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Avrill Lavigne A real rocker

She began paving the way towards her career by singing in her local church choir and at county festivals. At 12, she had already started playing the guitar and writing songs. She released her first album at 17. Now, at 20 years of age, Avril Lavigne is one of the most popular singers of the new millennium. However, Avril does not present herself as only a pretty face and a supermodel figure donned in flashy, psychedelic clothes, like many of her contemporary singers; she has proven to be an individual with dedication and determination
When I first heard about Avril Lavigne I expected her to be like the other female singers that I knew of, like Shakira or Britney. However, she turned out to be the opposite of what I thought, which was why her songs surprised and impressed me. Now the earlier mentioned singers seem so amateurish compared to Avril. They totally misuse their musical talent and their songs do not relate to any part of a normal person's life or have any genuineness about them.
I think that Avril's songs properly define 'rock'. She uses them as an outlet of her pent-up emotions and thoughts. Whether it is depression of losing a loved one (Slipped Away) or a sudden burst of optimism (Who Knows) she is able to frame them into songs brimming with life and originality two qualities that the songs of so many bands and singers lack. They describe real-life situations and feelings and, apart from this, her overall appearance is that of a normal teenager who likes to have fun, yet is evidently learning from life and growing up. Her teenage fans in particular can relate to her since she portrays herself as one of them, a person who knows about and understands their thoughts and feelings.
The qualities I admire about Avril Lavigne are her dedication and her perseverance. It was her childhood ambition to become a rock star and she stuck with it, regardless of the hurdles in her way. Not many people can do that. To her, singing is not merely a method of making a quick buck; it is fulfilling a dream. Her aim is to express herself with the aid of music and that, in my opinion, should be the aim of other singers too.
As I mentioned earlier, Avril Lavigne properly defines 'rock' through her songs. In my opinion rock is not merely a category of music. 'Rock' means to let loose, to be bold and stand up to the world as a strong, independent, genuine individual, which is what she so clearly expresses. The best thing about Avril's songs is that it is unlikely they will become old fashioned and fade away with time. Through her songs Avril describes a part of a persons life she represents the average teenager. I doubt that will change, even with time. So, as the Elizabethan actor, Ben Johnson, said for William Shakespeare, I believe that Avril Lavigne is 'not for an age, but for all ages.'

By Risana Nahreen Malik

Superman returns

After years of speculation, Warner Bros. has finally gone ahead with a silver screen adaptation of The Man of Steel. Slated for release on 30th June 2006, the new movie stars newcomer Brandon Routh, as Clark Kent, a.k.a, Superman. With virtually no cinema screen-time, and only a handful of appearances on TV, Routh is a mystery to the general public. However, given that acclaimed Director, Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2) handpicked Routh saying that he was the strongest one at the auditions, where Brendan Fraser, Mathew Bomer, Henry Cavil, Jim Caviezel, and at one time even Nicolas Cage was considered for the role. Smallville star Tom Welling was the most likely to steal the part, but after Welling declared he was not prepared to put on the tights, WB had to go another way. Fans of the immensely popular show had been dreaming of a movie adaptation of Smallville, but Welling's reluctance to helm the Superman suit forced the studio to find a replacement.
Originally known as "Superman Lives" in the early 1990s, set to be directed by Tim Burton (Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Big Fish), the project after resting on the shelves for over a decade, seemed like a dead end.
McG (Charlie's Angels) tried to revive the project, but failed to make any real impact, as did Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) who was involved with the film for just a couple of months. Finally, it took someone like Bryan Singer to break all barriers and get the project moving.
Ratner was the last one to leave the project in August 2004. Warner Bros, at that point had no cast, no director, and a staggering clock counting down to 2006. Luckily, Bryan Singer stepped up and took the reigns sometime in December, abandoning plans for X-men 3, which was supposed to be his next project. Singer started auditioning actors immediately, while coming up with a suitable story for the movie. Filming started in April 2005, and the studio plans to wrap-up production sometime in August.
The first publicity still of Routh as Superman was released sometime in April, and was impressive to say the least. What was astounding however was the uncanny resemblance he had with Christopher Reeve, who portrayed the Man of Steel, on the silver screen in Richard Donner's Superman movies of the 70s and 80s. After Reeve's tragic accident, and subsequent death earlier this year, his wife, Dana Reeve issued a statement saying that she saw Routh as a younger version of her late-husband. The new movie also stars Oscar winner Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects, American Beauty) and Kate Bosworth (Beyond The Sea, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton). Spacey Plays Lex Luthor, a wealthy and corrupt business man, who is incidentally Superman's arch enemy. Singer believes that Spacey will add recognition to a movie infested with unknowns, so as to promote it to the general public. Little is known about Kate Bosworth's portrayal of hotshot reporter Lois Lane -- the love of Clark Kent, aka Superman's life. Bryan Singer stated in an earlier interview that Bosworth had incredible chemistry with Brandon Routh, and it thereby contributed to her casting. Bosworth had to edge-out Evangeline Lilly, Elisha Cuthbert (24), and Claire Danes (Terminator 3) who were also contenders for the role. Other members include Frank Langella, as Perry White -- The Editor of The Daily Planet, James Marsden as his nephew Richard White who, supposedly is Lois Lane's fiancee, Sam Huntington plays Jimmy Olsen, and Eva Marie Saint plays Clark Kent's earth mother, Martha Kent.
As homage to the Donner films, Singer has opted to use old footage of Marlon Brando, as Jor El, to be used in the new movie. and character aspects have been taken from works by the creators of Superman -- Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster.
What is the movie all about? Well... following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth. While and old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life.
Or has she? Superman's bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them which finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space. Sounds epic enough?
After the incredible success of Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine, and directed by genre-defining director, Christopher Nolan, Warner Bros. can rest assured that Superman Returns will gross massively in the US, and worldwide. It's just about playing the cards right, and with newly released information on the plot, and pictures of storyboards shown in video blogs released for the fans at (http://www.bluetights.net/) the new movie is looking nothing less than epic.

