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Reviewing an Avengers film is in itself quite the challenge, let alone one as highly anticipated as the latest in the film franchise — Infinity War. Saying that, even myself, a bit of a novice (although not completely new) when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, knew going into the film that it would be a monumental one indeed.

I hate to admit it, but as a kid I was always told that superhero movies were for boys. Even more stupid of me was that I always believed these people (who were totally wrong, by the way). As a teenager, I saw some girls around me really fangirl about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it definitely wasn't a majority amongst the teenage girl population. Although I'm a film and fantasy-lover, I was just never drawn to these films for fear that they were too long or that I would just get bored of the drawn-out fight scenes. This seems crazy to me now, as I love long movies and understand perfectly the necessity for such fight scenes when the title of the film is, well, Infinity War...

Onto the subject matter itself, then. Short and sweet, I left the cinema pretty much mind-blown, yearning to experience more of my new-found love for the Avengers. Some more experienced fangirls and boys out there might have expected the conclusion — in which case, the ending might have been less of an emotional blow for them as they, instead, conjured up conspiracy theories about the next instalment. Others, like my novice self, may have expected the Avengers to save the day right up until the very end (maybe at the point where Thor and his mighty hammer came along), and so were impacted greatly by the last ten minutes of the film.

More specifically, seeing Tom Holland play the new Spider-man for the first time (I had only seen Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield before) really made me appreciate him both as an actor and as the latest casting choice for the role. Spiderman: Homecoming is definitely up there on my list of films to watch next. Of Holland's performance: he was pretty much a scene-stealer, very relatable, funny and British in his humour and a welcome relief for the younger crowd of movie-goers. I must say, the added dynamic of having a character around my own age made me really root for him whenever I saw him onscreen, despite this being my first experience of Holland as Spiderman. I think that just goes to show what incredible casting this truly is.
I'm so sorry I'm just going to have to spoil this right now. As you can probably gather, one of the only individual characters I had proper cinematic experience of was Spider-man, and it killed me inside to see what happens to the fan favourite. (Same with Loki, but I think I've fangirled over my favourite characters a bit too much now). Read it and weep, kids.

The fight scenes themselves were equally dramatically and thematically well-presented, from more intimate one-on-one fights to larger-scaled battle scenes -- each end of the spectrum was as impactful as the other. To have a film where there are so many characters coming together, it must have been a huge obstacle for the film to put so much emotion into them; however, it wasn't a worry in the end. Each of the characters had the necessary amount of care, attention and development given to them, and as a somewhat-novice it was wonderful to find out their backstories all in one film. A triumphant feat for the characterisation indeed.

Overall, it was an emotionally pulling film for both fans of the franchise and newcomers alike. Needless to say, I am already in anticipation of the next instalment, and of my newfound Avengers adventure.

Film Review: Infinity War (with MAJOR Spoilers!)




Reviewing an Avengers film is in itself quite the challenge, let alone one as highly anticipated as the latest in the film franchise — Infinity War. Saying that, even myself, a bit of a novice (although not completely new) when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, knew going into the film that it would be a monumental one indeed.

I hate to admit it, but as a kid I was always told that superhero movies were for boys. Even more stupid of me was that I always believed these people (who were totally wrong, by the way). As a teenager, I saw some girls around me really fangirl about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it definitely wasn't a majority amongst the teenage girl population. Although I'm a film and fantasy-lover, I was just never drawn to these films for fear that they were too long or that I would just get bored of the drawn-out fight scenes. This seems crazy to me now, as I love long movies and understand perfectly the necessity for such fight scenes when the title of the film is, well, Infinity War...

Onto the subject matter itself, then. Short and sweet, I left the cinema pretty much mind-blown, yearning to experience more of my new-found love for the Avengers. Some more experienced fangirls and boys out there might have expected the conclusion — in which case, the ending might have been less of an emotional blow for them as they, instead, conjured up conspiracy theories about the next instalment. Others, like my novice self, may have expected the Avengers to save the day right up until the very end (maybe at the point where Thor and his mighty hammer came along), and so were impacted greatly by the last ten minutes of the film.

