Nov 272012

Pond just loves that Twilight!!

Ok I am not a fan of the Twilight books or films, I haven’t read or seen any of them but I promised a friend I would accompany her to see this, the final instalment. I didn’t really have any expectations but was pleasantly surprised with some aspects of the film while some were predictable, especially Kirsten Stewarts (bad) acting.

Picking up from where the last film leaves off (explained to me by my friend) Bella is now a vampire after nearly dying during giving birth to her half vampire half human child Renesmee. So she has to adjust to her new found speed, strength and hunger for human blood before she can meet her daughter, she goes off to hunt but the whole running at super speed scene just looked rather ridiculous. When Bella meets her we see she has the power to show people her memories, but the CGI Renesmee used is quite frankly scary! She grows at an abnormal rate and when Irina sees her she believes that the Cullens have broken the law of creating an immortal child, one of the biggest threats to vampires.

Alice has a vision of the ‘Volturi’ coming to kill them all for breaking this law, so they gather vampire’s from around the world as witnesses to the fact she is in fact half human, half vampire something which has never been heard of before, so we end up with a rather eclectic group of vampires many of who had impressive gifts and are quite well played by the various actors, and although Alice disappears she does leave Bella clues on how to protect her daughter if the worst happens, knowing that because she’s a shield her thoughts cannot be read.

At this point I’m just going to skip to the end because although there are some nice moments, especially the bonfire scene, it’s a bit slow paced and nothing important really happens. So the snow sticks as Alice warned and the Volturi come, headed by Aro to kill the coven but even though he sees that Renesmee is not an immortal child he still views her as a danger, so in walks Alice to offer proof she isn’t however Alice sees that he will not change his mind so battle ensues, with Carlisle running forward to confront Aro and having his head ripped off the gasps in the cinema were audible, obviously I know now that this battle scene was not actually in the book. The battle is pretty impressive with the werewolves playing an integral part,  and the gifts of the vampires being used with great effect, there are a few more deaths along the way (mostly the males actually) ending in a three-way battle with Edward and Bella fighting Aro, ending in his death… But then surprisingly the scene changes back to the original setting as it turns out Alice is showing him the outcome if he tries to fight the Cullen coven, so it all turns out to be a happy ending with everyone walking away.

There is a nice flashback between Bella and Edward showing their entire history set perfectly to Christina Perri, also a flash forward revealing Renesmees and Jacobs relationship growing into love, so overall despite being a bit slow at times there the acting for the most part was really good especially Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee, and the effects and soundtrack were spot on.

So although it hasn’t left me wanting to see the other films or read the books it was an enjoyable film and hard-core fans of Twilight will love it.

Nov 232012

Bond returns in Skyfall and there are smiles all round…

The last time I went to see a Bond film was in 2008, Quantam of Solace was eating up the box-office, yet I left the cinema feeling…disappointed. The villain was as wet as a sock in a puddle, and Bond had lost his edge after the death of his lover, Vesper. Snore. But I enjoy Bond films, so upon hearing another was being made, back in early 2011, (despite finacial difficulties), I vowed I would see it.

Eventually, I watched Skyfall with my parents, about a week after it was released at the cinema. We were under the impression that the fans would have calmed down a bit, and the queues would be shorter. But apparently the hype hadn’t died down (if at all!), because we had to wait for fifteen minutes before we could even get into the screen. I took this as a very good sign.

Before the opening titles even start (with help from Adele and her epic, Shirley Bassey-like tones, perfect for a Bond theme song) you are glued to the screen, as Bond (Daniel Craig) frantically chases some baddies across the rooftops of Turkey. On a motorbike. With lots of shooting. And explosions. It’s all because the baddies have stolen a hard-drive containing information about undercover NATO agents in terrorists groups. Then someone hacks into MI6’s system: an ex-00 agent (Javier Bardem), who goes by the name of Silva. He is out for revenge, and it looks like only Bond can stop him.

As always, the action scenes steal the show (and there are a few of those!), including a tense chase in and around the London underground. The story takes Bond all over the world, most notably Shanghai. This is purely because of the clever use of light contrasting with dark featured in many of the scenes there is dramatic and exceptionally stunning. Plus, like any Bond film, there is a pretty lady or two to look at, so the boys will be pleased.

