e start with the guest illustrator who drew the cover, Rik Lee. Rik was born in New Zealand, lived in Melbourne and now in Bali and weâ€&#x;re super pumped to be sharing this artist with you!
oth The Hunger Games and its sequel, Catching Fire, adapted from a series of young-adult novels
by Suzanne Collins, do a fine line in blockbuster spectacle and seat-of-thepants thrills – but they are tricky, strange, thought-provoking pictures, and they also make me want to use that worn-out and frequently misapplied word, “empowering”. The story takes place in the classico-futurist kingdom of Panem, where an annual bread-andcircuses spectacle has teenagers competing for rations in a televised fight to the death. The first film introduced us to Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a bold 16-year-old who volunteers for the fight. By the start of Catching Fire, she is a champion, celebrity and role model – and trapped in the crowdpleasing romance she concocted with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a fellow contender, while her secret boyfriend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) languishes on the sidelines. President Snow (a brilliantly malign Donald Sutherland) is still in charge, but Katniss‟s clever, rule-bending victory has made the populace itch for revolution. Snow‟s Machiavellian media chief (Philip Seymour Hoffman) suggests a simple
shock to see one doing the opposite, and
solution: commission a special, all-star Hunger Games that will bring Katniss back into the arena, where she will lose
Lawrence‟s own rise to prominence has been as fast and irresistible as Katniss‟s, and
I know, I know: this risks making the film
has barely slowed since February, when she
gripping, and aside from a few slow pass
won a Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook. She‟s magnetically watchable
constantly flicks between drama and ac
here, and is growing into the valuable kind of movie-star who can wear ball-gown
the Games themselves, which are violent
charisma as casually as a shrug. Francis Lawrence (no relation) takes up the directorial
wonderfully unhinged tropical arena fille
reins from Gary Ross, and makes the most of his leading lady‟s uninsistent star
of poisonous fog.
power, even spoofing it in scenes where Katniss is interviewed by a glutinous television host (Stanley Tucci) with a laugh as sugary and hollow as a chocolate egg.
But the main threat is Katniss‟s riv
service. Some of them make a bigger im
The Tucci scenes could have been clipped from prime-time television almost unaltered,
– Jena Malone‟s axe-swinging gladiatrix
which is initially quite depressing: there is a moment when you suddenly realise you
all seem to be aware that even with deat
can hardly tell the difference between a bleak science-fiction dystopia and Saturday
characters for the cameras‟ benefit.
evenings on ITV. But of course the likeness is intentional. Blockbusters that sell us distractions disguised as matters of life and death are so commonplace that it‟s a 4
audience to recognise, and question, the
And at the centre of it all remains Katnis
wit as dry as a tinderbox. She‟s a compl
The thought-provoking themes and parallels to issues in our own world are dealt with expertly by new director Francis Lawrence, and he also handles the admittedly still very good action sequences much better than The Hunger Games (a movie which relied far too much on the 'ol shaky cam). The junglelike setting is also an interesting one, while the budget increase is put to good use thanks to some superb special effects and costume designs. Catching Fire is a damn good looking movie. Despite featuring some powerful and emotionally charged moments, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire loses momentum near the end for the same reasons that the first movie did. Too many hard to distinguish tributes and an ending which feels far too rushed in order to set up the next instalment stop the movie from being the best blockbuster of 2013. Ultimately however, it's still extremely good, and is at its best when it keeps the focus on both the politics and horrific living conditions of Panem. If nothing else though, it's equally as entertaining as the first movie, and as a result is well worth checking out!
d Catching Fire wants its young target stagecraft.
