Jupiter Ascending

Sat in my seat, popcorn in hand, slurping at my diet coke, I ponder what this film could bring. Directed and written by the Wachowskis, those that brought us a cult classic – The Matrix. I won’t lie I had high hopes. 

When the film began with a couple meeting in Russia, the man an astrologer, discussing the stars while Mila Kunis narrates facts about Jupiter, astrology and her birth. This introduction had a somewhat promising premise, however, there was still a great deal of info dumping. The writing ensured that the actors spieled off a great deal of information in a short amount of time. 

I prevailed though and continued to watch a struggling Kunis clean toilets and attempt to save up for a telescope. Enter Channing Tatum, a half albino, lupine warrior on a quest to find Kunis for one of the Abraxis’. The story gets far more confusing. 

There are a lot of sub plots that seem to make little difference to the main piece, acting as a distraction and confusing the plot; Sean Beans daughter being one of them and Channing Tatum’s character’s past also not being fully explained.  

The writing is clearly what let the film down completely. With lines that were cliché and cringe worthy to bees being ‘attracted to royalty’ I was very much disheartened with what could have been a great film. The idea behind Jupiter Ascending was actually quite good: An industry that harvests humans to create longer life, and the struggle of a family with too much power and wealth who fight amongst one another to gain more. This seemed promising, the finished work, however, lost the appealing and somewhat original idea. Instead the film became muddled between a love story, infighting, space travel (a lot of jumping between family members) and lengthy chase scenes that did nothing more than highlight the good special effects. 

The acting talent billed for the film was astonishing which is why it is shocking that the film was such a flop. Sean Bean, Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne….The list really does continue. The acting was creditable, I very much enjoyed Redmayne’s portrayal of the villain (if not a little Voldemort esque), and Tatum… well he is Channing Tatum. 

Sick Childrens Trust Afternoon Tea

Bic Choc Tea Party

This week I was delighted to attend the launch of The Sick Children’s Trust, Big Chocolate Tea Party, on behalf of Grazia. Whilst here I met some amazing people from the industry and had the opportunity to network. This though is not the story I want to tell you here, I don’t want to go on about the afternoon tea and the champagne (though I will mention it a little) what I want to draw your attention to is the charity itself.

The Sick Children’s Trust is a small and relatively unknown charity. Last year though they managed to raise £47,000 and have a target of £100,000 this year. When you put this figure into comparison of what the large charities (MacMillan, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research) make (multi-millions a year) it is a feeble sum that should be relatively easy to achieve. However, it is not that simple, In this day and age if you’re a charity it is hard to find people willing to sponsor or speak up.

At the press launch I had the opportunity to speak to a few of the spokespeople and a Mother that has been aided by the charity. Ed Keeble is the first season winner of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and has been working hand in hand with the charity for a year now. He also provided some amazing Choux Buns for our afternoon tea at The Grosvenor House.

When speaking to Ed he said ‘I didn’t know about the charity until I visited one of their houses near my own home. That’s when I realised how much these ‘home away from homes’ are needed.’

A ‘Home from Home’ is a building by the hospital that houses a variety of parents/families of children who are in serious condition within the hospital. There are direct lines to the hospital ward so parents no longer have to panic about missing a call or not receiving an update. The room is yours though and family members say it is so soothing to have a place where you can wash your face, have a change of clothes and have pictures and personal items surrounding you. As one mother said ‘the hospital is not yours, you can’t have your own things in their’.

Until going to the press release and hearing more about the charity I didn’t realise how much the charity does for families with sick children. Many can’t afford to travel hundreds of miles a day to visit their ailing children (and who’s surprised, it really isn’t even a possibility) and nor can they support themselves if they’re forced to give up work. One family helped by the charity described the ‘home away from home’ as the reason their family hasn’t fallen apart.

Sian Lloyd (TV personality) is the spokesperson for the charity and after talking to her she explained to me the importance of £28. £28 is all it costs to keep a family at one of these homes for a night. £100,000 will keep the home going for a year.

Victoria, a mum whose daughter is currently in hospital with a critical condition, said that the home is the only thing that has kept her going. It allows her to have her own space. Victoria’s daughter is at London Hospital and she lives in Worchester. Victoria has to be at her daughter, Antonia’s, side whenever she calls and this would not be possible without the charities home, opposite the hospital. Victoria also explained that Government benefits stop when your child goes into hospital, and if it’s a permanent case or a critical condition, as a parent you have to be there 24/7 so working becomes an impossibility. There is no government support and Sick Children’s Trust allows families to live.

