Reviews

The Revenant Immedate Responses

I’m not going to write a review because it would never compare to the hundreds of others which actually have insightful things to say. But I wanted to contribute something after seeing this film. Because Leo might actually win an Oscar this time.

I often find the best film commentary occurs in the first words, or even just the looks, straight after the credits roll. Or the most honest, or funny. These are some valuable comments my group of attendees made. I believe they are opinions worth sharing.

“They weren’t wrong when they said Leonardo De Caprio gets mauled by a bear, and not much else happens.”

“Do you ever just, get naked and sleep inside a horse.”

“The way he put his clothes on after that and touched him, it was exactly like a one night stand. He should have said thank you. Or I’ll call you. And you could have called it a comedy.”

“There should be a Revenant 2. I want to know more about the baby bears. What’s their story. What famous actors could they maul.”

“None of these characters care about getting their feet wet. Like at all. They just walk straight through.”

“It’s cold. But no one really talks about that.”

“My favourite scene was when they got really giggly eating snowflakes with their tongues. It’s the little things in life.”

“I wish I could get my fingers chopped off and just go about my day. They really didn’t seem fussed about that.”

“No one really knows why the bear really did maul Leo. It didn’t seem like much was achieved since he didn’t didn’t get eaten.”

“It’s definitely not a film for a pissed dyslexic.”

I’d say all in all those are the most important aspects of the film, summarised in the best way – spontaneous commentary just saying what’s on your mind.

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Newcastle

As far as UK cities go, Newcastle is pretty great.

Despite messing up every train I had to get yesterday, and being fined £49 in the process, my day out to Newcastle was very much enjoyable. Having visited a couple of times before, I knew vaguely what to expect, including extremely cold weather. However I find that every time I visit the Quayside, I feel pleasantly perplexed.

This probably sounds ridiculous to residents or regular visitors, but even from the greeting you receive from the train station, you cannot deny Newcastle’s charm.

Now I am no photographer, but I made some effort to capture some of the sights I enjoyed the most while walking the Quayside, and because I enjoyed my experience there, even just being a day, I felt it necessary to document in some shape or form.

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Apparently Baltic is a center for contemporary art. The buildings old use was an industrial flour mill and it was converted and opened in 2002. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go but in the future that would be something I’d quite like to do.

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The lights were nice.

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Crossing the river means you are no longer in Newcastle, you’re in Gateshead. The blobby building with the lights is called the Gateshead Sage. They have music events and things there.

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This boat looks kind of like a boat you’d find on the sea. That’s because it probably is. Newcastle is really near the coast. I think that’s why the river is so wide.

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The roads leading up from the river are really hilly which means that you get quite out of breath if you’re running late for a meal you’ve booked. Just a warning.

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This is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It opens sometimes. My mum didn’t believe me when I told her that so one day I’m going to go back when it is open and take a picture. Or I could just google it. Only time will tell.

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The River Tyne by night.

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The millennium bridge has colour changing lights. Who doesn’t love that.

I believe I have most likely brought you no new knowledge of this British city through reading this post, but if there was a chance you have never been to Newcastle before, or knew anything about it, I’m happy to impart my extensive wisdom to you. (Joking).

I would recommend Newcastle, just walking around is worth the visit.

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Free New Musical Express

I used to think that NME would be a cool magazine to be subscribed to. Getting one delivered every week and getting excited about an insight into new music they help readers discover. I even ordered one online once as a one off to test the waters. It was always the price that put me off, as the magazine comes in at a, what I consider whopping, £2.50 per issue.

So when waiting at the NME tent at Leeds Festival 2015 for the next act to grace our presence, our eyes mindlessly gazed upon the screens either side of the stage as they flickered with different messages about where to dispose of rubbish, how to keep possessions safe and other general unengaging chat. Until one message appeared on the screen that made me do a double take. Free NME magazine coming soon. I was shocked. I vigorously poked my friend to get his attention on what I was witnessing. We both were doubtful for a good few seconds. But we were standing under the cover of the NME tent itself, and August bank holiday is far from April Fools. The idea which seemed quite a preposterous business decision at the time, had to be true.