More specifically, seeing Tom Holland play the new Spider-man for the first time (I had only seen Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield before) really made me appreciate him both as an actor and as the latest casting choice for the role. Spiderman: Homecoming is definitely up there on my list of films to watch next. Of Holland's performance: he was pretty much a scene-stealer, very relatable, funny and British in his humour and a welcome relief for the younger crowd of movie-goers. I must say, the added dynamic of having a character around my own age made me really root for him whenever I saw him onscreen, despite this being my first experience of Holland as Spiderman. I think that just goes to show what incredible casting this truly is.
I'm so sorry I'm just going to have to spoil this right now. As you can probably gather, one of the only individual characters I had proper cinematic experience of was Spider-man, and it killed me inside to see what happens to the fan favourite. (Same with Loki, but I think I've fangirled over my favourite characters a bit too much now). Read it and weep, kids.

The fight scenes themselves were equally dramatically and thematically well-presented, from more intimate one-on-one fights to larger-scaled battle scenes -- each end of the spectrum was as impactful as the other. To have a film where there are so many characters coming together, it must have been a huge obstacle for the film to put so much emotion into them; however, it wasn't a worry in the end. Each of the characters had the necessary amount of care, attention and development given to them, and as a somewhat-novice it was wonderful to find out their backstories all in one film. A triumphant feat for the characterisation indeed.

Overall, it was an emotionally pulling film for both fans of the franchise and newcomers alike. Needless to say, I am already in anticipation of the next instalment, and of my newfound Avengers adventure.


Something exciting dropped on the 12th of April, 2018 — a movie trailer of a film that I having been greatly anticipating since becoming aware of the production and its immense cast of American/British talent: Elle Fanning, Maisie Williams, Douglas Booth and Bel Powley. With the exception of Powley, I have been an avid fan and follower of the aforementioned actor's and their careers to date. Thinking about it now, maybe that makes me more biased to the film as a whole. Really though, I just like to think that the cast itself makes me all the more excited for it.







Yet, when scrolling through Youtube comments and online articles, it becomes clear that there are people who seem dubious over the clear feminist agenda made apparent throughout the trailer. Lines such as 'The woman is not intelligent enough to form ideas of her own' have heavy connotations of feminist criticism. When I learned that this is truly what Lord Byron felt at the time, however, I couldn't help but be glad that the film wasn't sugarcoating the feminist issues at the time. Shelley's mother was, of course, an avid member of the feminist movement. Besides, if a movie such as I Love You, Daddy can be cut from airing due to its poor taste and obvious anti-feminism, then why can't a film celebrating the achievements of women just be celebrated as they should be? As the old saying goes, it seems that to some people you just can't win either way.

One of the beginning lines of the trailer comes from Maisie Williams. When Fanning, as Mary Shelley, asks her "Who is that?", she replies with "Shelley — beautiful, isn't he?" Instead of continuing the love story between the two as many archetypal period dramas would (we already know from Mary Shelley's namesake that the two inevitably get married), the story shifts into a feminist lens that is highly palpable throughout the rest of the trailer. These feminist overtones are, of course, what the haters are hating, but if done with more subtly throughout the film itself then I don't see it as a blinding problem at all. 

What are your thoughts? The mixture of feminism and great casting simply makes me all the more excited to go out and see this film. Of course, as with anything including feminism, the reactions are polarising. Let me know what side you're on.

Mary Shelley is due for release from May 2018.


Film Review: Mary Shelley Trailer


Something exciting dropped on the 12th of April, 2018 — a movie trailer of a film that I having been greatly anticipating since becoming aware of the production and its immense cast of American/British talent: Elle Fanning, Maisie Williams, Douglas Booth and Bel Powley. With the exception of Powley, I have been an avid fan and follower of the aforementioned actor's and their careers to date. Thinking about it now, maybe that makes me more biased to the film as a whole. Really though, I just like to think that the cast itself makes me all the more excited for it.







Yet, when scrolling through Youtube comments and online articles, it becomes clear that there are people who seem dubious over the clear feminist agenda made apparent throughout the trailer. Lines such as 'The woman is not intelligent enough to form ideas of her own' have heavy connotations of feminist criticism. When I learned that this is truly what Lord Byron felt at the time, however, I couldn't help but be glad that the film wasn't sugarcoating the feminist issues at the time. Shelley's mother was, of course, an avid member of the feminist movement. Besides, if a movie such as I Love You, Daddy can be cut from airing due to its poor taste and obvious anti-feminism, then why can't a film celebrating the achievements of women just be celebrated as they should be? As the old saying goes, it seems that to some people you just can't win either way.

One of the beginning lines of the trailer comes from Maisie Williams. When Fanning, as Mary Shelley, asks her "Who is that?", she replies with "Shelley — beautiful, isn't he?" Instead of continuing the love story between the two as many archetypal period dramas would (we already know from Mary Shelley's namesake that the two inevitably get married), the story shifts into a feminist lens that is highly palpable throughout the rest of the trailer. These feminist overtones are, of course, what the haters are hating, but if done with more subtly throughout the film itself then I don't see it as a blinding problem at all. 

