review

Newcastle Writers Festival, A Review, by Alice by Newcastle Discovered

The fifth annual Newcastle Writers’ Festival gathered an impressive group of great individuals, with over 140 writers from all over Australia and a record-breaking number of 9000 participants.

By Alice Modzelewska

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Ground Floor - Novocastrians Who Brunch by Kian West

Ahhhh Ground Floor coffee. If you see a lot of cyclists at a coffee place you know the coffee is going to be good! Ground floor never disappoints with coffee. I must admit I am a bit of a frequent at Ground floor their coffee and they haven't disappointed yet! Always smooth and nice and strong perfect perk me up, especially if it's with a little sweet something something on the side. Double trouble with two cappuccinos for Dutchy and myself. Our coffee rating 9/10.

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NOVASTREAM - REVIEWS - MAY 2014 by Newcastle Discovered

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REVIEWS

 

MOVIE × DIVERGENT Based on the young adult smash hit book series by Veronica Roth, director Neil Burger sets out to try and replicate the success of a dystopian future corrupt by the government with a lone teenage girl as the only hope to save the world. Within the first few minutes of the movie it is blatantly clear that this is a Hunger Games copy and whilst the books have broken away from that title and gained success in their own right, the movie was unsuccessful in doing so and felt repetitive and cliché. Review by Ellie Stuart

MOVIE × THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN : THE RISE OF ELECTRO The Amazing Spiderman 2 (The Rise Of Electro) packs 3 super villains from the Spidey universe on screen and combines some of the best special effects I have seen in a long time, combined with a funny and heart-warming script and top notch performances from all involved. Review by Alaisdair Dewar

MOVIE × CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth entry and penultimate chapter to Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the ensemble crossover and superhero reunion party The Avengers: Age of Ultron this time next year. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo delivered an exceptional update to Captain America with genuine twists and far-reaching implications for the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe inside a tense political thriller. Review by Mark Halyday

MOVIE × MR PEABODY & SHERMAN Remember the Rocky & Bullwinkle show? Then you will recognise this loveable duo who have been updated for todays audiences and given their very own feature film. I will be honest and say when I heard about this and saw the trailer, I wrote it off as a forgettable kids flick, and then after seeing it I can say that I was completely wrong. P&S is a heartwarming and entertaining flick that is worthy of the DreamWorks stamp of approval. Read the full reviews online at http://www.novastreamovies.com.au

NOVASTREAM_2GAME × BATMAN ARKHAM ORIGINS : BLACKGATE [PS3, XBOX 360] This is one of the most difficult reviews I have had to write. Whilst the Arkham Games do the batman franchise a great deal of justice I don’t think the same can be said for Blackgate, not on console anyway. As I never played the 3Ds or vita versions of the game I can’t comment on how well it crosses over, but in terms of a console game it just doesn’t have the hooks, which as a long time lover of the series, leaves me disappointed. What Blackgate does do well is translate the combat system, it feels exactly like that of a traditional Arkham Game button for button and swing for swing. Our caped crusader certainly handles with every inch of precision that he does in the series other entries and you get that memorable sense of connecting with hard hitting punches and kicks.

NOVASTREAM_1 GAME × LEGO THE HOBBIT [PS4] The Lego Hobbit follows the story of the first two Hobbit Films : An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation Of Smaug. It pretty much sticks strictly to the storyline of the movies and mixes up the action with button mashing action combined with puzzles, lego building challenges and two new elements: buddy up fighting moves and through the game item collection to build bigger pieces. It all combines well to keep the combat feeling fresh, after what seems like a large influx of Lego games over the last few years. Review by Alaisdair Dewar Read the full reviews online at http://www.novastreamgames.com.au

Good Brother - Coffee (by Meg Francis) by Kian West

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My relationship with coffee began as a teenager and like all first relationships it was sickly sweet and far too co-dependent. At first it kept me awake at night but slowly our romance blossomed into a constant and stable affair that never tore me down and was the first thing I wanted to see in the morning...

