Get Out review – get out to the cinema and watch this asap

Is Get Out the best film I’ve ever seen? The answer is; yes, quite possibly. It is a film with incredible twists and turns which I could never have predicted. It is a hybrid of three genres; horror, comedy and thriller, yet it is not cheesy at all, which is a great feat to accomplish.

Written and directed by Jordan Peele, the story begins with a young black man walking the suburbs of an oh so quiet upper-class neighbourhood. A shady looking car playing British comedy duo Flanagan and Allen’s song Run Rabbit Run follows him and within a flash (which did make me jump out of my seat) he is dragged into the boot of the car.

From that moment forward I knew that this film meant business.

We are then introduced to our main character Chris Washington played by Daniel Kaluuya known for Skins and Charlie Brookers’ Black Mirror.

Chris is one half of an interracial couple, we see him preparing to leave for the weekend to meet his girlfriend Rose Armitage’s parents for the first time at their countryside residence.

Chris is apprehensive about meeting Rose’ (played by Allison Williams of Girls) family due to the fact that; ‘she has never dated a black guy before’. She assures him that her family are cool with it and that; ‘her Dad would have voted for Obama a third time if he could’ve’. Setting the tone that this film is current and isn’t skirting round the race issues in American society, instead it is highlighting them.

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Chris & Rose

After a shaky journey, the couple arrive at Rose’ parent’s house and Chris is given a warm welcome by the Armitage family, Bradley Whitford as Dean, Catherine Keener as Missy, and Caleb Landry Jones as Rose’ brother Jeremy.

However, all is not what it seems, with two black ‘servants’ pouring the drinks and cutting the grass Chris becomes suspicious of his hosts, their idyllic house and its hidden secrets.

A midnight smoke, hypnosis and a nightmare make him feel like he is going insane, with Rose shutting him down his long time best friend back home Rod is the man he turns to. Rod played by Lil Rel Howery brought the laughs and the drama as he races against time to save Chris from… well you’ll just have to watch and see!

Kaluuya is effortless in his transition between charming boyfriend, to terrified victim, the viewer is rooting for him throughout as each horrifying twist is revealed.

Get Out is sharp, innovative and meaningful, it left me exhilarated and desperate to tell all my friends to go and see it.

Recently being titled the highest-grossing film ever for a feature debut of a writer/director of an original screenplay Jordan Peele truly deserves applause he is getting for this masterpiece.

 

Road works causing chaos in Greater Manchester – audio

After the closure of Princess Street on April 4 one of the main bus routes and busiest roads in the city, for a total of nine months we can expect city centre commuting to become increasingly difficult.

Many people who use public transport have already found the huge number of road works in the city a nightmare, adding up to an hour on journey times during rush hour. Drivers who work in the city centre are facing up to twenty-four different roadworks on their way to work.

Metrolink route updates are causing twenty different road work disruptions in Greater Manchester ranging from platforms in Didsbury to tram tracks in Bury.

The MEN recently reported that Greater Manchester is now the second most congested area in the country after London – with commuters spending on average 52 hours each year stuck in traffic. The figure is equivalent to six working days.

Grow Manchester suggest commuters should plan their journeys around the road works and use ring roads rather than driving straight through the city centre. oxford-road-is-changing

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Travel for Greater Manchester committee, told the MEN: “Road works are crucial when you consider that around a quarter of a million journeys are made into and through the city centre every day and the number of people who visit Manchester is growing.

We are working to make sure the transport network supports this growth, continuing to make Manchester a sustainable, vibrant and prosperous city.”

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I asked a number of commuters who travel by variety of methods in the city; whether it be public transport, foot or car how do the roadworks affect them?

 

 

 

 

Safety fears as cycle deaths on Manchester roads reach a shocking new high – video

Anyone familiar with Manchester’s roads will know that hundreds of cyclists use them everyday.

However, are Manchester’s roads really safe for cyclists?

Conventional transport systems are designed to enhance capacity and mobility, not safety. Many believe that Greater Manchester’s road network should be designed around people, not vehicles.

Last year, 54 people were involved in fatal accidents in the city.

There have been a number of high profile cycling fatalities. Such as the case of Jaye Bloomfield, she was killed by a driver on a pedestrian crossing on the Mancunian Way. Artur Piotr Ruszel, 45, was also killed near the city centre on Upper Brook Street following a collision during rush hour on January 13 2015. ‘Ghost bikes'(white painted memorial bikes) have been installed at both of the places these tragic deaths occurred.

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The ghost bike dedicated to Jaye Bloomfield.

Joshua Jarvis was another fatality: a popular 21-year-old student who tragically collided with a cement mixer vehicle in Fallowfield and Charles Birmingham, 55, who crashed into a skip lorry. Since these incidents many have appealed for restrictions on HGVs on narrow roads.

Altogether in the city there is 357 miles of bike routes in total but only 84 miles of this is traffic free. Manchester city council is now working to install Dutch style cycle paths built into the pavements, although some cyclists remain sceptical.

 

Manchester junior doctors strike for 48 hours over contract changes

Junior doctors went on strike for 48 hours due to changes to their contracts only providing emergency care, beginning at 8am on Wednesday, April 6.

