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Reviews – Issue 14

Black Widow


Anyone who has seen the plethora of Emmy nominations for WandaVision last week knows that Marvel is capable of creating properties that are both entertaining and interesting. The problem is they are also capable of unleashing their inner snarky geek and getting in their own way, enter Black Widow. At its core it is an entertaining film with strong leads, especially with Florence Pugh fresh off Little Women providing both the emotional and comedic centre piece to an otherwise strong ensemble. The typical Marvel touchstones are all present, a forgettable villain, and intense emotion subdued almost immediately with quips. 


The thing that kept me from enjoying this was that its entire construction seemed like a Fuck You from Marvel Studios. The movie spent its entire runtime minimalising and even joking about Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow being nothing more than an Avengers poseable sex symbol, while also wanting to be patted on the back for finally fleshing out a character some 13 years and three solo movies after Tony Stark said he was Iron Man. 


David Harbour was brilliantly cast as comic relief while conversely, Rachel Weiss felt underused. She could, and should have brought more depth to the role and she was certainly capable but largely written to be the Michelle Phifer mother character.


The one thing that almost dragged this back from minus territory and into the realms of enjoyable was the standard-bearing post-credit-scene where Julia Louis-Dreyfus Valentina shows up to recruit another member to her team. It provides connective tissue to the next phase of Marvel and sets up a new villain team, a new Avengers and possibly a young Avengers. If only Disney had shown that level of planning and consideration for its female audience a decade ago this movie would have been so much stronger. 


Spotify Playlist

Sad Songs To Cry To At 2am


Hannah Petuha


In no way shape or form am I admitting that I cry to music at 2am. It may be true for you but we needed to fill a review space so here I am. 


Is this playlist relatable? For most of us, yes. Does it have criable songs? For sure. When I was younger I would have carefully choreographed dances to the songs on this playlist including ‘To Build A Home’ by The Cinematic Orchestra. I used to fall asleep listening to Somebody Else by the 1975. Is any single song better than the others in the playlist? No. Everyone has a different taste when crying to music. For some it may be I Miss The Rage by Playboi Carti or The Jupiter by Mozart. Taste is subjective. 


Sad Songs To Cry To At 2am should be peer reviewed for a definitive mark. With that being said, the songs slap and are cry worthy therefore living up to its title. 


Gossip Girl Reboot Pilot

TV Series


Bronwyn Laundry


From 2008 to 2012, Gossip Girl was my life, specifically the costume stylings, HBIC attitude and penchant for headbands of one Miss Blair Waldorf. With its mid 2000s status comes a lot of problematic baggage – an entirely white, cisgendered, heteronormative cast; toxic relationships; and an unhealthy dose of CW Cringe. With all that said, I downloaded the reboot pilot the minute it aired. 


The set up of the return of omnipotent Gossip Girl is extremely clever and after the necessary character exposition, (its HBO baby, they can say ‘fuck’ now!) we get a beautifully executed moment of Ariana Grande’s ‘Positions’ over Kristen Bell’s iconic voiceover. The main cast is more diverses, each character from the original is represented in some way with the new cast; including a pansexual Chuck Bass, a POC #influencer Serena, a bi-curious Nate and a blonde Blair, so there’s enough callback to keep OG fans interested while appealing to a new, savvy audience. xoxo


Go Vacation on Nintendo Switch

Caitlin Walkers-Freke



Despite not being a massive gamer, a younger me loved playing Go Vacation on Wii. Thanks to my boyfriend, I get to play it on his Nintendo Switch, and I really like it.


It was a massive hit of nostalgia. I spent about three consecutive days playing it. The mini games made me want to visit Kawawii Island in real life. I also enjoyed earning keys and hunting for treasure chests.


However, some of the controls were difficult to use and some instructions were unclear but that may be a fault of my own, who knows? I also would have liked it if they added new costumes for the characters or items for the villas, so that the Switch version felt unique.


Overall, this game was a nice way for me to spend my days at home. If you want a chill game and can find a pre-owned version at EB, try it out. 


Stephen King’s IT

Jak Rāta 


Not going to lie to you, I’ve read IT a few times and the 2021 reread has not swayed my opinion. Stephen King is a God. I know that most young men would probably say the same thing, because it’s the truth besties.


The book itself is gripping and has you on the edge of your seat for 85% of the novel. Sure, there’s a shit load of exposition and a couple of shitty underdeveloped characters (*ahem* Adrian and Peter) but the overall vibe is there. Some kids fighting a clown with some attachment issues, how fun!


The newer film versions are also great examples of how you can adapt a source material and still get the gist, while also getting rid of some key plot points (children having an orgy…  I mean what the fuck Stephen). All in all, a good read.


Single Sentence:


Fixed Term Tenancies


When you still have to pay rent even though you’ve moved flats.


Crowded Lecture Halls


Who farted? You’ll never know!


Kahurangi Cafe – Passionfruit Slice


A great option if you’re not into whatever kale and quinoa shit they’ve been offering all week.


Love Island UK – Season 7


Any else miss last season’s Ovie? “MESSAGE!”


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Editorial – Issue 8