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The Lone Ranger

the_lone_rangerThe Lone Ranger has not had great reviews so far since its release in America, so when I went to see the premiere on Tuesday I was pleasantly surprised.

Corruption and greed are the foundations of a good film and The Lone Ranger will not disappoint, keeping the audience on the edge of their seat while also making them laughing out loud. Continue reading

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Film Review: Monsters University 3D

File:Monsters university logo.jpg

Monsters University is a film full of humour, surprises and action that will entertain both adults and children alike. The prequel to Monsters Inc., the film follows the story of how Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) decides to become a scarer and how he forms an unlikely friendship with James P. Sullivan (John Goodman).

Another fantastic 3D film from Disney Pixar, it adds to the original movie as you begin to understand more about the characters from Monsters Inc., like why Randall (Steve Buscemi) has such a chip on his shoulder. You are also introduced to a whole host of new monsters, such as the cute Scott ‘Squishy’ Squibbles (Peter Sohn) and the funny acrobatic Art (Charlie Day).

Continue reading

Longing For A Return To Liverpool

Liverpool, home of The Beatles, Cilla Black and Craig Charles (aka Dave Lister from Red Dwarf or Lloyd in Coronation Street) is renowned in Ireland as the place for shopping, a forty minute flight to the vibrant and lively city with great nightlife, lovely accent and, most importantly, wallet friendly.

Liverpool was our last get together, our last girlie holiday (for a while at least) before one of the girls jetted off to her new life in Canada. It will always hold fond memories in that respect but don’t be fooled, Liverpool has more to offer than sentimental value. A few of the girls had been to Liverpool before but this was my first time and definitely not my last. Continue reading

A Fancy Alternative To The Traditional ‘Hand Me Downs’

yummy-mummy-1The Yummy Mummy Market started in late 2010 and since then has been moving around the country allowing parents sell their new or nearly new baby clothes, maternity wear and baby and toddler essentials. The market is a great way to get up close and properly inspect pre-owned items, a lot easier and safer than selling items over the internet. Continue reading

2013 : The Year of the Festival

Reading Festival 2011This year you need to replace your usual two week sun holiday with a load of weekend camping trips because this summer is the summer of festivals. Last year there was no Oxygen or Slane but its all happening and then some this summer. With upcoming  festival headliners being frequently announced in the press its time to start being festival aware. So before you go and buy your funky wellies and brightly coloured tents, take a look at the low down of festival fun happening around Ireland this summer. You’ll need to decide which ones to hit and which ones to miss. Big decisions will arise when you have to choose between Indiependence, Castlepalooza and Oxygen  as they all fall on the same weekend – but fear not because no matter which one you pick you are almost certainly guaranteed a weekend to remember (or not…) Don’t forget though it’s all about the music! Continue reading

Monsters, Inc. 3D

monsters3dEleven years after it was first released Monsters, Inc. is back on our screens and this time it’s in 3D.

All the monsters are back, top scarer Sulley (voiced by John Goodman whose voice you might recognise from the beach master in Happy Feet 2 or as that of the voice of the infamous Dan Connor from the hit American show Rosanne), Sulley’s hilarious side kick Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and of course the cutest heartbreaker to ever set foot on animation, Boo. Incredibly the cute childlike babble of the irresistible Boo is played by Mary Gibbs who was just five years old when the movie was first released.

The great thing about the re-release of this fantastic movie is that now a whole new generation get to experience the misadventures of all the team at Monsters Corp. and really get to know what is lurking in their wardrobe!

The film is funny and creative and is definitely one to take the children too. For those who have not seen the original, the story follows on the concept of monsters in your closet. The monsters collect the screams from the kids they scare in order to power the energy in the city of Monstropolis (the city where all monsters of varies shapes and sizes live). It follows on to be a story of love and determination, fighting ‘evil’ along the way.

I feel I have to give the 3D glasses a mention because they are fantastic, designed in the turquoise and purple colours of Sulley, two ‘monster hands’ are grasping the sides of the frames.

There may have been a hidden agenda bringing back Monsters, Inc. to our screens with a prequel Monster University being released this coming June 21st, but you certainly won’t hear me complaining as it is a movie that you appreciate the more times you watch it.