All hospitals in Manchester had junior doctors which took strike action, resulting in hundreds taking to the streets of the city to protest.

I caught the protestors as they arrived in Piccadilly Gardens around midday.

 

 

 

 

 

Seven things to look forward to in Manchester this summer

Worried about how to keep yourself entertained this summer? Whether you’re off on holiday or not, Manchester has so many upcoming events and things to do for people of all ages!

Everyone loves a water fight, and what better way to kick summer off than attending the gigantic water fight being held at Platt Fields Park in Rusholme on Saturday May 28. The first water balloon will be thrown at 1pm at the free event and a day of wet and wild fun will launch. Hosted by events app Orca, originally based in Leeds but now broadening their horizons to Manchester the event is based on the success of The World’s Largest Water Balloon Fight which was held at the University of Kentucky in 2011. Expect adults and children alike to pick up their water guns and fight it out.

Parklife festival has been at the forefront of Manchester’s music scene since its first year in 2010. This year bigger and better than ever the weekender on the 11th and 12th of June held at Heaton Park has a star line up including The Chemical Brothers, Major Lazer, Diplo, Jess Glynne and Years&Years. Weekend tickets priced at £95.00 are selling out fast, and day tickets cost £54.50.

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Parklife main stage in 2015

Manchester Day 2016: This years annual Manchester Day is on Sunday June 19. The event based in the city centre, but all over the city too aims to celebrate everything great about the city, whilst bringing communities together. Last year’s event was a massive success and 70,000 people came together to relish in everything Mancunian. This year there will be a parade through the heart of the city; down Market Street of course, street performers, dancers and singers will take over Piccadilly Gardens, decorations will be as far as the eye can see and there will be ample chances to sample some of Manchester’s best food and drink. This year’s theme is Eureka! celebrating Manchester’s status as the European City of Science.

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A little taster of what to expect from Manchester Day

The National Trusts Dunham Massey park based near Altrincham is a garden for all seasons and all ages, a breath of fresh air outside of the city lifestyle of Manchester, Dunham Massey is a green oasis.  A herd of deer wander amongst the ancient trees of the deer park. The park is also home to the fully restored 400 year old working sawmill powered by a water wheel. There is a quaint cafe, gift shop, stables, and an ice cream parlour. Throughout the last week of July Dunham Massey is hosting Picnic Week, with events taking place such as Victorian Pastimes on Monday July 25, a day of traditional Victorian games and entertainment, Picnic Patchwork on Wednesday July 27, an opportunity to decorate a piece of a giant patchwork picnic blanket and munch on picnic food to your hearts content, and last but by no means least, The Great Victorian Bake Off on Thursday July 28, a step back in time to Dunham Massey back in the day, where Victorian sweet treats will be made, demonstrated and sampled.

Manchester Pride weekend! Celebrating and campaigning for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, there will be The Big Weekend Manchester Pride’s flagship event taking place in Manchester’s world-famous Disneyland, the Gay Village, across August Bank Holiday Weekend – August 26 – 29. The Big Weekend alone will see performances from Fleur East, Katy B, Will Young and Ben Pearce. During the 72 hour extravaganza there will also be a ‘Once Upon A Time’ themed parade with beautiful floats from many different organisations. There will also be a vigil held on August 28 to commemorate and remember the lives lost to HIV, those affected by the disease and Manchester Prides commitment to challenge the stigma attached to the virus. Last year 43,000 people attended Pride, and £163,000 was raised for charity across 32 events, and just to confirm every penny donated across the weekend will go straight to LGBT causes.

 

Manchester Food and Drink Festival has been running for 19 years and this year is taking place from September 29 to October 10. Showing there is more to Manchester than an impressive number of Nando’s the event takes over much of the city and surrounding parts of Greater Manchester showing off the best from burgers to beverages. Although, the centre of the action will be at Albert Square. Over the years the festival has drawn in names as diverse as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Bill Wyman and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Last year the festival served over 7000 gin and tonics, and 90,000 people are expected to attend this time round, Manchester boasts one of the most extensive food scenes in Europe so if you’re looking for a spectacular, fun and cheap day out the food and drink festival will suit you to a tee.

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Manchester based dessert company Ice Stone Gelato Oxford Road

The Independent Manchester Beer Convention is being held this year from October 9 to October 12, tickets are expected to go on sale soon for the annual event stationed at Victoria Baths in Victoria Park. Expect a wonderland for the avid beer drinker, with hundreds of different craft beers on offer to be tried and tasted. Described as a ‘world class showcase for the best breweries from the UK and beyond’ this is the fourth year of the convention which is growing, expanding and getting busier each year. With pop up food stalls too this is definitely a date for the diary, prepare for the session.

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IMBC – photo by Jody Hartley

Mean Girls is in my feminist DNA: Girl Gang Manchester Mean Girls event review – audio

 

Girl Gang Manchester is a group of female artists, creatives and forward-thinkers who are aiming to put the fun in being female.