m sound a bit worthy. In fact it‟s ruthlessly
that‟s crying out for more. Will the studios take notice? There‟s a fire you hope will catch. I was lucky enough to go into The Hunger Games with no real expectations,
sages in its opening act, it more or less
something which was arguably helped by the fact that I'd never read the Suzanne
tion. This is particularly true when we reach
Collins penned novel it was based on. That movie turned out to be really good, and 18
t but never gratuitously so, and take place in a
or so months later and the sequel is already here, and I still haven't read the
d with murderous baboons and rolling banks
books. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a 5* movie right up until the point Katniss
vals, more Games veterans brought back into
Everdeen and the rest of the tributes enter the arena. Why? Well, that unfortunately puts us squarely in the realm of generic action blockbuster territory, while a rushed
mpression than others, but the most memorable
x, Sam Claflin‟s laboratory-reared heartthrob –
th close at hand, they are still playing
ss, with a cool head, a huntress‟s nerve and a
lex and admirable young heroine in a business 5
rom Bowie to Madonna to Gaga, pop music has always been as much a visual medium as an aural one. To wit, the
successful launch of Lizzy Grant's Lana Del Rey persona can be attributed not just to her songs, but to the DIY music videos that accompanied them. As the singer graduated to the majors, so too did the scope and budgets of her videos, culminating in a "mini-movie" for "Ride," the first single from last year's Paradise. And in a perhaps inevitable move in light of her fascination with movies and, specifically, short film (she recently donated to the Kickstarter for a new short film project starring Daniel Johnston), Del Rey has re-teamed with "Ride" director Anthony Mandler, who also helmed her cinematic "National Anthem" clip, for a short film titled Tropico. Ostensibly the closing chapter in the First Lady of Instagram's Born to Die era (she's been calling the film a "farewell project"), the 27-minute movie is structured
the big bang that opens the film that Del Rey
around a trilogy of songs from the Paradise EP. Tropico is billed as "a tale of
subtlety, but interestingly, Del Rey doesn't p
redemption" and shot in super-widescreen (because nothing says "serious" like the
Americana the way, say, Kanye West or Lad
girth of one's aspect ratio), touching on all the themes that have run through Del Rey's
to serve as both a tribute to an imagined pa
work over the last three years: loss of innocence, good versus evil, and trading beauty
for money. The opening segment, "Body Electric," takes place in the Garden of Eden (Del Rey stars as Eve, naturally, opposite 22-year-old model-actor Shaun Ross as Adam), co-populated here by Elvis, Marilyn, Jesus, a unicorn, and, of course, an albino snake. Also, John Wayne is God. After the couple is banished to the Garden of Evil (Los Angeles, obviously), the
point, as the sequence is overwrought with
Her love interest is played by African
begin the film in the garden of Eden, listenin
Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Jesus Christ, each
simultaneously in a prelude to "Body Electric
and is led into a life of corruption for the nex
second segment, "Gods and Monsters," flashes forward to the present, where Del Rey
an interesting turn as she's shown living a d
recites Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" while a group of strippers and thugs stage of robbery
and violence are prevalent, and the scenes m
of wealthy business men. The dreamily edited film probably should have ended there,
disturbing lyrics of the song. Using her poet
but the final segment, "Bel Air," finds Del Rey and Ross fleeing, post-robbery, cross-
"And so, from being created in his likeness t
country. Their redemption (and resurrection) feels unearned, but maybe that's the
much like him, we were cast out. And the ga
After a year of hinting at retirement, Lana Del Rey has revealed that her second album will be entitled Ultraviolence. Although it's not the first time an artist has referred to biblical scenarios or made lengthy videos to accompany their songs, it appears that Lana Del Rey has in fact stepped into unprecedented territory with Tropico. The story of the film seems to give explanation not only to the songs, but to Lana Del Rey's entire persona. The image she's portraying of a down-trodden free spirit is cohesive with her music, and the artistic qualities ofTropico still reflect the original music videos that she shot with a webcam before they went viral and launched her career. She announced at the premiere that she's "visually closing a chapter" before releasing Ultra-Violence, her new album in progress.
literal baptismal imagery. It's obvious from
y and Mandler have zero interest in
position herself among the film's icons of
dy Gaga might. Instead, her work continues
ast and a critique of contemporary pop
Los Angeles, the land of Gods and Monsters." After a violent climax, the tension is lifted for the last song featured, "Bel Air." Lana Del Rey and Shaun Ross are on a hillside in the sunset, seemingly having made it out of their life of corruption and back to a life of morality. While there are no further details regarding the follow-up to 2012's Born to Die, the word "ultra-violence" was used in Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel A Clockwork
n-American albino model Shaun Ross. They g to the manifestos of John Wayne,
Orange in reference to the droogs' favourite pastime of crazed sprees of brutality and mayhem.
h sharing a piece of their virtues
c." Lana eventually takes a bite of the apple,
xt song, "Gods and Monsters." Things take
News of Del Rey's second album comes at the end of a year of mixed
demoralized life as a stripper. Guns, drugs
messages from the singer. In February she suggested that she might be finished with
match up perfectly with the sinister and
music altogether. "What would I say?" she told Vogue when asked about a new album.
