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Will Sparks Fly? February 23, 2010

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics, Lit.
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Curiously, in the next few months there are not one but two Nicholas Sparks book adaptations on the way and inevitably, everyone’s going to be debating which was better.

The first, Dear John, stars Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum as a war-torn couple, separated by his decision to go fight for his country. Throughout his time abroad as a soldier, they exchange letters, which keep him going through his “increasingly dangerous missions” and blah blah blah while she sits at home and waits for him to return.

The other film is Sparks’ Miley Cyrus vehicle The Last Song. This film has a more chequered past, originally scheduled for release in January, but subsequently postponed until March 31st (at least in the US). The storyline even seems a bit less stimulating – Cyrus plays a mopey teen who goes to live with her dad for the summer, and falls in love with a guy on the beach.

Although Miley’s name attached to anything would normally seem like a safe bet, the film seems a to be skewing a little older than her usual demographic. The problem is, however, the type of people who loved The Notebook are likely to be put off by the presence of Miley Cyrus in the film. It doesn’t help either that Liam Hemsworth is a complete unknown, famous only for his real life attachment to the Hannah Montana star.

Although I’m never one to completely write Miley off, I’m going to wager that Dear John will fare much better at the box office (judging by its ticket sales to date, The Last Song has a lot to live up to), given that it panders almost shamelessly to The Notebook fans.

And if they had come out the same weekend, Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum of course would have had some sort of sabotage mission planned.

“If The Last Song was coming out the same weekend as Dear John, we’d have to collaborate on some sort of sabotage mission,” Seyfried told MTV.

“I’d burn it,” Tatum added. “I’d sabotage it somehow.”

Once they’re better than the god-awful Nights in Rodanthe, I’ll be happy.

Check out the trailers below and let the battle commence.

Dear John (out 16th April in Ireland)

The Last Song (out 30th April in Ireland)

Fairtrade Freebies February 23, 2010

Posted by Paula in Muzak.
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An old manager of mine, in one of the many part-time jobs I’ve had in this lifetime, claimed that reggae music increased customers’ desire to purchase. She piped it out constantly over the shop’s speakers. Since then, I’ve had an aversion to any kind of…shall we say…afro-beats.

Cadbury’s Big Swap Songs album, released as part of their 2010 Fairtrade campaign, is a collection of covers by Ghanian group The Big Ghana Band. And it’s definitely grown on me.

Paolo Nutini collaborated with The Big Ghana Band for the album’s opening song, a reggae’d up version of his new single, A Pencil Full of Lead. I think I like it better than the original. The album also features covers (some dodgy, but most quite good) of Girls Aloud, Goldfrapp and Elbow to name but a few. Big Swap Songs is available for download on the Cadbury’s site. It’s free (and legal…), so why wouldn’t you?