Unknown-1On their mission they produced everything a girl could want; a Mean Girls themed night, which tied into Manchester’s annual Wonder Woman week, and International Woman’s Day.

UnknownTheir philosophy is the pitome of sisterhood. Founded in April 2015 in Sheffield the organisation powered by Pull Your Finger Out Productions the brain child of Megan Marie Griffiths and her crew, ran their first Manchester event on Friday 11th of March and Saturday 12th of March at Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoat’s which was was transformed into North Shore’s Spring Fling dance for an immersive screening of the feminist film phenomenon itself, Mean Girls. Priced at £13.00 a ticket although, not the a fiver ticket to Factory the event was well worth the money and better than any night out in a club.

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Girl Gangs manifesto released in January

 

With unique interactive elements at the event such as Mean Girls poster making, make your own scented sugar scrubs and epsom salts, a quirky prom style photo opportunity, a candy cane postbox, the ultimate Mean Girls quiz (which was so hard), a reclaim your shame anti-burn book, a body confidence workshop and a cupcake decorating session where Bake Off style decorating skills were acquired, absolutely every detail had been thought of. The night was fabulous before you even took into account the amount effort which had been put into staging such an empowering event.

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Me and my gal Elli Herbert, thank you for coming to Girl Gang with me.

 

Girl Gang provided a goodie bag upon entry to the event which included a Girl Gang badge which I wore with pride for the remainder of the night, a cracking CD full of girl power anthems, a hand drawn Mean Girls poster, a cute beaded bracelet and the ultimate guide to the event; explaining the who’s who of Girl Gang and what to expect from the jam packed night ahead.

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The goodie bag delights

The stalls at the event were all local female ran businesses ranging from vegan food, to creative goodies and nicknacks, the talent displayed at the event was endless. The highlight of the night for me however, was the actual screening of Mean Girls, initiated by an hilarious almost seemingly on the spot pop up mini production of the film, then the movie got underway and it was just amazing to be sat in a sparkly disco ball decorated room with a couple of hundred girls and guys all reciting the words to the best film of all time. I had a fetch time.

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Spring Fling aka Hope Mill Theatre Ancoats

After the buzz of the event had slightly calmed down I caught up with Megan the producer of the event about her feminist thinking and what’s next for Girl Gang.

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Twitter: GirlGangMcr

Facebook: GirlGangMcr

 

Alton Towers Aftermath.

Vicky Balch, 20, victim of Alton Towers disaster crash on The Smiler has spoke of her ordeal.

Speaking to the Mail Online she described what it felt like to think that “she was going to die.” Miss Balch is still fighting in hospital, battling to save her leg from amputation; the fate fellow front row Smiler passenger Leah Washington has already had to come to terms with. Leah Washington of Barnsley South Yorkshire was on her first date with new boyfriend Joe Pugh who also suffered life changing injuries.

The incident which occurred on Tuesday the 2nd of June left passengers trapped on the ride for more than four and a half painstaking hours. The Smiler carriage was at full capacity at the time of the crash carrying a total of 16 thrill-seekers.

Miss Balch felt certain in the aftermath of the incident that she would die. Upon speaking to the BBC she detailed her “excruciating pain” after the collision of the two carriages buried the rides bars forcefully into her knees.

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Ride victim Vicky Balch from Lancashire.

She said: “It felt like slow motion, we banged into the car in front. I felt the bars go into my knees; we moved backwards and the car went into us again”

“I passed out, I was awoken by Dan shouting my name, everyone was screaming. I looked down and I could see blood all over”.

Vicky from Lancashire added: “I thought it was never going to end. I just wanted to die.”

Vicky’s long term boyfriend Daniel Thorpe, 27 a hotel assistant-manager from Buxton North Derbyshire suffered injuries of a collapsed lung and a fractured leg. He was the first crash victim to leave hospital on Monday the 15th of June.

The victims were horrifyingly suspended 25ft above ground, dangling above crowds of traumatised onlookers, most who witnessed and heard the deafening bang when the carriage carrying park visitors collided with a stationary carriage.

Numerous paramedics from air ambulances and ambulance vehicles along with Alton Towers’ own medical staff battled to help the injured as fire fighters built a hydraulic platform to reach them.

After reaching the group, front row passengers were rushed to hospital where Miss Balch underwent surgery immediately for significant leg damage – amputation has still not been ruled out.

Recently it has been revealed how Miss Washington’s Father realised his daughter was on the horror ride when he recognised her and her boyfriend on television coverage of the aftermath.

“Leah’s Father was aware for many hours that his young daughter was on the ride” said Mr Paxton, the head of the personal injury department at Stewarts Law. Leah’s boyfriend remains in hospital with two broken knees and extensive hand injuries.

Chanda Singh, from the West Midlands, a passenger on the second row of the ride, has also been operated on, after later suffering internal bleeding from the force and whiplash of the ride. She has a damaged liver and has suffered blood clots.

Stewarts Law representing the injured is expecting to get them deserved millions of pounds pay outs. The Alton Towers X-Sector, the home of The Smiler has been closed to the public since the incident, with the park currently being described by visitors as a “ghost town.”