try to transition between songs, she says
"I feel like everything I wanted to say, I've said already."
to being banished for wanting to be too
arden of Eden became the garden of evil.
he Galaxy S4 and iPh most successful phon Apple have produced. tens of millions of ha
world. If you‟re at the end of your con good chance you‟ll be looking a these phones. But which is righ take a closer look as we compa features, speakers and softwar
The iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 ha for quite a while now. So are th problems or issues that need to
There's ultimately nothing too m few main recurring problems is drain issues in the iPhone 5. iOS these to resurface - making the faster than usual. Although the concerns raised about the build Galaxy S4, and the extent to w susceptible to water damage, t worry about on the Samsung f September 20, the iPhone 5 has discontinued. This was the date on whic the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
nlike the HTC One, neither the Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5 put all that much focus on their internal speakers. Both have rear-mounted drivers that point away from you. The iPhone 5‟s speaker grilles are found on its bottom edge, put most out of view, next to the Lightning port. Cleverly, there are two grilles to help you avoid muffling the speaker with your hand. The Galaxy S4‟s speaker output has even less ceremony to it – there‟s a grille cut into the bottom-left of the plastic battery cover. But which sounds better? The iPhone 5 speaker goes that bit louder, but the Galaxy S4 copes much better at higher volumes, where the iPhone 5 starts to sound a little strained nearing top volume. Both phones output mono sound, though, so aren‟t all that great to listen to movies with. The iPhone 5 famously leaves out a few connectivity features, while the Galaxy S4 leaves out virtually nothing at all. However, if you‟re not a real hardcore user you may not notice the bits left out of the iPhone 5. Both phones have the basics – GPS, Bluetooth (with Bluetooth 4.0), Wi-Fi, 3G and even 4G. So what‟s missing from the iPhone 5? There are two 8
biggies – NFC and MHL.
Both are huge i their predecess NFC is Near-Field Communication and is a wireless standard was a bit dim a that is used in a number of different ways. The most should have be exciting is to pay for things on the high street – although PenTile screen this has hardly taken off. A few coffee shops let you buy bright and supe stuff using NFC, but it‟ll unlikely to gain mainstream We had no rea acceptance until it‟s adopted by the iPhone 5S (as it display when it rumoured). iPhone 5 screen NFC is also used to connect phones and tablets with audio much-improved docks, such as the Samsung GA-F61. These are becoming They‟re more s pretty common, but if your audio system is more than a we were expec year old you can be pretty much certain it won‟t have NFC. -head? That co MHL is a tech that‟s crammed into the microUSB slot of the Samsung Galaxy S4. With the right adapter, it lets the phone output HD video and surround sound to a TV using an HDMI cable. However, the adapter doesn‟t come in the box, and costs around £20. The Galaxy S4 and iPhone stick to the screen technologies used by their predecessors. The iPhone 5 uses IPS, the Galaxy S4 AMOLED.
The iPhone 5 h while the Galax conditions. Alth much higher re density, there‟s though.
As both these s important diffe
hone 5 are the nes Samsung and . They have sold andsets across the
ntract, there‟s a at buying one of ht for you? Let‟s are design, re.
Normally, Apple keeps its old models to act as a lowercost option, but the iPhone 5 has been scrapped entirely to be replaced by the iPhone 5C. Of course, you'll still be able to buy it - just not directly from Apple. The Samsung Galaxy S4 remains a 'current' phone, and will do so until the Galaxy S5 is released. The phone is expected to land early next year. There are hundreds of contract deals available for the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5, and they change from month to month. However, at present the phones sell at very similar prices. Over at Carphone Warehouse, both the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 are available for free on contracts of £33 a month and up. Any lower than that and you'll have to pay an up-front fee for the phone. That the iPhone 5 has been discountinued hasn't caused the price to drop.
the iPhone 5. This makes it much trickier to grasp reliably than the iPhone, which is intended to fit comfortably into the hand of just about anyone. When changing the design from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5, Apple elongated the screen rather than making it any wider for precisely this reason.
