The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire: A Review

The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire

Before I start this review I want everyone to be aware that there are absolutely NO spoilers about the show, it’s mostly my opinion on the meet & greet and general thoughts about the show, there will be no specific details as Dan & Phil specifically told us not to spoil it.

So I don’t know how many people read my ‘Summer in the City’ review from last year but I had a pretty shit time waiting in the Dan and Phil meet & greet queue only to be told to fuck off after three hours essentially (no one was that rude but that’s what it felt like). I was gutted as I figured it was pretty much my only chance at meeting Dan and Phil and I’d missed out. And I’d also had to queue for three hours in the hottest queue ever. BUT ANYWAY, it turned out I was wrong about meeting Dan and Phil because of their announcement of The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire!

Me and my best friend Jess didn’t find out about the tour until 45 minutes after the tickets had gone on sale but after refreshing the page over and over and over again for maybe fifteen to twenty minutes straight we finally managed to get two VIP tickets for the Birmingham show! I think Jess nearly passed out when she finally booked them but it was worth it because we were finally going to meet Dan and Phil.

So we must have had absolutely months to plan for this but nothing could have prepared us for how nervous we were on the day. We’d met All Time Low only a few months beforehand and we had completely messed up that opportunity – Jack Barakat stuck his hand out for us to shake and we gawped at him for a good twenty seconds too long. We were absolutely terrified of making complete asses out of ourselves in front of Dan and Phil too. Anyway, here’s a nifty picture Jess got of when Dan and Phil came in (if you can spot them) – we were hiding far away:

Dan and Phil VIP

They called people up to queue to meet them and me and Jess sat there for a while because we were hella nervous but eventually we got up and joined the back of the queue because we had to do it sooner or later. We got our books out ready, set our phone cameras to selfie mode and then suddenly it was time. We could meet them at the same time if we’d wanted but me and Jess decided to go separately and she’d asked me to go first. So I stood there waiting for the people in front of me to finish and then suddenly BAM it was my turn.

The first thing that hit me was how bloody tall they are – like I knew they’d be taller than me but oh my god I was astonished, they are SO TALL! And Phil was straightaway like “Hi! Let me give you a hug!” and then I hugged Dan as I heard Phil tell me that he liked my t-shirt and Dan said “Yeah I was about to say, it’s awesome.” That actually meant a lot to me because I’d been planning what to wear for like a month and I’d finally settled on my new Donkey Kong t-shirt as the perfect one and it wasn’t in vain! Then Phil went “Right shall we take the picture? No, wait, first we’ll sign your book. We’ll do both things!” And they took my book and signed the page I’d chosen.

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Then Phil asked “Are we taking a selfie with your phone?” And I said “Yes please but can one of you take it because I’m shaking so much” so Phil said “Yeah, Dan’ll take it.” So I gave Dan my phone (Dan has held my phone ahh!) and he took one selfie and I thought ‘on no I’m doing that horrible cross-eyed thing I always do when I wanna look good’ and he said “I’m just gonna take another one” so I had time to try and improve my face (haha). I said thank you, they both said thank you and told me to enjoy the show, and then it was over and I went to pick up my goodie bag.

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I took the goodie bag from one of the staff and waited for Jess to come out and we both agreed they were absolutely lovely. And I mean it – I was so nervous that they’d look at me and wait for me to say something but they were brilliant and obviously knew a lot of fans would be extremely nervous. I wouldn’t have changed a thing that happened, it went perfectly and Dan and Phil were such sweethearts. In the goodie bag there was a bag of popcorn (there wasn’t in mine but I don’t like popcorn anyway), a poster, a flower crown, a ‘platform’ postcard and a book by Jessie Cave. The actual goodie bag was a tote bag that said ‘The Amazing Tour is Not on Fire’ on one side and then ‘I Actually Went Outside to See Dan and Phil on Tour’ on the other side. Me and Jess actually took a really nice flower crowns selfie:

Me + Jess J 6

So we sat down in the room talking about what had happened for a while and then decided to sign the VIP book which was basically a book for Dan & Phil – they got through at least two books at just our event so Dan & Phil have an awful lot of signatures and stuff. We’d already signed it from ourselves but we decided it would be funny to leave the following message:

“DIL. WHY DO YOU NEVER ANSWER THE DOOR? – Eliza Pancakes (Jess drew a stack of pancakes)”

Ah yeah, we think we’re pretty funny.