Article by Meg Francis

...I would describe myself as the average Josephine coffee lover whose preference for soy cappuccinos has led me to begin my quest throughout Newcastle for the best coffee haunts and houses and share my knowledge. This month’s obsession is Good Brother Espresso, snuggled in the only red building on King Street across from the Red Cross Blood Bank, it is the kind of place that you can spend waste a day (in the best possible way). Opened in 2011, the second baby of Chris Johnston and Stephanie Whitehead, Good Brother is the sister of bohemian Suspension (found at the end of Beaumont Street) and a diamond in the rough of the Newcastle CBD. The exposed red brick and aging furniture create vintage vibe and sometimes I like to pretend I’m in Brooklyn/Newtown (I’ve been trying to refrain from using the H word…Okay, it’s a bit hipster). The collection of pallet beach chairs are scattered across the footpath out front perfect for sitting back and letting the sun warm your skin before the amazing coffee warms your soul. Good Brother is all about the homey food, friendly staff and consistently delicious and balanced coffee. Johnston and Whitehead roast and produce their own special blend that is rich, strong and very flavoursome which when made by experienced and knowledgeable hands take your tastebuds to heaven. The menu is simple and fresh with avocado on sourdough, toasties, cakes and pastries that match perfectly with any coffee or tea (the specials are equally mouth watering so BYO bucket).  Boasting is also an absolutely killer special   With it’s own homemade roasted blend (the same as Suspension, obviously), Good Brother is a frontrunner in my quest for the perfect cappuccino. Greeted like an old friend on every visit, it’s Good Brothers’ team of staff that push this espresso house from being good to amazing. Every member of staff is friendly, knowledgeable and chatty  (May I also say they are all very good looking too) which only heightens the experience. So it is unsurprising that no matter what time or day you wander in it hosts a mix and match of students, tourists, working folk and cool Novocastrians. Good Brother’s atmosphere and interior design create an intimate and cosy setting (the perfect venue for a first date…) which when combined with the food and beverage menu will not only satisfy your tastebuds but fulfil your coffee lust. Good Brother is a Newcastle’s best-kept secret and a absolute must in any coffee pilgrimage…The only real flaw is that you might end up not wanting to ever leave.

60 seconds with - Alaisdair by Kian West

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IF YOU ARE A REGULAR MIRAGE READER YOU WOULD HAVE NOTICED ARTICLES FROM NEWCASTLE DISCOVERED AND REVIEWS FROM NOVASTREAM. WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN IS THERE IS A COMMON THREAD BETWEEN THESE TWO PIECES, A MAN BEHIND THE SCENES WHO MAKES THESE CONTRIBUTIONS HAPPEN MONTH AFTER MONTH. A GUY WITH PASSION AND ENTHUSIASM THAT MIGHT LEAVE YOU BREATHLESS. HE IS ALSO SOMEONE I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE HAD A FRIENDSHIP WITH FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS, SINCE STUDYING TOGETHER FOREVER AGO. SO IT SEEMS FITTING TO TAKE A MOMENT TO HIGHLIGHT A PERSON THAT ADDS SO MUCH VALUE TO OUR LITTLE ZINE. 1608762_10151817471897581_1569010664_n  

So Al, tell us how Novastream came to be? What’s it all about? Novastream started as my personal music blog back in 2009 when I was reading other music blogs and tired of the opinionated crap churning out online. I wanted to make a site that promoted music and great songs that people who only listen to the radio may not find out about. After I got a good following I turned it into a full blown website and then moved into movies, games and tv (and comics VERY SOON!) It is all about providing a uniquely Australian view on entertainment, we are not big on professional opinions and dissecting everything with academic references, we are purely about as an everyday person would you like this? Yes or no?

And where did Newcastle Discovered come from? Newcastle Discovered came from a similar place from Novastream, there was a Facebook page called Newcastle Name & Shame and all these posts just bagging out business, council and charities were just flooding this thing and it made me sick. It used to get me so angry so I wanted to do the opposite, create a page that talks about the good things that Newcastle has to offer and does. What do you do when you aren’t busy with Novastream and Newcastle Discovered? I work a full time job (I know sometimes I surprise myself at how little time I have) and any down time see’s me at the movies, beach or café with friends.

You have been kicking some pretty serious personal goals in the last 12 months, care to tell everyone about all that?    Ha ha oh sure thing! I completed my second year in HSM, Hello Sunday Morning is a group started by this legendary guy, Chris Raine, in which you don’t drink to the point of drunk for a year and basically watch what changes in your life. Waking up every Sunday morning with a clear and fresh head has been one of the best things I have done.ISSUE_9_Cov1

Aspirations? What is next? What is next…hmm I can’t give away too much but I can say that a possible actual physical business residence is in the talks, combining a café with music and movies. It’s all just talk at the moment so will see what comes of it. We are hoping to launch a full website for Newcastle Discovered at some stage this year and also NovastreamComics will launch at the end of this year, so it ensures a lot of sleepless nights to come! If you liked this interview, please take a moment to check out : novastreamgames.net facebook.com/novastreamgames facebook.com/newcastlediscoverd