Monday, 25 May 2015

Two new Macbeth clips released

Two new clips have been released for the new adaptation of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. With Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the lead roles, this is sure to be an exciting take on the classic story. The film also stars also stars Paddy Considine and David Thewlis and is directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown).

Macbeth is set for UK cinema release on 2nd October 2015.

Here are the clips:

Gluten-free vs dairy-free: Marble Limoncello Cupcakes

I'm coming up to a year now since I gave up eating gluten and cow's milk (turns out, they were not my friend!) and it's taken me that long to - I think - finally master the gluten- and dairy-free cupcake.

When I still ate wheat and milk, I made a mean limoncello cupcake. It wasn't all that surprising then that I decided to try and figure out how to make a gluten- and dairy-free alternative when I changed my diet.

But it wasn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I looked up recipes and they were all so complicated! No more just throwing things into a bowl, mixing it up and VOILA!

The first thing I discovered - even after finding a gluten-free flour that had all these fancy extras built in - was that gluten-free food is so much drier than gluten-full food. You have to counteract it with a sizeable dash of milk (which, as I no longer used it, had to be almond milk). These cupcakes also require a lot more elbow grease. They had weird little bubbles in them if I didn't whisk the pre-flour mixture into submission.

Then, just when I thought  I had cracked it, I found one more ingredient that really completed the cupcake: Cacao. Chocolate in its purest form and entirely free of dairy.

So, after all this trial and error, here's my recipe for my gluten- and dairy-free marble limoncello cupcakes.


150g Doves Farm Gluten-free White self-raising flour blend
150g dairy-free margarine
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
(Approx) 3 tablespoons of almond milk (or a non-dairy alternative if you have a nut allergy!)
A dash of vanilla essence (a teaspoon should be enough)
A sprinkling of Cacao powder

For the decoration:
Icing sugar

1. Mix the margarine and sugar together with a wooden spoon.
2. Whisk the eggs then add slowly to the batter, mixing as you go.
3. Add a dash of vanilla essence and the milk and mix in.
4. Whisk this all together for a minute to make sure that all lumps have gone.
5. Add the flour and fold it in slowly with a metal spoon.
6. Spoon a little of the mixture into cupcake cases, leaving room for more to be added.
7. With the remaining mixture, sprinkle on the Cacao powder - be careful not to add too much as the mixture then becomes too thick. You want just enough to make it turn light brown.
8. Add another dollop of this batter to the cupcakes, causing the marble effect.
9. Bake in the oven at Gas Mark 6 for around 15 minutes, checking to make sure they are not burnt. Do not open the oven before the fifteen minute mark as they are likely to sink!
10. When they are ready, take them out and place them on a plate or chopping board to cool.
11. When they have cooled, stab each of them in the middle with a fork and then, using a spoon, dribble on a little of the limoncello, letting it seep through into the sponge.
12. Add icing. (If you want to make these really boozy then use limoncello, not water, to make up the icing too!)
13. EAT!

So there you have it: a bit of elbow grease, a touch of chocolate and a hint of alcoholic lemons and you have yourself a delicious gluten- and dairy-free cupcake!

Do let me know if you give them a try!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

New trailers for Minions, The Intern and She's Funny That Way

As the summer months start to get closer, there are lots of trailers landing to get film fans excited for what we have coming up at cinemas.

Here are three that have just recently arrived:

1. Minions
There might just be a BANANA! shortage soon...!

2. The Intern
If you like your films a little less for the children in your life (or the inner child in yourself!) then there's also a new trailer for The Internship, which stars Robert De Niro (as the intern!) and Anne Hathaway.

3. She's Funny That Way
Alternatively, if you want something adult but a little bit silly then this trailer is the one for you.

Which are you looking forward to out of these three?

Friday, 28 November 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - the verdict


Unsurprisingly, I had a fair amount to say about the latest Hunger Games film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. So much so that it was spread over a few sites. So here's my round-up.

For a comparison between the book (well the first half anyway) and the film, check out my book vs film review at The Hollywood News.

For my highlights from the film, check out '6 things to love about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1' at Metro.

If - like me - you think Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is worthy of so much more than a surfboard (not that there's anything wrong with surfboards!), check out 'Jennifer Lawrence deserves an Oscar for Katniss but why doesn’t The Hunger Games win big awards?'

What did you think of the film?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Jennifer Lawrence makes surprise appearance at Serena LFF screening

Film fans were stunned and delighted last night when Jennifer Lawrence, multi-award-winning star of The Hunger Games, X-Men: Days of Future Past and American Hustle, made a surprise appearance ahead of the London Film Festival screening of her new film, Serena, along with the film's director Susanne Bier.

The film is a relatively small part of the festival but with the two leads played by Lawrence and her Silver Linings Playbook co-star, Bradley Cooper, it was bound to generate plenty of interest – though clearly few had expected either of the stars to make an appearance for the film’s premiere.

The room erupted in rapturous applause as Lawrence was introduced and, after an impressive build-up about the 'huge' surprise, the star joked that if the surprise was actually popcorn and not her then she was leaving.

The audience were almost too in awe to laugh, though Lawrence was undeterred and continued in much the same tongue-in-cheek manner. When Bier said to the audience that she hoped people enjoyed the film, Lawrence quipped 'if you don't [like it] just don't tweet about it'.

Looking elegant and striking in a simple black dress jacket and heels, the actress was able to keep the jokes at bay just long enough to thank the audience for supporting Serena, a film that has been a long time coming. 'Thank you guys so much for being here,’ she said. ‘I hope you enjoy it.'

And then she was gone, her flight back to LA waiting for her.

After Lawrence's fleeting introduction the audience seemed far too excited to settle into the film straight away but as the lights went down the whole room seemed to share a collective sigh.

Any Tweets or status updates would have to wait until after the film.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Doctor Who: The Re-imagining - fan-fiction script

When Matt Smith announced he was leaving Doctor Who, a feature I had written which asked the question ‘Is it time for a female Doctor Who?’ went viral – perhaps unsurprisingly. Many were appalled at the mere suggestion and I actually managed to get a second feature written based solely on the vitriolic comments the first article sparked.

Yet throughout all of this hatred, one pairing stuck in my mind. As I contemplated which actress (or actor – yes I was thinking of both!) might work really well as the new Doctor, Olivia Colman popped into my head and just wouldn’t leave.

Having seen her in Tyrannosaur I knew she could do drama; she could break your heart. And everyone knew already just how funny she was from her earlier TV work and films like Hot Fuzz. She seemed the perfect choice.

A female Doctor required a male companion in my mind too and it occurred to me that the loveable Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley to Harry Potter fans) might just be brilliant. He could be endearing, angry, feisty, stroppy - all the great marks of an interesting companion.

The pairing stuck with me, even after Peter Capaldi was announced as the replacement.

And so, I give you Doctor Who: The Re-imagining, a fun little script I wrote in which the Doctor (Olivia Colman) and her new assistant (Rupert Grint) go on their first adventure. I hope you like it!

Please take it in the context it was meant – a laugh!

Safe travels, Whovians xxx