Anyway, we went off and chilled for a bit and then it was time for the show! We were originally worried because we’d been assigned two seats that were separated by the aisle but luckily when we were taken inside we were put in the correct aisle but relatively random seats. We were on the third row so we had a brilliant view.

As I stated at the top I don’t want to give away any spoilers, mostly because Dan & Phil asked us not to but also because it was so amazing that I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone that’s going to watch it live or going to see the recorded online version. Trust me when I say that you’ll love it and that I can’t wait for the recorded version to come online so that I can watch it whenever I want. I’m so proud of Dan & Phil and they clearly put in a lot of thought, effort and imagination into this truly amazing (no pun intended) show – I don’t know what I was expecting but it was definitely a lot less than what they did. Also, they’re both such obviously huge dorks and I loved it!

So overall, I would recommend looking out for the online version as I don’t know whether the tickets are sold out but if they’re not BUY ONE NOW. Also buy their book ‘The Amazing Book is Not on Fire’ that their tour was promoting. Also if you’re reading this like “Who even are Dan and Phil?” GO AND CHECK OUT AMAZINGPHIL AND DANISNOTONFIRE ON YOUTUBE RIGHT NOW.

And as a final note, thank you so much Dan and Phil for an amazing night, I will remember it forever as one of my favourite nights ever!

EDIT: I’ve had someone ask me and I’ve seen quite a few people wondering what time the show finishes – I saw it at 7.30 and it finished at about 9.10 so it was on for just over an hour and a half with no interval.

Crimson Peak: Review by Holly Bareham

Crimson Peak poster

Before I get into this review can we please remember the wise words from the director himself:

Guillermo del Toro Tweet

Let’s get straight into what the film’s about – After a family tragedy aspiring author Edith leaves her home with a man named Thomas Sharpe, a man she has fallen in love with and who has proposed to her. She goes to live in England with him and his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe. The house is old and crumbling away but soon Edith discovers something even more shocking – it appears to be full of ghosts.

Me and my best friend have been looking forward to this film for ages now (I always seem to count down the days to a scary film…) and we were pumped to finally see it. We love Guillermo del Toro’s work and this film looked brilliant so we had a lot of high hopes.

I know Guillermo del Toro said it wasn’t a horror film but it obviously did have a lot of horror conventions within the film including quite a few jump scares. These worked really well and I for one jumped out of my skin a couple of times. I liked the way the ghosts moved, the way they shuffled and creaked but I don’t think I was a big fan of the way the ghosts were actually shown – I liked the woman she saw in the bathroom but I couldn’t get behind the other ones. However, my friend explained to me why they might’ve been chosen to look like that so I can understand the artistic choices behind it.

Visually the film is absolutely beautiful. All the houses, costume, everything it was just all done so amazingly. However, I’ve got to be honest that I did occasionally get a little bored. The plot overall is good and mostly interesting, especially the ending, but I did feel myself drifting off occasionally. Of course this might not necessarily be the film, I did go to quite a late screening, but it didn’t keep my attention the way that ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘Mama’ did. Visually I think this film surpasses those two but for storyline I would choose Mama.

I’ve decided to leave a fun piece of trivia on my horror reviews so here it goes – Benedict Cumberbatch was originally cast as Thomas Sharpe but had to pull out due to undisclosed reasons. Tom Hiddleston asked for Cumberbatch’s blessing before taking the role as they are good friends in real life. There. I hope you enjoyed that little fun fact.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this film to 1) horror film fans because it is an effectively scary movie but don’t expect to be shitting your pants every ten seconds because that wasn’t the intention of this film and 2) to movie nerds who love cinematography and all that because like I said, visually it is stunning.

Review: Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

So I reviewed ‘The Manifesto on How to be Interesting’ and it was a pretty positive review. I did enjoy that book but I put the book away on my shelf and didn’t particularly think too much about Holly Bourne’s writing afterwards. I had enjoyed the book, I don’t know what happened, I just didn’t keep up with her news the way I do with other authors I enjoyed. Then suddenly every time I went on Twitter I saw someone praising her new book ‘Am I Normal Yet’, including a few authors that I liked. I remembered how I’d enjoyed ‘The Manifesto on How to be Interesting’ and I think that even if I hadn’t originally read it I would’ve still picked this book up because of the massive hype surrounding it. So I bought a copy the day before I went to Spain and took it with me. I was there a week and I’d finished it by day four.

