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By Rannia Shehrish

It all began in a piano shop in the small town of St. George in Utah. Jon Schmidt walked into the shop and asked the owner, Paul Anderson, if he could practice for a concert. Paul, being blown away by Jon's talents, began making music videos with him. Later Jon introduced Steven Sharp Nelson, a cellist, to Paul. Steven and Jon had been performing together for over years now. Thus began the journey of The Piano Guys.

This American rock/classical band uplifts music production to a whole new echelon putting a new twist in classical music and a little classical in new music. The team, also including Tel Stewart (video editor) and Al Van Der Beek (music producer), travels to different locations, to shoot their videos. Using only a piano and a cello, they have acquired millions of fans worldwide. In December, 2011, they released their first album The Piano Guys Hits Vol.1 which consists of both originals and covers. All these are funded by their incomes and donations from their fans.

Most of their videos are based on instrumental music, even their covers. Some of their outstanding productions include Michael meets Mozart. Here they used several effects using only the instruments shown in the video. They have also successfully incorporated an African theme with their classical music, in their version of Coldplay's Paradise, where Alex Boye sang the whole song in African. They have also done a parody of the Star Wars' soundtracks and films called the Cello Wars.

Overall, the band has unique instrumental music with awesome visuals for you to enjoy and it is definitely worth checking them out. You can find them on Youtube or visit their website, www.thepianoguys.com.

Interesting Fact:
Even though the band includes a cellist, they are still called The Piano Guys because Steven (cellist) joined them later.

If you liked them:
you might also like Jon Gomm, a sensational guitarist and singer song writer. He will surely impress you with his unique techniques and his deep husky voice.

Songs you should check out
Michael meet Mozart, Cello wars, Beethoven's 5 Secrets One Republic (cover), Paradise Coldplay (Peponi) (cover), Christina Perri A thousand years (cover), David Guetta Without You ft. Usher (cover), Twinkle Lullaby, Moonlight, and Rock Meets Rockmaninoff.



By Dr Who

Our childhood is fraught with Tarzan encounters. If you missed the comic strip on the newspaper, there was the TV show. If you missed that, there was the Disney movie. And then there was the semi-parody George of the Jungle. But writer Edgar Rice Burroughs had another lesser known but equally intriguing character: John Carter. And his adventure is the basis for this movie.

John Carter is a decorated veteran of the American Civil War, who lost is family in the conflict. Disenchanted with life, he goes looking for treasure, particularly an Apache myth about “a cave of gold”. But he finds more than what he bargained for when he is attacked by a strange man. The man drops a medallion which takes Carter to Mars, referred to by natives as Barsoom.

Carter is taken by some native creatures called Tharks, whose King is awed by Carter's ability to jump really high thanks to Mars' lower gravitational pull. In fact, he gains super-human abilities similar to the Hulk, minus the anger issues and shirt-ripping intensity. While being initiated into the Thark hoard, Carter is given a drink which overnight makes him understand Martian. Bear with the movie here. It's based on a series that started its journey the year Titanic sank.

Eventually he meets Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, and is slowly dragged into the conflict that rages across Barsoom between the twin cities of Helium and Zodanga [no prizes for guessing who the evil one is]. Zodanga has got its hands on the mysterious power of the Ninth Ray, granted to them by the same organisation whose member Carter killed back on Earth.

It's a Disney movie; you know what is going to happen after the first 10 minutes. So the movie is just a little too long with two hour runtime, but that's almost negligible. Some characters do very uncharacteristic things and there are some considerable leaps of faith with the storyline. Then again, maybe you should be watching the Cannes submissions than this if you are looking for plot.

The movie is fun as this type of movies are supposed to be. It has everything it needs: humour, action, bravery, love, a villain you want to punch in the face, eye-candy for both men and women and, of course, the best alien dog ever.

Overall, enjoyable.

Interesting Fact:
Both of the leads in this movie are from Wolverine Origins; Taylor Kitsch played Gambit and Lynn Collins played Kayla Silverfox.

Similar movies you might like:
Prince of Persia (2009): as long as you don't compare it to the game.

