edy, but they don’t require too much brainpower in general. And my favorite of the American crime drama heavyweights this year was easily ‘The Mentalist’.
It has all the ingredients of a usual crime show- lots of bodies, and a cool office filled with sexy people who all want to have sex with each other (save in the case of Law and Order SVU, where non-sexy people investigate crimes involving people having warped sex with each other).
Yet what ‘The Mentalist’ adds to the mix is humour, in the form of fake-pyschic-turned-investigator and general wiseass, Detective Jane (Simon Baker)- his particular brand of witty, brash, and unforgiving humour always has me killing myself laughing- killing, get it?
-Eileen
BEST SERIOUS TV SHOW: V

So there were two shows meant to take over Lost. Flashforward and V. As previously discussed, Flashforward is a load of complete shite, but with V, ABC have managed to create the best TV series since, er…well, Lost, really. With Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell at the front of a cast who can act (again, we’re looking at you Flashforward), this show is something to hang onto past the finale of season 6.
-Charles

BEST ALBUM COVER: Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavillion

The album cover for Merriweather Post Pavilion, most recent album of Animal Collective, is an optical illusion of seemingly undulating leaves designed by Akiyoshi Kitaoka a Japanese Psychologist. The image intends to attract the eye and confuse the brain into thinking the petals are moving, something which it succeeds in every time.
-Tri
WORST ALBUM COVER: Anni Rossi – Rockwell

I don’t quite know what to say about this one. I mean, look at it. Just look at it! Maybe it’s some ultra-cool hip statement about her music, but whatever, I’d rather just listen and not look at the cover for this violist’s latest effort.
-Charles

BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Ready, Able – Grizzly Bear
It graced this blog for as the song of the day last year, but why not have a second helping? Ready, Able is a technicolour rainbow of plasticine taking you on a weird and wacky journey through someone awesome person imagination.
-Chloe
ONE TO WATCH- Ellie Goulding

Born in Hereford, Ellie Goulding played and wrote her own music from the age of 15. After only two years of studying drama at Kent University she left to work on her music, releasing her debut single ‘Under The Sheets’ in September last year and touring with Little Boots in October. Ellie’s debut album ‘Lights’ is due to be released through Polydor on 1st March this year.
-Tri
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