Sunday, 31 October 2010

The X Factor Live Show, Saturday October 30th

If you liked any of the music from The X Factor Halloween special, you're in the right place - check below for Twitter-friendly links to the originals and to the contestants' performances from Saturday October 30th.

Performances in order:

Mary Byrne - Could It Be Magic
Barry Manilow's version -
Mary Byrne's version -

Aiden Grimshaw - Thriller
Michael Jackson's version -
Aiden Grimshaw's version -

Belle Amie - Venus
Bananarama's version -
Belle Amie's version -

Rebecca Ferguson - Wicked Game
Chris Isaak's version -
Rebecca Ferguson's version -

Treyc Cohen - Relight My Fire
Take That's version -
Treyc Cohen's version -

Matt Cardle - Bleeding Love
Leona Lewis' version -
Matt Cardle's version -

Wagner Carrilho - O Fortuna/Bat Out Of Hell
Carl Orff's O Fortuna -
Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell -
Wagner's medley -

Paije Richardson - Back To Black
Amy Winehouse's version -
Paije Richardson's version -

Katie Waissel - Bewitched
Steve Lawrence's version -
Katie Waissel's version -

One Direction - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Bonnie Tyler's version -
One Direction's version -

Cher Lloyd - Stay
Shakespears Sister's version -
Cher Lloyd's version -

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Diana Vickers - My Wicked Heart

My Wicked Heart is a triumphant return for Diana Vickers to the singles charts and seems destined for big things - it's pushing the top ten at the time of writing, so will it make it into the single-figure positions?

Well, let's hope so - The Vickers is a little gem who was robbed of her place in The X Factor final by a mop-topped leering Irish runt named Jurgen, who even managed to steal the limelight in her final X Factor performance by running on to the stage and leching all over her as she tried to sing.

Perhaps I'm not remembering things so clearly, but I will never forgive him for robbing me of the chance to see Diana's version of Hallelujah - the song she seemed destined to perform on the show. Flash ahead to 2010 and her music career is going from strength to strength - Songs From the Tainted Cherry Tree was an accomplished debut album and The Vickers has carved herself not only a niche in the charts but also on the social networks, where she's on a par with Hayden Panettiere in terms of fan-friendliness.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Disappearance of Alice Creed: Blu-ray Edition

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is what would probably usually be called a "stylish thriller". We're not talking George Clooney style here, we're talking about gritty, true-to-life cinema. If the character would swear in real life, they swear in the film. If there'd be violence, there is. The only real deviation from that is in the necessary fiction required to drive the plot, which is well crafted with all the twists and turns you might expect from a really well planned short story.

A cast of thousands this certainly is not - in fact, only three people appear on screen in the entire film. If you're a fan of Reservoir Dogs, with its ensemble cast, clearly laid out situation and dedication to driving the events towards that scene, rather than taking the actors to where the action is, then you should find something to like in The Disappearance of Alice Creed. If you're not much of a cinema fan, just buy it for the chance to see Gemma Arterton nude in high definition.

DVD & Blu-ray Round Up: The Exorcist

It's a thin week for new movie releases. You might be interested in MacGruber which I mercifully missed at the cinema, or The Losers, which I think everyone missed in the cinema, maybe even Steve Austin's Hunt To Kill, which I'm pretty sure missed the cinema all together.

No really, you might be interested in those. If you aren't mentally deranged however, you would be better off turning to an old gem getting it's first outing on Blu-ray this week, William Friedkin's classic horror The Exorcist. Now remastered in glorious high definition with 5.1 surround sound, the blu-ray presents a Directors Cut which extends the terror for another 12 spine-tingling minutes, plus the option for the purists of watching the original Theatrical Cut.

In case you don't already know the story of The Exorcist (where have you been?) it's the tale of a 12 year-old girl (Linda Blair) who becomes possessed by a devil, or possibly the devil. We follow her degeneration into a demonic state until her terrified mother has no option but to turn to Fathers Karras and Merrin to perform a dangerous and disturbing exorcism.

Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) is ultimately the embodiment of good, the counterpoint to the demon's evil, in a good old fashioned humdinger of a battle between the forces of light and dark. All of the iconic scenes are here, the head-turning, the projectile vomiting, the revelations about what Father Karras' mother gets up to in hell. And the additional 12 minutes brings some striking new images to the party too, not least Linda Blair's body-contorting 'spider-walk' which has to be seen to be understood.

Get it in for halloween at the end of the month, and maybe stock up on The Evil Dead, Halloween 4 and 5, or 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, all released or re-released this week. Maybe even treat yourself to Big Tits Zombie (seriously) while you're at it.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The X Factor Live Show, Sunday October 10th

As promised, an update on the Sunday night X Factor group performance of Rhythm of the Night. Should be available on iTunes any minute now, so click here to order from iTunes.

Of course, Sunday October 10th marked a return to The X Factor for Joe McElderry, 2009 winner and, finally, releasing a single. Click here to download Ambitions from iTunes.

And we say goodbye to both Nicolo Festa and F.Y.D - if you want to keep their one and only performance for posterity, click the appropriate name to visit their artist page on iTunes - you could still give your favourite a number one single!

The X Factor Live Show, Saturday October 9th

So we're into the live shows and, thanks to the Big Twist, there are 16 acts to choose from. Do you have a favourite yet? There are a few ways to help decide, and we've tried to provide you with those below - links to the performances on iTunes, if you want to keep your favourite forever. Video reminders for the here and now, and the phone numbers you'll need to keep your favourite acts in the competition.

Performances in order:
F.Y.D - Billionaire
Matt Cardle - When Love Takes Over
John Adeleye - One Sweet Day
Rebecca Ferguson - Teardrops
Storm Lee - We Built This City
Belle Amie - Airplanes
Cher Lloyd - Just Be Good To Green
Diva Fever - Sunny
Paije Richardson - Killing Me Softly
Katie Waissel - We Are The Champions
Mary Byrne - It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World
Nicolo Festa - Just Dance
One Direction - Viva la Vida
Wagner Carillho - She Bangs/Love Shack
Aiden Grimshaw - Mad World
Treyc Cohen - One

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Re-release

It's been a busy year for Back to the Future. Of course it's 25 years since the original 1985 release of the movie - and it's a little strange to think how close we now are to the dates used in 1989's Back to the Future Part II. We might not have hoverboards, but we're getting closer to massive holographic sharks, so that's good.

As any of you who use Twitter to an obsessive extent will no doubt no, the anniversary festivities really got underway on July 5th when Totalfilm got it a bit wrong and thought JUL 05 2010 had ever appeared on the top row of the DeLorean's time circuits... and then did some ill-advised Photoshopping to go alongside their apology.

But now it's October - just like in the movie - and the 25th anniversary DVD and Blu-ray versions of the original film are being released to mark the proper milestone. What's more, they've only gone and put it back on the big screen, too. Great Scott!

The Saw Doctors - The Further Adventures Of The Saw Doctors

Already well into the third decade of their existence, The Saw Doctors might be forgiven for coasting at this stage of their career. Their seventh studio album released at the end of last month puts paid to that idea though, The Further Adventures Of The Saw Doctors sees the Irish rockers recapturing some of their finest form of the last 24 years.

The Saw Doctors occupy a bit of a strange position amongst music fans, they are regarded by many as a bit of a joke, long past their sell-by-date, but on the other hand they enjoy a large, fairly rabid fanbase. And you sense that neither viewpoint has a great deal to do with their recorded output, with their detractors more concerned with the band's deeply uncool image, while the fanatics rave more about their renowned live performances. Perhaps that's why this is only album number seven in 24 years.