Although the Galaxy S4 is much larger than the iPhone 5, it‟s not actually any thicker – well it‟s 0.1mm thicker, but even in the slimness-obsessed phone world that‟s not worth crowing about. ave been around The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a curvier body than the here any serious iPhone, which feels harder and more severe thanks to its o be considered? aluminium shell and immaculate bevelled edges. Conversely, there‟s no metal on the Galaxy S4‟s exterior. major. One of the Its front is top-notch Gorilla Glass, but the rest is plastic. s with battery The phone uses a removable plastic battery cover that is S 7 has caused frequently criticised for being flimsy or cheap-feeling. Go SIM-free and the Galaxy S4 is significantly cheaper e battery run down these days. You can get the phone for just over £400 if There are a few upsides to a removable cover, though. It ere have been lets Samsung bung-in a microSD memory card slot easily you shop hard enough, while the iPhone 5 is closer to d quality of the and means you can replace the rear part if it gets £500. which it is damaged or scratched. Unlike comparing the Samsung Galaxy S4 with its here's little to Android rivals, where body shapes and sizes are similar at Replacing the housing of an iPhone 5 with an unofficial front. As of repairer online will cost you £150. A replacement battery this high-end level, the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5 are s been cover for the S4 can be had for a few quid from eBay. completely different. ch Apple launched It may sound trivial, but one of the most important design differences is that the Galaxy S4 is over 1cm wider than
improvements on the screens of sors. Where the Galaxy S3 display and seemed a lot less sharp than it een, given its resolution, thanks to its type, the Galaxy S4 display is superer-sharp. al complaints about the iPhone 4S t was the „current‟ iPhone, but the n makes it look a little dull, with d contrast and more vivid colours. significant generational steps-up than cting – but how do they fare head-to omparison is a lot trickier.
has more natural-looking colours, xy S4 has better contrast in low-light hough the Galaxy S4 has uses a esolution, and has higher pixel s not a great difference in sharpness,
screens are bonafide winners, the most erence is in size, not screen quality. 9
Host Dermot O'Leary told the 36year-old prison officer from Leicestershire she received more than a million votes. Bailey's single Skyscraper, originally a hit for Demi Lovato in 2012, is now the hot favourite to be the UK's Christmas number one. An average of 9.7 million people watched Sunday's finale, according to overnight figures - the lowest ratings for a final results show since 2005. The audience for Sunday's finale on ITV peaked at 11.5 million at 21:20 GMT, when the result was announced. It beat BBC One's Sports Personality beaten by anybody it would be Sam. I just of the Year, which averaged 5.6 million
want to say thank you to absolutely every
viewers and peaked at 8.4 million when
single person who voted for me. I love you
tennis player Andy Murray was named the
all."Bailey has won a recording contract
winner at 21:55.Figures from X
and will also support Beyonce on the UK
Factor showed Bailey received 53.4% of
leg of her Mrs Carter tour in February.
the votes in the final, compared with 36.3% for McDonald and 10.3% for Luke
Bookmaker Coral said on Sunday
for 20 years and when he picks up the phone you say yes, because I love him". Katy Perry and One Direction also performed earlier in the show. The finalists each performed a duet with established singers on Saturday.
out on Saturday.The figures showed Bailey
night Bailey had cost UK bookmakers more Bailey was joined on stage by Nicole Scherzinger as they performed And I Am than ÂŁ1m after being the "most backed
and 17-year-old McDonald were in the top
contestant in the history of the show".
Friend, who came third after being voted
two positions in the voting every week during the talent contest's 10th series. When Bailey was announced as the winner and was shown her new CD single by O'Leary, she told the audience of 10,000 people at Wembley Arena: "I don't know what to say."I just want to say that I love that boy to pieces, Nicky McDonald. He's got the most amazing voice. I love him to death."She added she was "just so grateful", saying: "Thank you so much everybody. I really am appreciative."
McDonald added: "If I was getting
Bailey said on Saturday: "I'm just so
Telling You from the musical Dreamgirls. McDonald duetted with former
overwhelmed by the support. This has been Westlife singer Shane Filan, singing the Irish boy band's hit Flying Without Wings, last chance saloon for me for the whole process.
while Friend and Ellie Goulding performing the singer's hit Anything Could Happen.
"It's been 20 years. It's been a long time coming and I've finally got here so thank you so much."
To celebrate the show's 10th anniversary, some of the show's most renowned past contestants including
Sunday's show included a duet between X Factor judge and singer Gary Barlow and Sir Elton John, with the pair performing on adjoining grand pianos. Sir Elton described both finalists as "humble people" and said he agreed to perform because "Gary's been a real friend
Jedward, Kitty Brucknell, Rylan Clark and Wagner performed a medley of songs.