What are your thoughts? The mixture of feminism and great casting simply makes me all the more excited to go out and see this film. Of course, as with anything including feminism, the reactions are polarising. Let me know what side you're on.

Mary Shelley is due for release from May 2018.




Fresher's week. What a terrifying concept — literally a whole week of awkwardly attempting to socialise with people that you've only just met. An even more terrifying thought when you consider that I had the social ability of a teaspoon before university started. Luckily, I like to think I've come a long way since then, and so I'd like to offer what limited tips I can share...

1. Please do yourself a favour and damn sOCIALISE.

I know it's hard, especially if you're awkward like I was at the start. Know that it's easier to put the effort in early on than it is later down the line. Don't let that scare you though — be an open book and actively want to get to know everyone, even if it's just casual conversation that feels a bit dead. We all have to start somewhere. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your true friends (it's just, like, statistics or something, right?)

2. Don't feel or be pressured

Don't be pressured to do ANYTHING that you don't want to do. I didn't drink or go to any parties before uni, so I stuck to that routine during fresher's week. The closest I came to was joining some of my new-found friend group's pre-drinks before they all went out until whatever hour and guess what, I didn't drink there either! Awkward was definitely my name and game, oops. But it was perfectly fine, because I was still accepted to this new environment and by these new people, so I felt relatively at ease and non-pressured. When you do decide to follow the crowd, ensure that it's 100% your decision and your decision only. Saying that, fresher's week is where you're expected to most exceed your comfort zone, so remind yourself of this and know that it's the easiest time to get involved with things even if you feel like a total new-comer. (Heads up: everyone is!)

3. Join societies and stick to them

Societies are so much fun but unfortunately as a first year, things got on top of me and I decided to drop out of them (whilst missing them terribly). Luckily I recognised my mistake, and here I am telling you not to make the same one (unless you really hate everything about it I guess). Now in second year, I have quite important roles in a couple of societies and I feel so much more fulfilled that  I'm able to maintain a society/workload/social life/uni balance. It's given me incredible opportunities and experiences, some of which are the definitive part of overall university experience and ones that I will never forget.

4. Be realistic

If you're still feeling uneasy in your new environment, I urge you to understand that this is totally normal. For the first month I felt like a total fish out of water, but I kept telling myself that this was only the beginning, that it could only get better from here. And that's so true; this is one week out of your entire university experience. Don't drop out at the sound of a warning bell, be steadfast! You can totally do this. And if you really feel that you can't...

5. Find support

Confide in a new friend, a member of staff you trust, a friend from your home or even your family. Let them know how you're feeling emotionally, academically, and in every other way.

Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Fresher's Week



Fresher's week. What a terrifying concept — literally a whole week of awkwardly attempting to socialise with people that you've only just met. An even more terrifying thought when you consider that I had the social ability of a teaspoon before university started. Luckily, I like to think I've come a long way since then, and so I'd like to offer what limited tips I can share...

1. Please do yourself a favour and damn sOCIALISE.

I know it's hard, especially if you're awkward like I was at the start. Know that it's easier to put the effort in early on than it is later down the line. Don't let that scare you though — be an open book and actively want to get to know everyone, even if it's just casual conversation that feels a bit dead. We all have to start somewhere. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your true friends (it's just, like, statistics or something, right?)

2. Don't feel or be pressured

Don't be pressured to do ANYTHING that you don't want to do. I didn't drink or go to any parties before uni, so I stuck to that routine during fresher's week. The closest I came to was joining some of my new-found friend group's pre-drinks before they all went out until whatever hour and guess what, I didn't drink there either! Awkward was definitely my name and game, oops. But it was perfectly fine, because I was still accepted to this new environment and by these new people, so I felt relatively at ease and non-pressured. When you do decide to follow the crowd, ensure that it's 100% your decision and your decision only. Saying that, fresher's week is where you're expected to most exceed your comfort zone, so remind yourself of this and know that it's the easiest time to get involved with things even if you feel like a total new-comer. (Heads up: everyone is!)

3. Join societies and stick to them

Societies are so much fun but unfortunately as a first year, things got on top of me and I decided to drop out of them (whilst missing them terribly). Luckily I recognised my mistake, and here I am telling you not to make the same one (unless you really hate everything about it I guess). Now in second year, I have quite important roles in a couple of societies and I feel so much more fulfilled that  I'm able to maintain a society/workload/social life/uni balance. It's given me incredible opportunities and experiences, some of which are the definitive part of overall university experience and ones that I will never forget.