Land of the Lost (2009): Modern popcorn movie about a group of people getting stuck between worlds. Has Will Ferrel in it and he fights a T-Rex.

Gulliver's Travel (2010); The Jack Black version.



Ages: 17+ Genre: Action, horror, mystery

By Jawad

Deadman Wonderland began as a manga back in 2007, written and drawn by the partnership of Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou and started as an anime finally in 2011. That bit of totally pointless information serves, as pointless information regularly does, no purpose other than telling you how long awaited it has been for the fans of the manga series. This was one of the most highly anticipated anime of 2011. And it has proved yet again, what too much hype can do to a series.

Deadman Wonderland begins in a futuristic setting, with 14 year old Igarashi Ganta, our protagonist, enjoying normal school life. It was all fuzzy and bright with a peachy smell all around. But as naturally as a lemon declaring its wish to be squeezed, a sinisterly grinning man floats into Ganta's classroom and kills everyone but Ganta. Obviously Ganta is the sole suspect and he is sentenced to life imprisonment at the private-owned, theme park-esque prison Deadman Wonderland. Here the inmates are forced to entertain audiences, most of the times with their lives; because people just love violence. As the protagonist, Ganta finds himself in possession of a very special power and it transports him to another level below. Now, here people with similar powers fight each other to the death to amuse richer spectators. But it's not everything. A deep mystery unfolds itself as Ganta tries to find who framed him. This obviously means more fights.

The review:
Deadman Wonderland is a classic shounen with seinen elements. We have a main protagonist with sudden-found power which grows more and more as the series progresses (Ichigo, Bleach); we have villains with over-simplified power order (Vegeta-Frieza-Cell-Buu, DBZ); opponents who turn into friends (Gaara, Naruto) and a few romances to sweeten the battle-soaked mood. The only difference is the existence of too much violence, sometimes censored.

If you are looking for a deep and engaging story, this will be a disappointment for you. Deadman Wonderland is not about the story. It's about the fights and violence. The action sequences are very nicely animated, although sometimes they feel too over the top. Ganta gets a few major fights, despite him being the central character and those fights are greatly enhance by the hard rock music in the background. In fact, the music is one of the best qualities of the anime. The art is good and detailed but censorship just kills the whole thing.

Read the manga; it's much better.

Similar Better Anime you might like: Mirai Nikki.
Similar Concept as in: The Hunger Games and all the others it is accused of borrowing from.



By Orin

I would have to confess I rather like costume dramas. The actors dress up and it is nice to kid ourselves that a world exists where duck faces are not the staple of fashion. On the other hand, almost all costume dramas end up being too showy or unrealistic. Downton Abbey, the pre-WWI story of 'upstairs and downstairs' in an elite household, seems to have captured the best of costume drama.

The plot is quite simple. Lord Grantham owns the glorious country estate Downton Abbey, where he lives with his family of five, served by some thirty servants. Despite their incredible luxury they are at the risk of losing it all, since the lord only has three daughters. With the unexpected death of their male heir (and the fiancé of the elder daughter), the entailment moves to Lord Grantham's distant nephew Mattew, who rejects the idea of aristocracy and the inheritance. The masters' fate swings, along with those of the inhabitants of downstairs in Downton Abbey. You see, the employees take even more pride than the masters in their estate and the thought of leaving and doing anything else is pretty much absurd for them.

The story is jam-packed with drama, romance, betrayal and friendship; it is almost impossible to stop watching after the first episode. Fortunately, the drama is at least ten times better than the ones of Ugly Betty and Gossip Girls. The script feels heartfelt with a healthy dose of “Yes mum” and “That will be all, Carson”. The show shines with its fantastic cast; it's impossible to beat Maggie Smith and as the overbearing mother of Lord Grantham she is both exasperating and hilarious (often at the same time) but brilliant nonetheless.

Downton Abbey is set at the turn of an era, when the British aristocracy finally felt the world around them rapidly evolving. Everything changed. Technology, women rights, rise of socialism, the war, all contributed to the change in social class and manners as they knew it and change wasn't always welcome. Downton Abbey is fascinating not because it's a show set in a whole different era that we know so little of, but because it manages to give us such a precise humane view of a world that was.


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