Victoria also explained how it means she has a chance to cry, or laugh, to cook a meal and have the extended family come to stay with her while she is away from home. When asked about her thoughts on the charity she replied ‘I couldn’t have go through this without them’.

Bruce Jenner

Bruce JennerThere has been a lot of talk, rumor and speculation this week as to the reality stars ‘transformation’. After Kim Kardashian (his step-daughter) went on to say that he is ‘the happiest’ she had ever seen him. In response to the interviewer asking if he’s transitioning into a woman the Kardashian replied ‘I think he’ll share whenever the time is right…’. While this all very nice and gossipy should we really care? We’re in the 21st Century, we claim to be open and honest, a world that is accustomed to change. So whether or not Bruce Jenner has decided to become a woman really shouldn’t be front page news.

I feel as though this latest celebrity gossip should be used to highlight more serious area. While many laugh over the ‘absurdness’ of Jenner getting manicures and growing his hair out, while wearing make-up, we should probably think to ourselves ‘why is this funny?’ A man may be making the decision to become the person he feels he should. We have the Human Right to be who we want, and if he wants to be a woman then he should be able to do so without everyone putting him under a microscope.

While researching facts and figures I discovered in the US the census does not ask who is transgender, making it impossible to know appox. figures, nor do the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though it is argued that you would not actually know the answer as many are afraid to tick the box or they don’t actually know the answer.

I feel as though we should use Bruce’s example to campaign for this to be clarified. Gay marriage has been passed, and we’re moving forward as an open society. Why not introduce a transgender module in health classes to ensure people aren’t ignorant? Its known that people are scared of what they don’t know. By educating the population we could have a step towards removing violence and the general shock when someone decides to become the person they were meant to be.

What I will argue though is if this another reality stunt (from a family that is known for them). If it is then they’ve reached new levels of distaste but if not then I applaud Bruce for deciding to go though with this change (if he actually does) and he could become a great, and influential spokesperson for the LGBT community.

Let’s not all gossip and demean a man though, we shouldn’t speculate (though I have done just that), we should let him decide what to do. And he may not even be looking to transition, Bruce Jenner could simply be pampering himself, however, this does look unlikely at the moment, he’s had his Adams apple shaved for one, but especially after Kim’s interview.

Hollywoods Despicable Need for Money

There are rumors swirling around Hollywood over an Indiana Jones reboot with Chris Pratt in contention for the leading role. While this may sound like great news to some, I can’t help but question whether Hollywood is going too far. I know that they simply want to make money; but have they completely run out of ideas?

First we have the Star Trek Reboots, then Star Wars, now Indiana Jones. Clearly not enough new scripts are being produced, well not enough good ones. So we have the reboots, what about the sequels? Any film that does well now seems to get an instant sequel. The Taken films are my main example. The first was a groundbreaking work of cinema that had people talking for months after. The second was a lot worse with many saying that it shouldn’t have even been made. Now? Now we’ve just seen the release of Taken 3 (did you all know it was out?).

The Pirates of The Caribbean films are another example of this Hollywood debacle, illustrating their need to claw for as much money as possible, these classics will no longer remain classic. Soon we’ll just remember the worst films, the sequels that never should have been, and the acting that doesn’t reach their eyes.

My next example is Maleficent. Disney were having a stellar time after the release of Frozen and thus went on to make a live-action retelling of Sleeping Beauty that talks for the villain. At least this latest film, inspired by something that had already proven to make money (Disney and Angelina Jolie), had an original twist. Now though comes the introduction of live remakes of Disney Princess films. (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast). I love this but can we keep them as classics? Disney is about the animation, the movies were grew up with as children.

I suppose though it’s true that ‘nothing is ever knew’, it is said that all films and books are now inspired or based upon something that already exists. There is no such thing as originality anymore.

The end to this long, and seemingly useless rant is that can we not keep our classics as that? Must we constantly have to revitalized ones as we know that people will flock to see them?

Rush Hour

commute So this week I’m traveling into Central London every morning and then out again at night. Living in Greenwich the journey should take me roughly 30 minutes. At rush hour though? Well that’s a different story. The train came into the station this morning packed to the brim with a variety of people, mainly suits, but also children and families (though I question their sanity for choosing to visit the capital at a time when we’re packed into trains and shoved and pushed for the smallest spot possible on a tube). Personal space doesn’t exist at these two times of the day. No, no personal space. last night I was being suffocated by two different arms. I may be small at 5ft 4 but just because you’re above 6ft does not give you the right to smother me! However, you say nothing because it is rush hour and you have your small spot on the tube, this you don’t give up for anything.

3.4 billion people used the underground system to commute last year. That’s like cramming half the world into the underground. And on average 277 hours a year are wasted in London on commute time. Putting it into perspective you realize how crazy it all sounds.