Now bear in mind that I was mostly reading it in snippets too, normally a chapter when my Mom popped back up to the room in the lift and then I’d get in an hour in the evenings but I absolutely sailed through this book. And that is because once I’d picked up this book I just couldn’t put it down.

So for those of you who haven’t read it yet or haven’t seen it on Twitter, ‘Am I Normal Yet’ is about a sixteen year old girl named Evie who just wants to be normal – she’s almost off her meds to control her OCD and now she’s at a new college where no one knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts and now she’s got a list of what’s normal at sixteen with only thing left to tick off: a boyfriend.

Dean Approves

Let’s get into the romance straightaway because if I have any regular readers then they know that I’m sick to death of reading about girls with interesting storylines who only want to talk about their FUCKING boyfriends. Anyway, I don’t want to reveal too much but for anyone who shares a romance hatred like me, trust me when I say that this book is for you. It may not seem like it at first but hang on. You will not be disappointed.

A lot of what made people talk about this on Twitter was that there was finally a young adult book written about people with OCD and it’s a book that we’ve needed for a long time. Society’s attitude to mental illness is improving but is still a long way from perfection. We need books like this for young people to read. People need to be aware of mental illness and we need to realise that our attitude towards it needs to change.

Back to the story itself – Evie is such an interesting character and I loved reading from her point of view. You will get frustrated with her – I’m sure that was Bourne’s intention. But you’ll also route for her and it will hit you hard whenever she’s suffering. I also loved her best friends Amber and Lottie, especially Amber. I couldn’t bring myself to like Jane, not even in the end, but I think that’s more due to personal experience. Tell me what you thought of her!

This is definitely a book that needs to be read, not just because of its important message but because it is genuinely such an interesting and amazing read. I would recommend this book over ‘The Manifesto on How to be Interesting’ (but in all seriousness you should read that too) so please, BUY IT AND READ IT!

The Visit: Review by Holly Bareham

The Visit

When I saw the trailer for this I was really excited. From the trailer it looked different, interesting and best of all, it looked scary! I was actually counting down the days until it came out (and it came out while I was in Spain which bugged me a little) and I finally got round to seeing it last week. I even went to see it a second time on Wednesday.

My friend had seen this film before me and when I asked her if it was scary all she could say was “It’s weird.” I had a vague idea of what she meant by that but this film was the definition of the word weird. I don’t think anything my friend could’ve said prepared me for that film.

If you haven’t seen, ‘The Visit’ is about two children Becca and Tyler who go to stay with their grandparents that they’ve never met before as their mother left home at eighteen and never went back. Becca decides to film the whole thing and turn it into a documentary. Things are going well at first but soon Becca and Tyler sense that something’s not quite right and their Grandma and Grandpa might be hiding something from them.

If I had to sum this word up in three words then those words would be ‘creepy’, ‘weird’ and ‘interesting’. The trailer just looked like it would be scary but when you actually start watching it they combine a lot of comedy elements in with the horror, which although has obviously been done before made it such a unique film because of the way they did it. Ed Oxenbould who portrayed ‘Tyler’ especially did an excellent job and thoroughly amused everyone.

I saw this film three times, once with a friend and then twice more by myself and the reactions to this film from other members of the audience have always been positive when I’ve seen it. Also, slight spoiler, there is an interesting twist that I did not see coming. Don’t believe the trolls on the iMDB page who claim to have guessed it as soon as the film started. Yes, the clues were there, but I still didn’t pick up on them and I doubt many other people did. Also, interesting fact, I read that the director had two cuts either one that was pure horror and one that was pure comedy and in the end he decided to go for a middle ground. I personally think it works really well.

So yes, this is a horror film I would recommend to horror fans and even if you don’t particularly like horror I would still recommend because it has a lot of comedy elements too. Although not my favourite horror film ever, it’s definitely high on the list! So go and watch it!