Fantastic Beasts: A Not-So-Fantastic Film

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald was so confusing.

I have been a Harry Potter fan for most of my life—seriously, I started reading it when none of my friends even knew how to read yet—but I couldn’t have cared less about the first Fantastic Beasts movie. I was therefore very surprised to have enjoyed The Crimes Of Grindelwald… until I went home, actually thought about the movie, and realised it wasn’t that great.

JK Rowling seems to be doing everything she can to keep getting money from the Harry Potter franchise, while simultaneously making all of its loyal fans hate it. Unfortunately for her, it’s a lose-lose situation because the latest movie has been reported as the worst performing Harry Potter movie to date.

It’s sad, because the movie had so much potential, but so many random characters were introduced, too many little details were thrown into the movie, and nothing was explained.

One thing I loved about it (apart from Ezra Miller) was how much it referenced the original series–it made me feel at home.

But even then, they could have at least checked that their little references made sense, and not mentioned people who could not have possibly been there at the time… no spoilers, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know who I’m talking about.

Also, I was waiting for gay icon Dumbledore to shine. In all fairness, there was one scene where someone who already knows he’s gay may see it on screen, but nothing else. If he was so in love with Grindelwald, why not make it a bit more obvious?

I understand more movies will be coming out, which I’m hoping means everything will be explained. But why make such a confusing movie to begin with? Why add so many random things that make no sense? How did they find an actor to play young Newt who looks so much like Eddie Redmayne? And why is Nagini a character? I personally feel like the only use she had was to make me fall in love with the actress.

All in all, I don’t actually think it was as bad as I’m making it seem. I’m just frustrated by all the questions it left me with. If you’ve seen the movie, what did you think? Leave a comment and we can discuss.

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Supporting Survivors: #ThisIsNotConsent

Last week in Ireland, a thong used as evidence in a rape case started a social media movement against victim blaming.

In response to this case, the Irish Twitter account “I Believe Her”, a page created in March 2018 in support of survivors of sexual violence in Ireland, started a social media movement.

To support the 17-year-old girl, they asked their followers to post a picture of their thongs (or other underwear) coupled with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent.

The hashtag is taking over Instagram and Twitter. Women from all over the world are posting photos of their underwear to protest what happened in the trial. Meanwhile, real life protests are happening all over Ireland. Let’s just hope this changes something.

A man in Ireland got away with rape just because the girl was wearing a lace thong. Apparently, we live in a world where wearing nice underwear means you’re “asking for it”.

Kingston students, please show your support for #ThisIsNotConsent. Post your photos under the hashtag on Twitter and tag us at @LoudlyMagazine so we can share it. While it might just be underwear, it can ultimately change someone’s life. We cannot stay silent.

 

Christmas in Kingston: Fun Events on a Budget

It’s almost that special time of the year! Christmas season is for magic, celebrations, gifts and festive events. Here’s a list of fun and affordable activities around Kingston University to get you in the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.

  1. Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas Market

Kingston’s Christmas Lights Switch On event is coming up this Thursday (15 November). The lights will be turning on at 6pm in Clarence Street, but you can enjoy live music and entertainment all around town throughout the day. The Christmas market will also open on the same day, so make sure to check that out–and don’t forget to visit Frangos to get a free portion of churros with any platter purchased.

  1. Frozen sing-along at Rose Theatre

Are you a Disney fan? Head to Rose Theatre on 17 December to watch Frozen in their main auditorium and sing along to all the songs! The event is only £8 and it’s probably aimed at kids, but aren’t students basically kids anyway?

The price of your ticket will help raise funds to support the Rose Theatre’s programme of drama, cultural and learning opportunities. This means you’ll get to sing along to a fun Disney film and do charity at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

  1. University Christmas Carol Service

Looking for a more traditional event? A free Christian service will be happening at St. John the Evangelist Church on 5 December from 5:30pm. The service will include Bible readings, as well as music and free refreshments at the end of it, and will be open to everyone – Christian or not. This is actually a Kingston Uni event too, so you may spot some familiar faces there.

  1. Christmas at Kew

Although this event isn’t in Kingston, it’s easily accessible to students and definitely worth the short journey. Christmas at Kew will be happening at Kew Gardens from Thursday, 22 November to Saturday, 5 January 2019, and it’s bound to be a truly magical experience. For £16.50 (off-peak price) you can enjoy Christmas lights, 300 origami boats on a lake, and so much more!

Will you be attending any of these events, or are you going to any other fun Christmas events happening around Kingston? Let us know in the comments and share the festive fun!

 

Social Media for Newborns: Is The ACE Family Going Too Far?

Parents love to post photos of their babies on social media. But is it normal to make an Instagram account for a newborn—and have it garner 1.3 million followers in three weeks?

The ACE Family’s new baby was born three weeks ago. If you aren’t familiar with the ACE Family, the family consists of Austin McBroom, Catherine Paiz, their daughter Elle, and their three-week-old baby Alaïa.

They have 13 million subscribers on their YouTube channel, on which they post incredibly long vlogs about their life as a family.

All of this sounds adorable… but isn’t it a little messed up?

Austin and Catherine started their channel two years ago, where they initially posted prank and challenge videos—and once their daughter Elle was born in May 2016, she also became a feature in their videos.

Let’s be clear: vlogging your life is not inherently a problem. Austin and Catherine both had a strong social media presence before they started making videos, so it’s no wonder that people are interested in their lives.

The problem is that as soon as their videos featuring Elle got more views, they started making her do things—seemingly, just for the vlogs.

Elle is now two years old. She has her own Instagram account with 4.3 million followers, and her own vlogging camera. She knows when she is being filmed, she can work a camera—and although she cannot fully speak, she already tries to say Austin’s introduction to The ACE Family’s vlogs with him.

Because of the success that Elle has brought to her family, Austin and Catherine decided to go one step further when their daughter Alaïa was born in October 2018. They not only include the newborn in their vlogs, but they filmed her birth and made her an Instagram account only two weeks after she was born. The account already has 1.3 million followers.

We’ve all seen the effects of being famous too young—just take a look at Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Justin Bieber, and all the other ‘troubled’ celebrities who grew up in the spotlight.

Granted, being in movies or having hit singles seems like a much bigger deal than being in YouTube videos, but The ACE Family’s channel is growing so quickly that they are being seen by millions of people each week.

From social media, Austin and Catherine seem like good, loving parents. Even though their channel has been bringing them a lot of money (Alaïa is not even a month old and she is already wearing Fendi), they often mention that they will never let money change who they are.

It’s clear that the most important thing for them is family, which is probably why they attract such a loyal fanbase—who they refer to as their “family members”. However, they are clearly using their non-consenting children for fame and money.

From the videos they have been posting, Elle seems to be loving the attention. But, will she feel the same way when she grows up?

Due to their fame, she will probably not be able to attend a normal school. Furthermore people on the Internet can be incredibly mean—who knows what kind of comparisons they will make between Elle and Alaïa, and how that will affect their relationship as they grow up?

We can make assumptions on how this attention and fame will affect Elle and Alaïa from history. Mara Wilson, known for her roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda, wrote an article on why most child stars go crazy.

In it, she explained that although she chose to act when she was little, she knew many child actors who didn’t have that choice, and that it made them resent their parents. She also talked about how hard it is to get used to love and attention and then lose it.

How will Elle and Alaïa feel when the Internet finds a new cute child to obsess over? Or when her family’s channel stops growing? Their parents will be fine, but the girls will not know anything about life outside their little YouTube bubble.

Family YouTube channels are increasingly popular, but it has to be done right. Vlogs are fine (as long as they are not as staged, as some of The ACE Family’s videos seem to be), but making Instagram accounts and posting on behalf of a toddler and a newborn seems to be taking it too far.

Do you think that The ACE Family’s content is harmless, or lowkey messed up? Let us know in the comments.

Energy Doesn’t Die: Remembering Lil Peep, One Year Later

Lil Peep’s posthumous album Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 comes out 9 November, nearly a year after his death. It will contain eleven brand new tracks, three of which have already been released, including ‘Life is Beautiful’, which came out last night. Here’s why you should care about the late rock star.