This morning I got off of the 8:45 train to London Bridge and as I moved in the wave people (this is the only way to describe it), it was like a tsunami I of suits and briefcases heading towards their offices or the underground. I preceded to stand and wait in a crowd of around 30 at one set of door on my Jubilee line train (that’s 30 around 1 set of doors, 1!).

Rush hour is not only something infuriating but also something kind of beautiful. Everyone striding with a single purpose. The walk is a silent one only interrupted by the noise of the trains. No one speaks, this is a taboo of the underground. If you went anywhere else with such a crowd of people, compacted into small hallways and crevices, all stood waiting for their journey, it would be loud.

So as I take part in this great migration of the commute I take a breath at the height of my frustration and I take in the purity of the situation, and the one time that as a species we all seem to come together and adopt the same social rules.

Intern: Day One

To start I had a tour of the building, shown the various desks and areas of the magazine from fashion to beauty, or news to features. My little walk also introduced me to the various ‘closets’ where designers keep all of their clothes for our various shoots! First there was the clothing closet, then the handbag closet and lastly the beauty closet (so much make-up and perfume!). Though I have to tell you all, the films lie there are no freebies in the closets. The fashion interns spend their days sending all of these samples back to the designers (literally all of their days) and the beauty closet usually remains locked…so no-one can have a sneak peak at the latest Dior or Chanel collections. 

To my day though:

Monday = Admin day. Starting with giving out post I preceded to envelope over 100 copies of the magazine to a variety of advertisers and clients. While these jobs may seem meaningless I felt part of a team, sat at my desk and listening to the gossip and interviews happening around me in the office. The atmosphere of the office was enveloping me, much like I was filling envelopes. 

As the day progressed I wrote an introduction for the online portion of Grazia, introducing next weeks copy, then I began to transcribe an interview with a famous actress (but I can’t tell you who). While to many of you out there this may seem like an awfully boring day…for me? It wasn’t. I was getting an insight into the world that I hope to enter after University. I saw how each section worked and heard so many amazing stories. This is only day one, may the next three weeks only continue to get better. 

2014: A Year In Review

Everyone seems to be writing a personal post on 2014 so I decided to join the club. 2014 was a special year for me, if it wasn’t I wouldn’t find myself so easily typing words.

The beginning of the year saw the end of my first year at University, a year where I’d met many great people and discovered friends that I know will be with me for the rest of my life. With two of these friends I embarked on adventure down the East Coast of America. Starting in New York I had a chance to live through a dream, having wished for years to see the city that never sleeps I was finally walking down fifth avenue and strutting through Central Park (I did have a moment where I pretended I was in Sex and the City, who wouldn’t?)

From New York with its bright lights and constant energy we moved south to Washington. This place to me, was spectacular. It was beautiful and a vast difference to the constant sound and smell of New York. I felt at peace among the museums and the monuments. Everything seemed natural and in truth I can see myself returning there in the future…. to live.

Florida meant one thing…DISNEY! I had the chance to be a child and trust me I used it! Getting autographs and my pin collection I felt like was the princess (who cares if I’m twenty). The best part about the trip though, was getting to spend it with two people I had only met six months before, and these two people are now two of my closest friends.

The summer saw my parents moving pubs, awaiting a new challenge a new life. While saying goodbye to friends that I had briefly made I had hope for my family. The summer also brought one more typical cliché…romance. This year I managed to find myself a guy, my first boyfriend (what can I say I’m picky!). Having met him while he worked for my parents before they moved we only grew closer through the distance and from friends we decided to become more. Five months later I can say I’m happier that I’ve ever been, and I have him to thank. He’s kind and caring and I’ve completely fallen for him. (If he reads this, no big head please!) Now he’s moved with us and I smile every time I think of him, he’s part of the family and thankfully the parents approve!

September appeared and so did University. Second year is already proving to be tough however, with a first and a lot of hard work I’m slowly growing as an academic. With a job here and two work placements I’m constantly trying to get myself into the industry.

Christmas was perfect I had Kyle and my family and of course Marley (my very own Border Collie x Retriever) who I miss whenever I go to Uni. Now that New Years past and I can reflect I know 2014 was a great year, a lot of adventure and a lot of surprises I grew as a person, I became hardworking and passionate. I had so many experiences and gained valuable information. Having been offered a three week internship with Grazia magazine I allowed myself a moment of pride and achievement, looking forward to taking part in this I know I have a lot I know that 2015 will be challenging but I look forward to it, and I look forward to seeing what the future will bring.

DSC_0604 IMG_2126 DSC_0630