Daniel Craig is at his very best here, and the one-liners also come in thick and fast, which may not be to everyone’s liking, but seems to work with Bond’s rather dead-pan humour, matched only with his new partner, Eve’s. She is played by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest starlet, Naomie Harris (clue: “You have a touch of…destiny about you, William Turner.”). Watching them interact is like watching a fencing match: it’s swift, fluid, and packs quite a cheeky sting!

I may go as far to say that, in this particular instalment, Craig has completely blown his previous Bond performances out of the water, perhaps even that of Sean Connery’s as well. He is a darker, more human Bond, clearly with an increasing problem with drink, but still with a massive ego…and maybe even a sensitive side. Dench also returns in what is to be her final performance as M. You’ve got to hand it to her, though, she has been playing the same woman since 1995, so I think she deserves to go out with style – and does she hell! Ben Whishaw (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Cloud Atlas) makes for an inspired casting choice for the role of Q. We’re used to seeing Q as a much older man (courtesy of Desmond Llewellyn), so seeing him in a young, rather dapper combo of thick spectacles, bold-coloured jersey and perfectly coiffed hair was rather interesting to see, even before he’s opened his mouth. However, the droning wit between him and Bond remains, with the extra-added addition of Bond mocking him about his age, which got many laughs out of the audience, I can tell you.

But the stand-out performance of the entire film, in my opinion, is Javier Bordam’s. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to see No Country for Old Men yet, though all the people I’ve asked who have seen it always tell me, without fail, about his performance as the bad guy. Moreover, Bordam is outstanding as Silva, despite the questionable haircut he’s got going on in the role. Silva loves flamboyance, to the point where he enters the film via a dramatically slow-moving lift. He is witty and intelligent, and you wonder what could have possibly happened to him to want revenge so badly? As the film progresses, however, it is revealed he is clearly the stereotypical Bond villain, who is not only emotionally scarred by his past…but also physically, as the result of working for MI6.

In conclusion, this is probably one of the best Bond films so far, and – guess what? – According to the credits, he will be returning again soon…

Review by Becca

Rating: 4/5

Nov 212012

This is going to be a bit of a short review as there really isn’t much to say about it…

The premise of Love Bite is a group of teenagers attempting to lose their virginity in the British seaside town of Rainmouth, and with a werewolf intent on turning anyone who has not popped their cherry; you have a crude and unoriginal film with characters that are just honestly idiotic!

Jamie is bored of his life, he is single handily running his pot head mum’s B & B and in his free time hanging around the fair ground and chip shop with his 3 best friends whose only aim in life is to work in a pie shop and get laid, so when he meets Juliana a beautiful American travel writer he is smitten for the start, however when eccentric werewolf hunter Sid accuses her of being the werewolf responsible for several teenagers disappearances he starts to doubt her and becomes an amateur hunter himself. Turns out she’s actually a hunter (and a much better one then Sid) but when she is turned Jamie refuses to kill her and instead turns himself and they spend their life happily ever after as werewolves.

The characters were ok actually kind of realistic from what I remember of high school boys, although these have been hugely over exaggerated and just verge on being ridiculous, with cheap sauce squirting gags and dirty one liners, then add in the girls who are just as vile and crass and you end up with a film that is actually slightly horrific but for all the wrong reasons. The only thing that slightly saves this film is the romance of Jamie and Juliana, it seems very realistic of a nice guy trying to woo a girl way out of his league, with some cute awkward moments, although once again some idiotic innuendo gags and the ending just turns this into a joke as well.

This is another let down, even for a low budget film there just isn’t enough to pull you in and keep you there till the end, I probably would have left half way through if it wasn’t for the fact I was with friends, who actually didn’t like it either. I would recommend not bothering to go and see this especially if you’re over the age of 15 because it just isn’t funny and will leave you cringing rather than laughing.

Review by Pond

Nov 212012

Is Paul out of this world? Becca investigates further…

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg; they’re the Ant and Dec of the film industry, seen together in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and even The Adventures of Tintin, while silently accompanied by Edgar Wright, who is the director and/or writer for all of these rather excellent films…but not this one, I’m afraid.

