October 8th, 2009

Scary Books

Supernatural Season 4 Ep 20 Review

The Rapture

I’m sick of Castiel. He annoys me more than Jo and Bela combined. Sam continues to be clueless and I’m tired of Bobby. This ep sees Castiel’s vessel Jimmy free from his angelic overlord. He just wants to go home. Sam and Dean don’t bother to ponder the ethics of demons possessing people. Demons doing it = bad. Angels doing it = just fine apparently.

Jimmy doesn’t want to be Castiel’s host anymore. Sam doesn’t care he is too busy sucking down demon blood. Castiel is proven to be a jerk as he wrecks Jimmy’s family and steals his body not once but twice. Anna shows up again to annoy. This was predictable. Sam kills a demon and gorges on her blood in front of Dean and fails to see the problem in that. Neither Sam nor Dean care that Angels can possess humans for centuries or millennia. Poor Jimmy. Bobby and Dean lock Sam up in an intervention. I don’t care about any of this. I miss regular monsters and urban legends.

Best Lines:
“What’s the big demon problem?”
“You are.”
Traveler

Sons of Anarchy Season 1 Ep 1 Review

Pilot

The local biker gang run the town of Charming and they don’t intend for that to change any time soon. But member Jax is about to undergo a change of mind as he learns that his late father who founded the gang had a different idea about the group’s motives. Jax also has to deal with the premature birth of his son due to his ex-wife’s drug abuse.

Katey Sagal (of ‘Married with Children’ and ‘Futurama’) is Jax’s mom and she’s got her own agenda. She’s unsentimental about her late husband, is sleeping with Clay (Ron Perlman of ‘Hellboy’) the current biker leader and she scares Jax’s ex-wife into a possibly fatal drug overdose.

This was okay. Jax enjoys his lifestyle but is questioning it. He has a son now and he reads his father’s manifesto which says that his father envisioned a group of hippies on Harleys not outlaws. But the Sons of Anarchy gang is a family tradition and bonds between members are strong. Outside of the gang Jax bonds with Tara, one of the doctor’s overseeing his son’s care.

There is a bizarre final sequence set to ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ and Sprague Grayden of ‘Jericho’ has a small role as one biker’s put upon wife. This is an interesting show.

Best Lines:
“Everytime I see you sitting at this table, I do a double take.”
“That’s probably just the weed pop.”

“Remorse is a dangerous thing

“I’m not the same girl I was ten years ago.”
“I am.”
Scary Books

Book Reviews: The Red Tree + Terra Insegura

The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Sarah Crowe leaves her home and the ruins of a relationship to live in an old house deep in the countryside. While exploring the house’s vast cellar, she finds an unfinished manuscript written by the house’s former tenant.

The manuscript tells the tale of myths and legends associated with the ancient oak tree growing on the property. As time passes Sarah becomes more and more obsessed with the ancient tree and its bloody history. Sarah feverishly writes in her journal as her mind crumbles under the weight of her obsession.

This is a creepy page turner full of eerie intimations of something just beyond the corner of your eye. It brims with potent atmosphere and foreboding tension. As Sarah tries to fathom the unknowable, the more apparent her incipient madness becomes. If you want a compelling tale of sustained dread, you mustn’t miss this.

~
Terra Insegura by Edward Willett

The sequel to ‘Marseguro’. The plague created on Marseguro to end Earth’s invasion has been carried to the mother planet. To avert this unintentional genocide, Richard Hansen and a crew of selkies and humans from Marseguro head to Earth with a vaccine.

But once on Earth, several things become apparent. Richard has the tactical skills of a tomato plant, the alternately revered and despised Victor Hansen turns out to have had a lot of skeletons in his closet and arch traitor Chris Keating is annoying. Really annoying, ‘Gilmore Girls’ annoying.

This is an okay read with plenty of action, reversals of fortune, cunning plans and Richard brooding. There are hints that there could be a third volume in the series which would be nice.
Richard/Lost

Richard Alpert Eps of Lost Season 3&4

I heart Nestor Carbonell.

Season 3

Ep 7: Not in Portland

Flashbacks reveal Juliet's origin story and how she was recurited by a smooth talking Dr Alpert who also had her ex-husband run over by a bus. This was a very good episode. Though Juliet used to have bad hair and clothes. Her perm in the flashback was a horror. Richard was very smooth and looked good in a suit..

~
Ep 13: The Man from Tallahassee
Locke demands answers from Ben. Richard Alpert shows up as Ben's lackey. Ben has a suprise for Locke. This was okay. Richard looks very dapper. So he's a recuriter for the Others and a helper for Ben?

~
Ep 16: One of Us
Juliet arrives on the beach. meanwhile flashbacks show her arrival on the island. Did Richard travel to the island with Juliet? Why did she need to be drugged? Did nobody see Richard filming Juliet's sister? Richard has a very creepy smile.

Best Line: "I want to know what you people are doing on this island."

~
Ep 19: The Brig
Locke is subjected to mind games by Ben and Richard. This was good. Was Richard being sincere with Locke or was he playing him? How come Richard looks dapper in blue shirt and all the other Others look grubby? How did Cindy become an Other so quickly?

~
Ep 20: The Man Behind the Curtain
Locke tries to manipulate Ben into revealing the secrets of the island. Flashbacks reveal some of Ben's childhood and his role in the purge. This was very good. The purge scenes are creepy. But who ordered it? Ben couldn't have. Was it Widmore? Jacob? Or the other dude? Did Richard order it himself? The pit full of skeltons was very creepy. Who are the Hostiles? Where did they come from? Why was Richard all ragged looking when he first meet Ben when season 5 flashbacks show him looking his usual dapper self? