Storm Boy

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Storm Boy is a story about a boy who rescues three pelicans in an isolated coastal area of Southern Australia called 90 Mile Beach.

Once nursed back to health and released into the wild, one pelican stays behind with the boy and never left his side.

This is a largely unknown and only briefly advertised film, which is a shame. However, I think anybody who has read the novel or seen the 1976 Storm Boy film will adore it…
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Mystery in White – J. Jefferson Farjeon

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Writer: J. Jefferson Farjeon Genre: Murder mystery/crime thriller Released: 1937 Blurb: On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been … Continue reading

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Top 5 Ways to Read More Often in 2019

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While most people intend to read more or vow to finish the novel that’s in their bedside draw, very few people do. Reading a bit of fiction should be relaxing, enjoyable and hopefully educational too. So if you’re wanting to get reading again… Please read on… Continue reading

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Radio Girls – Sarah-Jane Stratford

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I really felt like buying a brand new book one day. So I walked into W.H. Smith and picked one up that took my fancy.

Radio Girls sparked my interest because it was based in the twenties and was about radio. I studied radio at uni and loved it, but never had the confidence to pursue it (instead, I turned to voiceovers, which is more up my street).

I could easily identify with the protagonist who was a young woman starting her first proper job. She is immediately intimidated by the bosses, but she soon gets the hang of her job as the secretary and begins to get involved with the Talks radio programme… Continue reading

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The Devil’s Staircase – Helen Fitzgerald

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This book does so well reading as though it’s a movie. I loved how easy it was to read with all the twists and turns and surprises that you didn’t see coming, while never leaving you behind.

It’s about a girl called Bronny who hops on a plane from Australia to London without a second thought. No bag or preparation whatsoever. This is what captured my interest, because isn’t this what we all dream of doing sometimes? Just getting away spontaneously?

Upon arriving in the UK, she quickly makes friends at a backpackers where she stays before they all become squatters together in an abandoned townhouse.

But this story quickly becomes a cautionary tale for any young, solo traveller… Continue reading

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Forget My Name – J.S. Monroe

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This was one of those books that I just took a punt on: I plucked it off the shelf and bought it without any research at all.

I read the synopsis and was captivated enough to read the first page of it in the shop. Then the second. Then the third… So I bought it. (As Tim Weaver mentioned in an interview once, it’s important to find an author who writes how you like to read, and this author certainly does!)

What a find!

It’s another one to add to the Girl on the Train/The Couple Next Door/Gone Girl band wagon to be honest. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist (or two)! Continue reading

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Bird Box

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Firstly, if you’ve seen A Quiet Place, then you’ve seen Bird Box. It’s quite comical how similar they both are.

Nevertheless, that is not an excuse not to watch Bird Box – especially if you enjoy an apocalyptic film.

It’s about a mysterious force that if seen, will cause people to kill themselves or harm others. This results in mass suicides, turning the world into a survival of the fittest. No one can go outside without being blindfolded for fear of seeing the nearly invisible killer… Continue reading

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A Star is Born

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Believe it or not, this is the fourth version of A Star is Born.

1937 (Janet Gaynor and Fredric March)
1954 (Judy Garland and James Mason)
1976 (Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson)
2018 (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper)

It’s about a rock star called Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) who is an alcoholic with failing hearing and a career that is winding down. He bumps into a waitress called Ally (Lady Gaga) who has some decent pipes and takes her under his wing. Before he knows it, she’s an even bigger pop star than him and fame changes her from a humble, ordinary girl into an unrecognisable star… Continue reading

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Baby Let Me Go – Smoking Martha

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Stepping away from their more upbeat and rocky music, Baby Let Me Go by Smoking Martha is a soft rock acoustic song with dark undertones on their album In Deep.

Echoing the glamorous style of rock and roll singers from the deep south, surprisingly this band hails from Brisbane’s sunny coastlines.

This is the second song I have reviewed of Smoking Martha’s, and I didn’t even realise because of how different this song is to the last one… Continue reading

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout

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Not being a massive action film fan myself, I was more in favour of waiting to see Christopher Robin instead. But in the back of my mind I figured Winnie the Pooh may not live up to my expectations as I was convincing myself it would be as magical as the Beatrix Potter biopic, Miss Potter. Whereas the new Mission: Impossible film is a little less risky, as you know exactly what to expect.

We were right – this film is everything you’d hope for in a Mission: Impossible movie. Continue reading

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Incredibles 2

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I recently wrote that I was excited to see this film, but I do wonder if I was perhaps influenced by other people’s enthusiasm because I was never really a massive fan of the first film. I liked it of course, but it ain’t no Toy Story.

Nevertheless, I do love a Pixar animation, and I am very interested in the voice acting scene, so I was more then happy to see Incredibles 2.

This second instalment picks up exactly where the first one left off where the Incredibles are attempting to save the city from a giant mole super-villain. Unfortunately despite their best efforts, they do not catch the culprit and superheroes are condemned and remain illegal… Continue reading

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Top 12: Best Movies About Journalism

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Some of these films were a larger influence on me choosing to study journalism at university than I care to admit. Morning Glory was the main reason for me deciding to take a television journalism paper, and The Pelican Brief was responsible for introducing me to the world of investigative journalism.

Here are some of the best journalistic films… Continue reading

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Top 18: Best Coming-of-Age Movies

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I love coming-of-age films. It’s the perfect mix of dark drama and bright comedy, against the backdrop of real-life circumstances and down-to-earth characters. Here are a few of my favourites… Continue reading

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Spotlight

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Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation, Spotlight follows the journey of a group of investigative journalists unearthing the child abuse within the Catholic Church.

Despite the heavy and disturbing subject matter, it is such a moving film. Just watching the trailer gives me chills; it is so well made. 

I think the writers did a remarkable job of giving a lot of detail about the case without slowing the pace of the movie down. It moves at a steady pace where you are deep enough into the emotion without it being too overbearing… Continue reading

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Top 5: Most Magical Films of the 90s

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Growing up in the 90s, I remember surrounding myself with VHS tapes of my favourite movies. I’d dress up and pretend I was a character in the movie as I watched it with my stuffed toy collection, and quartered peanut butter sandwiches.

It was a marvellous childhood, hence why there are a few movies I can’t watch without blubbering with overwhelming nostalgia. 

I avoided the classics such as Disney’s Lady & the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty, or Matilda because while they are certainly magical I’m sure they were every little girl’s favourite during the 90s. So here are a few hidden treasures that you might have forgotten about… Continue reading

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The Post

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The Post comes across as a film with similar emotional impact to the likes of Spotlight (a highly recommended investigative journalism movie), but it sorely missed the mark.

It follows the real-life story of the Washington Post in the 1960s, a paper passed down to  Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) who is struggling to keep the company financially afloat. Then, a big story breaks as government secrets relating to the Vietnam war are leaked – this massive story could make or break the paper.

But with the New York Times already being threatened with legal action for publishing only part of the information now available, Katherine is reluctant to allow editor-in-chief  Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) to publish the story for fear of bankrupting the paper. Meanwhile, she is fighting the emotional turmoil of being a woman in a man’s world… Continue reading

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Brave

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I was so certain I had written a review on this film…

Anyway, it’s a medieval, Scottish-based Disney Pixar animation film about a young fiery red-headed princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald). Her youth and freedom is threatened when her parents organise suiters to win her hand in marriage. She rebels and enlists a witch to change her mum (Emma Thompson) in order to change her fate.

While the dodgy witch (Julie Walters) did make her mother change, she changed her into a bear. This did change Merida’s fate but not in the most ideal way. Therefore, Merida has to find a way to break the spell… Continue reading

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Top 10: Saddest Films Ever

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Here are a few films that I wouldn’t recommend seeing if you’re planning on feeling remotely happy for the foreseeable future. These ‘not happily ever after’ movies will bring you down, so don’t go accidentally watching any of these if you’re having a bad day and need cheering up. Because they will not help… Continue reading

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Sing Street

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I was dubious about this film at first, I was thinking ‘any second now it’s going to take a turn for the worse’. But it didn’t! It was actually a very uplifting film from beginning to end.

I love movies about a likeable and naive underdog – like About a Boy or Driving Lessons – but coming-of-age films with a great soundtrack like this one is even better. The songs are so catchy!… Continue reading

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Top 21: Romantic Film Quotes

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 Feeling flowery and happy and romantic? Or are you just here to get inspiration for an anniversary card? Either way, here are some beautifully romantic quotes from movies… Continue reading

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Jerry Maguire

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“Show me the money!”
“You had me at ‘hello’.”

They’re quotes that everyone has heard, but I’m not convinced everyone has actually seen Jerry Maguire.

It probably has a similar reputation as A Few Good Men where everyone knows the “You can’t handle the truth!” line, but not as many have seen the film it’s from. (Coincidentally they’re both Tom Cruise movies.)

This film is about a sports agent called Jerry Maguire who has an epiphany that results in him sending a late-night mission statement to everyone in the office. An inspired letter about perceived dishonesty in the industry and how they should work toward quality over quantity. However, in the morning that all too familiar, overwhelming warm wave of regret hits him… Continue reading

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Top 10: Famous Final Lines in Films

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Here are my top 10 favourite ‘famous last words’ from some iconic films… Continue reading

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Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore – Marlon Williams ft. Aldous Harding

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After recently discovering the Kiwi brilliance that is Aldous Harding, I soon stumbled across this duet with another Kiwi icon, Marlon Williams.

It’s a highly melancholy song, sung in a tone of despair. But it’s so dreamy and relaxing to listen to. There’s no animosity in the song, it just sounds like pure surrender to a really bad situation. I think it’s a break up song… Continue reading

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My Favourite Scene: Good Will Hunting

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I adore this movie, particularly because of Robin Williams’ performance as a shrink named Sean. He has many lovely quotes, but this speech is my favourite. It’s about living life and having first-hand experiences. I think how Robin Williams encapsulates the depths of sadness that Sean has after losing his wife is tear-jerking… Continue reading

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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The 1991 Disney animation of Beauty & the Beast is a movie that I love dearly. So while I had major reservations about this remake – mostly because of Emma Watson – I was quietly optimistic about it. Perhaps today’s technology will enhance the magic…

But no. It doesn’t. This remake was appalling, and my reluctance to watch it was proven understandable.

The casting was totally wrong. Right off the bat Emma Watson – or should I say Hermione Granger – was a problem. While she fits the physicality of Belle, her same-old expression of open-mouthed, furrow-browed facials were tiring to say the least… Continue reading

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