Paul (voiced by Seth Rogan) is an alien; he smokes, can camouflage himself and has the power of healing. He enters the lives Clive and Graeme (two British nerds on a road trip to all the legendary extraterrestrial hotspots in America), and It becomes apparent that Paul is on the run from the United States Secret Service. They captured him when he landed on Earth (squishing a young girl’s dog with the same name) many years ago to learn more about him. So why has he run away, I wonder?

If anything, the main audience for Paul is probably those who will sit and chuckle, when they recognise the countless references to countless alien films mentioned throughout, like E.T, and the facts that Graeme and Clive speak fluent Klingon (as heard in Star Trek), and that they wear comic-book-hero related t-shirts. Nevertheless, audiences who don’t grasp these references will still enjoy themselves, particularly if they are familiar with Pegg and Frost’s unashamedly bromantic relationship, and their brand of rather potty-mouthed humour. Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) also stars, as a young Christian woman whose faith is shattered by Paul – with hilarious results – though it is at the expense of religious beliefs, so Christians, stay away if you don’t consider that funny!

Jason Bateman is a gloriously foul-mouthed villain, as well as bumbling police duo, Haggard and O’Reilly (Bill Hadler and Joe Lo Trigolo – brilliant name, by the way) who have to get Paul back inside the clutches of the US Secret Service. Honestly, after watching the film, you have to see the bloopers, just to see as they try to get their lines out without sniggering like school boys.

Rating: 3/5

Nov 082012

As a self-confessed big kid when it comes to animated movies (ok everything) I was really excited to go see Madagascar 3 and I was not disappointed, it’s actually my favourite movie of the year so far, it was hilarious, vibrant, emotional and just plain brilliant! I have now seen it twice and I would still go again.

Picking up from where the previous film leaves off,  Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman have become bored of their life in Africa and desperately want to get back home to New York so decide to swim to Monte Carlo where the penguins and monkeys are gambling away Africa’s jewels quite convincingly disguised as the King of Versailles. Their arrival and infiltration of the casino was well planned but fails as they end up falling through the ceiling, this attracts the attention of Captain Chantel DuBois of Monaco Animal Control, who has some serious moves including running through walls, jumping a building on a scooter and singing opera, she also adopts a very dog like way of tracking the animals which leads to a high speed car chase with Marty behind the wheel, they manage to escape in the plane built by the monkeys but as predicted they crash short of their New York destination.

As our New Yorkers look for a way to escape they stumble across a circus train and beg to be let on board telling them that they are also circus animals and since ‘circus stick together’ they all head to Rome, with the penguins buying the circus along the way.  This is how we meet the new stars of the film, there’s Stefano the sea lion, Gia the jaguar, and the bad-tempered Vitaly the tiger, also Sonya the Bear, whom King Julien develops a romantic yet hilarious relationship with.

Unfortunately the circus has lost its passion and the show in Rome has the audience demanding their money back, so it’s up to Alex to save the day and after an inspirational speech the work starts on completely reinventing the act, with Marty and Stefano learning to fly, the not so cute British puppies putting on rocket powered roller skates and Gloria and Melman learning the tight rope, but most impressive is Alex and Gias trapeze skills unfortunately Dubois is still hunting them down so the race is on to reach London before she manages to add Alex’s head to her collection.

There is a complete transformation when we reach London; the performance is breath-taking in one of the most entertaining scenes in the entire movie. It starts with Vitaly’s impossible jump through a ring that could fit on my little finger, then the real show starts in a blaze of colour with the neon stage floating through the air, and Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ track adding the perfect sound to the action as all the acts take to the stage with characters flying effortlessly through the air defying all the laws of physics, and they’re given the our contract to America. However they’re celebrations don’t last long when Dubois shows up and reveals the truth about Alex and the others all being from a zoo, Vitaly, Gia, Stefano and the other circus animals are all deeply hurt by their betrayal so although they all go to New York Alex, they go their separate ways with Alex, Gloria, Marty and Melman going home to the Central Park zoo.

Regret is instant, they realise they don’t want their old life back and that actually the circus had become their home but before they can go back Dubois darts them and unwittingly becomes a hero when the Zoo guards see she’s with Alex, but she is still determined to have his head on her wall so she plans to use a killer dart during his return performance as she accepts her reward. It looks like it’s all over for them until Gia, Vitaly, Stefano and all the members of the newly named ‘Afro Circus’ come to their rescue in yet another stunning display of neon lights and afros. Dubois ends up where she belongs trapped in a cage and later on a boat to Madagascar while Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman run away with the circus, re-joining characters old and new to live happily ever after.

This was honestly the most entertaining and colourful film I’ve seen, the animation was amazing and the voices were a perfect match to the characters. I would probably say it’s better than the first 2 movies which is refreshing as usually follow up films are a huge let down and never seem to measure up, I would recommend everyone young and old goes to see this film but be warned you will end up with the afro circus/ I like to move it remix song stuck in your head for days after! (It is now my ringtone).


Pond 🙂


Nov 062012

Pond tells it like it is…

After seeing Sinister I was quite looking forward to watching this film as it was made by the same people, and especially as I have never seen any of the previous instalments, however after sitting through the film I can honestly say it was one of the worst horror films I’ve ever seen.

At the beginning of the film we see Katie, who is possessed by a demon, kill her sister Kristi, her husband and runs away with their son Hunter. The story then jumps ahead to five years later and focuses on siblings Alex and Wyatt, Alex’s boyfriend Ben, and a frightening little boy across the street named Robbie. Alex and Ben decide to use laptop webcams to document the frightening supernatural occurrences that happen when Robbie is around Alex’s house. Robbie strikes up a friendship with Alex’s brother Wyatt, and soon Wyatt’s personality starts to change as he is introduced to Robbie’s ‘imaginary friend’.

I’m not even sure where to start with this film, I spent the first half an hour waiting for something to happen, and past this I just got bored, there a few jumps to be had at loud noises and the cat jumping in front of the camera unexpectedly but other than that there is just no substance to the story, things happen, such as the chandelier falling right in front of Alex but is then never mentioned again, the camera work is dodgy and out of focus and  the ending is just, well rubbish! Everything happens within the last 5 minutes of the film, with everyone dying in typical horror movie fashion but with strange new aspects of the film popping up such as an army of demon women who actually play no part and suddenly Wyatt is Hunter, but if he is Hunter, who is Robbie? You leave with so many unanswered questions it feels as though you left the film half way through.

There are only 2 things that save the movie slightly, first of all the acting; it all seemed very natural and believable with Kathryn Newton who played Alex, managing to pull the audience through to the end, while you are actually kind of creeped out by Robbie’s very distant personality, and everyone else gives a admirable performance considering the script they had to work with. Secondly the coolest part of the film for me was the use of the motion-detection Kinect add on for the Xbox 360, which when shown in infra-red covers the room in green dots allowing you to see the figure of a child following Wyatt while he speaks to another invisible entity, however who these entities are aren’t actually ever explained.

Overall this was a hugely disappointing film and I would honestly not waste your time or money going to see it.

Nov 062012

We asked Rachel a British VXM / ICTV representative about the aptly named ‘Belgium Adventure’

When did you go to Belgium and how long for?

We went to Belgium on the 26th October 2012 for 5 days.

Why did you go?

We went to experience and get a feel of what our Belgium partners; H30, Villa Bota ,Project Wolf and Het Entrepot are offering their young people and also what they have been up to since the launch of Villa Cross Media (VXM) in July 2011

Who did you go to Belgium on behalf of?

We went on behalf of VXM a youth engagement project that gives a voice to young people and empowers them.

We also represented Ipswich Community Television (ICTV) a project that offers the community a voice and the opportunity to develop skills in television and video production and CSV Media Ipswich a digital multimedia centre that provides work based training in media and ICT to improve employability and increase diversity in the media.

Emilia, Curtis, Darren, Tonia, Rachel and Vicky all packed and waiting for the train to London


How did you travel to and around Belgium?

We took the Euro star from London St Pancras to Brussels. Once in Belgium we started off traveling by taxi or train to the places where we would be staying however by the third day we were walking everywhere!

What was the accommodation like?

 We stayed in two different accommodations, the first two nights we stayed at a beautiful house in the woods called Roosendaal in Walem. The girls and guys had individual dorms that slept 10 and also separate showers. There weren’t that many girls so we had plenty of room compared with the guys. We had a living room, kitchen and dining room just for our group so it was just like being at a residential.

We then stayed at Snuffle Hostel in Bruges; being a hostel everything was communal. We girls were very lucky to have a room to ourselves, unlike some of the members from our group who ended up sharing rooms with other people visiting the city.

What type of person (age, gender) went to Belgium?

Mostly male and under the age of 18. A few girls did join us later on but they were also younger than us.


Rachel & Vicky posing for a picture at Roosendaal. Artist painting at Het Enterpot. The team walking through Burges.



What were your first impressions of Belgium?

Rich! Loads of the houses had solar panels on them and large windows.

What did you do in Belgium?

Where to start? We did so much. It was a jam packed week full of different activities. We got to visit our partner’s projects and venues and find out what they do there.

We took part in creating a live TV show on Supo, I was the presenter therefore I had to research what I was going to say. It was not as easy as it looks, but at least now I can say I’ve experienced something new and I will admit that I did enjoy it!

I was also interviewed for a segment on Villa Bota radio which was really interesting as I’m usually the one doing the interviewing.

A lot of walking was done which i didn’t enjoy as much, but we got to really see the cities and get a feel for life in Belgium.


Belgium partners with the UK team

What do you think of the Belgium partners?

I think they are all lovely people. They have a passion for media and welcome new people with open arms.

How do the facilities of the Belgium partners compare to ours in the UK?

Our Belgium partners have more organisations that want to spend money on their young people and give them the opportunities of working and progressing in the media industry. So in turn they have more up to date facilities and access to more equipment than we do. I honestly felt a little jealous!

What did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed just being in Belgium. The people were nice, the sites stunning, especially at night and by the end of the week I wished we could have stayed for longer. But if I had to choose just one part it would be when we watched our TV show with everyone together and just laughing.

Mich working hard during our TV show as floor manger. Vicky Sandrine and Tonia looking through the photos we’ve taken. Sandrine Curtis and Rachel taking a well deserved break.

What didn’t you enjoy?

I didn’t enjoy all the walking we did, but I suppose it was a great way to actually see the sites of the city and also work off all the food I’d been eating! I also didn’t enjoy getting locked out of the hostel in the rain at midnight!! … That really wasn’t fun at all!

What was the food like?

The food was amazing! We didn’t have a lot of tradition Belgium food but there were plenty of new foods to try. The one traditional meal I had was a beef beer stew with chips, it was very rich and the meat was cooked to perfection.  I couldn’t finish it. My favourite food is dessert so I was very happy when we had a trio of mini desserts; tiramisu, crème brulee, Belgium chocolate and ice cream.  Beer seemed to be the norm to have with every meal but I mostly stuck to soft drinks that we also have in the UK; however there was one difference, in Belgium ice tea is fizzy.

Cheese salad, Tiramisu with strawberries, Steak and chips with garlic butter


Everyone talks about how great the Belgium chocolate is…  So how was it?

AMAZING! I got to taste caramel infused milk chocolate; it was the best thing I’ve tasted in a long time! I actually can’t wait to go back next year to get some, so I’m going to order it online!

What do you remember most about the trip?

The last night in Bruges at Villa Bota, it was like our presentation evening as we had our live Vjing show in the town centre and also got to watch our TV show. I don’t think I laughed as much the whole trip as I did then. It was a really chilled evening with pizza and beer, something I’d do normally with friends back in the UK.

Vjin in Burges town centre

Would you go again?

Yes! I’d like to go back in August to Het Enterpot to volunteer at the festival they will be holding. If not just to go back on a holiday would be nice and get some more of that gorgeous caramel chocolate!

Nov 062012

Photos taken during our visit to Belgium to meet our VXM partners. Click on a photo to find out more…