The American rapper, born Gustav Åhr, died on 15 November 2017 from an accidental drug overdose. He had just turned 21 and was about to finish his biggest US tour yet. After his death, all of his official music videos gained millions of views overnight, and his music entered the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.

Suddenly, everybody was crazy for Peep.

An official memorial was held for him in Long Beach, New York. At the same time, his face was projected onto the House of Commons in London. Celebrities that he looked up to, such as Pete Wentz, Good Charlotte and Post Malone, paid their respect in the form of tweets, song covers, and even tattoos.

What was special about Peep was that he was different in every way, and did not try to fit in any box. His music was unique, he was covered in terrible tattoos, he walked in Paris Fashion Week like it was nothing, and even casually came out with a tweet saying, “Yes I’m bisexual,” followed by one saying, “Who wants a kiss.”

He moved to London because he felt like it and bought ugly furniture because he liked that it was ugly. He was idolised by thousands of kids in Russia before ever even visiting the country—oh, and how many other hip hop music videos include trans women of colour?

His music was important because he talked about his mental health and drug problems so openly, which made fans who were going through similar things really relate to him. And that’s what Peep was: an incredibly relatable artist.

He made mistakes, had bad hair days, threw up on stage, loved tweeting things such as “let’s date my g” to Justin Bieber, and so on. He was a normal kid.

Although he was always referred to as a SoundCloud rapper or an emo rapper, neither of those terms can define him. Yes, all of his music before Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1 was released on SoundCloud, made up of hip hop beats and lyrics mixed with samples taken from emo bands such as Radiohead, Brand New, and Pierce The Veil—but he was more than that.

However, there is no point in defining Lil Peep, because he was just… Lil Peep. And although it’s already almost been a year since his death, his team is doing an incredible job at keeping his legacy alive.

While you wait for Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 to be released tomorrow, check out the first part of the project on Spotify or Apple Music (or any other platform), and Peep’s previous mixtapes and EPs on SoundCloud.

Restaurant Review: Unity Diner, Shoreditch’s vegan hotspot

London has seen hundreds of vegan restaurants and cafés pop up as veganism gained popularity over recent years, but Shoreditch’s latest addition is a special one − a completely non-profit restaurant.

I went down to Unity Diner to see if it was worth the hype, and let me tell you: it truly was.

Unity Diner, opened by vegan activist Ed Winters (known online as Earthling Ed), donates all the profits made from their delicious food to Winters’ animal rights organisation Surge.

The restaurant has a blue exterior, which really stands out next to Hoxton Market’s dull buildings. Inside, it looks quaint and simple, with vegan art on the wall–the most noticeable one being a painting of several animals on a blue background, with a neon sign saying “the future is VEGAN”. I already know you’re going to see that all over Instagram.

The food was delicious too. I ordered the Surge Burger (and replaced the ranch mayo with hot buffalo sauce because no meal is a real meal without hot sauce), with a side of onion rings.

I nearly cried when I first tasted my food.

The burger was amazing. It didn’t fall apart at any time, as most vegan burgers do, and the flavours worked really well together. I was also surprised to be able to taste every single ingredient, which I loved. It was genuinely the best vegan burger I have ever had.

The onion rings were perfect, and also surprisingly massive. Despite being typically unhealthy dishes, both the onion rings and the Surge Burger tasted like real food.

The meal was affordable, and would have been worth it even if it had been more expensive. The bill included a 12.5% service charge, which goes to their really kind and friendly front of house and kitchen staff.

The work the people at Unity Diner do is incredible. Everything they do is to free animals from oppression and violence, and it’s clear that they are all passionate about it. As explained in a post on the restaurant’s Instagram page, another one of their main aims is to “show the non-vegan public how awesome vegan food is”, and their entire menu is made of mouth-watering vegan versions of popular foods such as chicken wings, mac and cheese, burgers, and more.

There is a lovely feeling of union and belonging in the restaurant, which perfectly explains the choice of name. I recommend it for everyone; vegan or non-vegan.

You can visit Unity Diner for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks any day of the week at 5 Hoxton Market (closest tube station: Old Street).