Of course my mind went into a train of thought almost immediately as to why the successful company had chosen to follow this bold, and potentially extremely damaging venture. Of course it is common knowledge really, that we can witness in day to day life that the age of print media is entering its demise. Less newspapers and magazines are seen in the household, as more and more regularly, media is transmitted to us via the Internet. The ultimate extinction of print media has already been predicted in the next 10 to 15 years, but given the pace at which the Internet takes over, it could potentially be even sooner.

The conclusion I therefore reached regarding the matter was that less and less readers were choosing to purchase the physical NME magazine, as they could access most of the content they wanted online, on nme.com, which is popular and reaches an extremely large number. Thus NME decided to quit while they were ahead, and print cheaper quality magazines on a larger scale, to be given out at outlets around the country, following successful similar distribution strategies from Shortlist, Sport and Time Out. This would enable them to reach a larger audience to gain maximum interest, while keeping their brand respectable because they have not yet died out. NME seemed to be adapting to a new media age, where print is less relevant, and if NME magazine is free, much more people, especially young people, are likely to choose to pick it up.

NME actually went through a major brand transformation as well as transitioning to a free magazine, including a revamp of nme.com in the hope that this could be the new gold mine for the brand. The new free mag would be redesigned to include more content on film, games and fashion as well as music. Editor Mike Williams discussed this transformation, calling it the new phase of the magazine. “We’ve been working in secret here at NME on the next phase of our evolution. The goal, throughout all of our research and development, has been to find new and inventive ways to connect with you, our audience, better than ever. In the 63 years since NME launched we have evolved and transformed plenty of times. The evolution of 2015 is our boldest ever move”.

As positive as this picture is painted by the editor, we would be naive to assume that a ‘new phase’ was not a hopeful and necessary strategy in a struggling situation. A Guardian article states that NME magaizine had been struggling for the past decade. Paid circulation has dropped to just 15,000 as weekly sales have fallen by 20% annually. Mike Williams believe this will make NME “bigger stronger and more influential than ever before”, and it is true that adaptation is necessary in the age of new media. But will the 64 year old print magazine fail in its new life, or will it stay as strong as a “major player and massive influencer in the music space”.

The free NME magazine is to be distributed weekly at train stations, on university campus’s by students and through retail partners HMV and Topman. Prominent music, fashion and commuting areas where a younger and larger audience can be in targeted to come into contact with the magazine, now available through 300,000 copies distributed across the UK.

NME has throughout its years brought new music to our awareness and helped smaller bands gain a wider following. However, the magazine has faced challenges through he technological age such as the ease of access to free music through streaming services such as Spotify, hindering the need for third party promotion from the critic, as listeners can make up their own minds. The changing themes in popular music also outdate the genre NME holds dear – Britpop and indie rock bands. These modern factors are clear obstacles to the potential sucess of print NME, and the goal to revert to the circulation success it achieved back in its golden years, the 60s and 70s, and to remain on the map of the digital music mass market. The Guardian identifies however, that aside from how challenged NME apparently is, the emtotion and strong response to the announcement of a free magazine shows that it is not yet dying, it still has a place in the hearts of the British public, and the choice to go free may have come at the perfect time for success.

“Through NME’s digital platforms, social media channels and weekly magazine the brand reaches 3.9 million people every week”. The hugely extended circulation through the removal of the off-putting price tag and availability in many common locations will hoepefully increase interest and widen reception into the near future, thus NME will become more attractive to advertisers and will reap more funds in these areas.

“Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future. That doesn’t mean leaving print behind, but it does mean that print has to change, so I’m incredibly excited by the role it will now play as part of the new NME.” – Mike Williams 

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