4. Be realistic

If you're still feeling uneasy in your new environment, I urge you to understand that this is totally normal. For the first month I felt like a total fish out of water, but I kept telling myself that this was only the beginning, that it could only get better from here. And that's so true; this is one week out of your entire university experience. Don't drop out at the sound of a warning bell, be steadfast! You can totally do this. And if you really feel that you can't...

5. Find support

Confide in a new friend, a member of staff you trust, a friend from your home or even your family. Let them know how you're feeling emotionally, academically, and in every other way.



Second year, so far. It has baffled me (as it does time and time again) that this academic year has flown by so quickly. I can't believe that, in relation to my overall degree, I am more than halfway through with it. Disbelief and excitement overwhelm me everyday: disbelief, because it feels as though I only started uni yesterday; excitement because the prospect of finishing my degree and starting a new chapter is more than a dream to me.

Upon reflection, last semester wasn't exactly smooth, though I did average at a borderline 2:1 in the end. I chose modules in Shakespeare and Chaucer for English and in ethics for philosophy. Though I enjoyed them in part, there were specific elements in each of them that I didn't quite get along with. I struggled in my first Chaucer assessment that amounted to 25% of the module, which was equally damaging to my self-esteem as it was to my sense of purpose. However, I managed to pull it up with the second assessment, receiving a comparatively lovely 2:1 for it. The other modules I struggled more in the enjoyment of them than the academic side, although I didn't perform as well in my ethics exam as I would have liked. I can only hope to exceed that this semester, and overall I am proud that my (approx.) 10,000 words of coursework generally received good praise.

Onto this semester, of which I am thoroughly enjoying so far. The three modules I am taking are more specific than ever, including yet more Shakespeare and even more philosophy. I repeat, I cannot believe how fast this semester and year has already flown by, but I am excited by the fast-paste nature of it all. My attendance this semester has been better than ever, although my hours are so minimal. This does mean, however, that I am able to dedicate my free time to more independent study and interests outside of my degree.

Speaking of extracurricular things, this semester has been wonderful as I have finally fallen back into the routine of the theatre. I am helping out in directing one of the productions this year and it has proven to be very rewarding already. I am definitely looking to apply for another producing role this semester and continue with theatre even more so next year. It's wonderful to have something physically moving back in my life; although writing is my passion, you aren't exactly required to leave the house for it. The theatre is a luxury indeed.

If you're at university, what aspect are you currently enjoying? If not, what do you miss?


Love,

Chloe

university update 001: second year, so far




Second year, so far. It has baffled me (as it does time and time again) that this academic year has flown by so quickly. I can't believe that, in relation to my overall degree, I am more than halfway through with it. Disbelief and excitement overwhelm me everyday: disbelief, because it feels as though I only started uni yesterday; excitement because the prospect of finishing my degree and starting a new chapter is more than a dream to me.

Upon reflection, last semester wasn't exactly smooth, though I did average at a borderline 2:1 in the end. I chose modules in Shakespeare and Chaucer for English and in ethics for philosophy. Though I enjoyed them in part, there were specific elements in each of them that I didn't quite get along with. I struggled in my first Chaucer assessment that amounted to 25% of the module, which was equally damaging to my self-esteem as it was to my sense of purpose. However, I managed to pull it up with the second assessment, receiving a comparatively lovely 2:1 for it. The other modules I struggled more in the enjoyment of them than the academic side, although I didn't perform as well in my ethics exam as I would have liked. I can only hope to exceed that this semester, and overall I am proud that my (approx.) 10,000 words of coursework generally received good praise.

Onto this semester, of which I am thoroughly enjoying so far. The three modules I am taking are more specific than ever, including yet more Shakespeare and even more philosophy. I repeat, I cannot believe how fast this semester and year has already flown by, but I am excited by the fast-paste nature of it all. My attendance this semester has been better than ever, although my hours are so minimal. This does mean, however, that I am able to dedicate my free time to more independent study and interests outside of my degree.

Speaking of extracurricular things, this semester has been wonderful as I have finally fallen back into the routine of the theatre. I am helping out in directing one of the productions this year and it has proven to be very rewarding already. I am definitely looking to apply for another producing role this semester and continue with theatre even more so next year. It's wonderful to have something physically moving back in my life; although writing is my passion, you aren't exactly required to leave the house for it. The theatre is a luxury indeed.

If you're at university, what aspect are you currently enjoying? If not, what do you miss?


Love,

Chloe



I recently went for brunch with a group of friends at The Pudding Pantry in my university town, Nottingham. Oh my goodness, it was divine. I’m usually quite sceptical about eating out, but I actually can’t rave about it enough. I know that Nottingham has somewhat of a reputation for its eateries and it’s hard to distinguish the hype from the truth, but if my experience is anything to go by then The Pudding Pantry is definitely one to go to.

Oh my goodness, this hot chocolate was sooo damn good (although the picture is slightly out of focus, oops). You can tell that Pudding Pantry just make sure that everything is done with that bit of extra care and attention. If you’re a fan of homemade hot coco (who isn’t???), then you NEED to try out their Classic Hot Chocolate, which I paid £2.95 for. I figured the pricing was very decent for the hot beverage and that the quality actually exceeded the cost. It was so smooth and just the right amount of rich chocolate to sweetness ratio.

For £9.95 (one of the most expensive on the brunch menu, which isn’t actually too bad price-wise) you can get what they call The Full Pantry, a delicious couple of pancakes stacked with bacon and served with homemade baked beans, your choice of scrambled or fried eggs, a garlic mushroom and maple syrup. And boy, is it dreamy. It’s also definitely VERY full, so I would recommend only purchasing when you’re reeeaaally hungry. Looking back I should have just ordered a stack of pancakes and bacon as that would definitely have sufficed my hunger, and I wouldn’t have had left so much food over!
Saying that, I did actually really enjoy the food that I could manage, and was glad that I could get The Full Pantry to try all of their star products out. The homemade baked beans were sooo good; definitely different to your traditional (I hadn’t actually tried homemade ones before) but all the more indulgent! The pancakes were just divine as well, really fluffy and sweet, yet this didn’t detract from the savoury nature of the rest of the dish. In fact, the sweetness went perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon, and the pancakes were definitely the star of the show.
If you’re in Nottingham and looking for a good spot of brunch, I definitely recommend looking at The Pudding Pantry. I can’t believe I hadn’t been before, and will definitely be back in order to try out all of their cakes and sweet treats!
Love,
Chloe

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weekends are for brunching



I recently went for brunch with a group of friends at The Pudding Pantry in my university town, Nottingham. Oh my goodness, it was divine. I’m usually quite sceptical about eating out, but I actually can’t rave about it enough. I know that Nottingham has somewhat of a reputation for its eateries and it’s hard to distinguish the hype from the truth, but if my experience is anything to go by then The Pudding Pantry is definitely one to go to.

Oh my goodness, this hot chocolate was sooo damn good (although the picture is slightly out of focus, oops). You can tell that Pudding Pantry just make sure that everything is done with that bit of extra care and attention. If you’re a fan of homemade hot coco (who isn’t???), then you NEED to try out their Classic Hot Chocolate, which I paid £2.95 for. I figured the pricing was very decent for the hot beverage and that the quality actually exceeded the cost. It was so smooth and just the right amount of rich chocolate to sweetness ratio.

For £9.95 (one of the most expensive on the brunch menu, which isn’t actually too bad price-wise) you can get what they call The Full Pantry, a delicious couple of pancakes stacked with bacon and served with homemade baked beans, your choice of scrambled or fried eggs, a garlic mushroom and maple syrup. And boy, is it dreamy. It’s also definitely VERY full, so I would recommend only purchasing when you’re reeeaaally hungry. Looking back I should have just ordered a stack of pancakes and bacon as that would definitely have sufficed my hunger, and I wouldn’t have had left so much food over!
Saying that, I did actually really enjoy the food that I could manage, and was glad that I could get The Full Pantry to try all of their star products out. The homemade baked beans were sooo good; definitely different to your traditional (I hadn’t actually tried homemade ones before) but all the more indulgent! The pancakes were just divine as well, really fluffy and sweet, yet this didn’t detract from the savoury nature of the rest of the dish. In fact, the sweetness went perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon, and the pancakes were definitely the star of the show.
If you’re in Nottingham and looking for a good spot of brunch, I definitely recommend looking at The Pudding Pantry. I can’t believe I hadn’t been before, and will definitely be back in order to try out all of their cakes and sweet treats!
Love,
Chloe

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About the Author

Chloe Jade is an undergraduate student at the University of Nottingham reading English and Philosophy. Post-graduation, her ambition is to become a journalist. In order to read, write and share as much as she wants, she decided to create this blog so that she could explore her wider interests and experiences.