Directed by: Peter Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich

Written by: Peter Docter and Jill Culton

Monsters, Inc. will be in Irish cinemas on Friday 18th January 

Mary Byrne

The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Markets

There is about four weeks to go until the big day and the run up to Christmas is definitely the best time of the year. Streets markets any time of the year can offer unique and creative products but street markets at Christmas have that added ingredient of magic. If you have never been to a market Christmas time is definitely a great way to start. Christmas lights adorn picturesque wooden huts, with Christmas performances and beautiful Christmas music filling the sky.  The lights, the music and the sheer general ‘Christmassy’ creates a feeling of such extreme excitement for the countdown to Christmas.

Stroll up and down the stalls, mulled wine in one hand to keep the chill at bay and have a gander at all the incredible products on sale. Christmas markets are held all over the world from November to December and each offer a unique experience that only that city can offer.

I have compiled a list of Christmas markets that will take you all over the world from Galway to Prague to Dubai each offering an incredible and unforgettable experience.

Ireland

Galway Continental Christmas Market in Eyre Square is open from Friday 23rd November to Saturday 22nd December. Santa’s Grotto will be there along with lantern making and a Christmas Youth Pageant to name a few of the activities that Galway offer.

Christmas Markets at the Milk Market Limerick in Cornmarket Row runs from the 30th November to 24th December  (Friday to Sunday until 13th December and then every day from 13th December) will contain Christmas choirs, food and craft stalls.

Kilkenny Christmas Market along the Parade Kilkenny runs on certain days from 1st December to the 23rd December 10am – 6pm. There will be carol singers, wooden log cabins, daily kid’s storytelling, and traders selling fantastic Christmas gifts.

Ballina Christmas Market in Mayo runs during the weekend of the 8th and 9th December and 15th and 16th December. Two weekends of Christmas festivities, including the arrival of Santa, craft and food stalls and a Christmas carol services.

Gorey Christmas Market, Wexford will be held on the 4th December on the Main Street with craft and food stalls a carol service, mulled wine and of course Santa!

Waterford Winterval Christmas Market on George’s Street will be starting 30th November and running each weekend until 23rd December with traditional Christmas food and craft stalls.

Docklands Christmas Market Dublin will be held from the 7th December until 23rd December and showcases the magic of Christmas through the Victorian fairground rides, gourmet food stalls and arts and craft stalls. Santa will be turning on the lights on the 7th December

Europe

Cologne Christmas Market, Germany, is set on the backdrop of the Cologne Cathedral and will make for a picturesque weekend trip. Cologne has six markets all eluding a different sense of Christmas, from the 26th November until the 23rd December. All six markets have their own unique spirit of Christmas from the Christmas Market at Cologne Cathedral, “Home of the gnomes” Christmas Market, and the Fairytale Christmas market, the Christmas market at Stadtgarten, the new maritime Christmas Market and the Angels Market. Each Market holds Christmas performances and offers you traditional arts and craft, and delicious food and drink stalls.  Lufthansa fly to Cologne (Friday to Sunday) from €205.02

Krakow Christmas Market, Poland runs for a much longer period than the Irish Christmas markets from the 24th November to 6th January. The Krakow Christmas market will celebrate the Christmas spirit with beautiful wooden stalls selling crafts and jewellery. Nothing could be more beautiful than picking up a traditional Polish craft as you walk through white winter snow winding your way past lit up wooden stalls. Ryanair fly to Krakow Friday to Sunday from €92.00 (approximately), Aer Lingus fly to Krakow from €462.00 (approx. Friday to Sunday flight)

Outside Europe

If walking knee deep in snow doesn’t appeal to you why not skip the snow and try a Christmas Market in style. Dubai doesn’t do things by half measures and the Dubai Christmas Festival certainly showcases this. Running for three days 6th, 7th and 8th December the Dubai Christmas Festival is the ultimate Christmas festival and includes celebrity chefs, a music stage, Winter Wonderland which has bouncy castles and Christmas arts and crafts, Christmas Market and of course the man himself Santa. Etihad fly to Dubai from approx. €560.00 (flying out on a Wednesday and returning on a Monday)

Mary Byrne

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