By Mehzeb Rahman Chowdhury

Dark Glimpses
The Amityville Horror

Ever read the book "The Amityville Horror" or seen the movie that was based on it? If you didn't, you're missing out on a whole lot of supernatural phenomena. The Amityville Horror story remains to this day the ultimate ghost story. With tales of demonic pigs, possessions, paranormal haunting and ghosts it remains a favorite story to be told by the flickering light of a campfire, or in the dark depths of night at sleep-overs. However, if you think what you read and see is always true, think again! There is a lot of reliable evidence that the case was a hoax including books, television documentaries and other media easily accessible to this day. So, how did this horrifying rumor start? Read on to find out…
In the summer of 1975 Lee and Kathy Lutz moved along with their three young children into their dream home in the affluent suburb of Amityville, NY. They knew about the famous DeFeo murders that had recently taken place in the house they had just bought, but moved in regardless. After living in the
house for 10 days the Lutzes suddenly abandoned all their possessions and moved out of their beloved new home. They quickly went public and told of the horrors in the house. The horrors they spoke of included levitating demonic pigs, ghostly voices that threatened the local priest, bleeding walls, uncontrollable urges to repeat the murders that had happened in the house previously, waking up every night at the exact same time that the DeFeo murders took place, and so on.
What were the DeFeo murders, you ask? I'll tell you. In the early hours of the morning on November 13 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr., then aged only 23, took a high powered rifle and murdered his father Ronald Senior, mother Louise ,sisters Dawn and Allison, along with his two brothers Mark and John.
Devastated locals watched as Ronald was arrested. The court found that Ronald's motive for murder was the US$200,000 insurance money. He drugged the family at dinner and moved from room to room shooting with a rifle.
Once the Lutzes went public with their horror, professional paranormal investigators like Stephen Kaplan began to follow the story. The Lutzes changed their story many times. The sad fact is that reporters knew it
was a potential winner and over-sensationalized it, allowing the real evidence to be obscured by rumour. In fact the house by this time had been investigated and the investigators found no paranormal evidence. The media were not interested in evidence. Stephen Kaplan, Director of the well respected Society For Psychical Research, sent letters to the media pointing out that their reports were misleading the. These letters were ignored.
And so the hoax was born…
In March 1978 Dr. Kaplan and associates were invited back inside the Amityville House by the new owners, the Cromartys. They encountered no strange occurrences in the house and it is definitely NOT haunted. We should also take the time to consider who the real victims of this elaborate hoax are. While the Lutzes are free to continue with their lives, the first victims were the DeFeo family, who are still sadly missed to this day by their friends in the Amityville community. Another group of victims in this case are the people of Amityville. They still fight to try to protect their privacy from curiosity seekers who visit the town expecting to see demons and other nonsense. So…remember to keep these facts in mind if you ever come across the book or the movie: 'The Amityville Horror'.

By Jennifer Ashraf


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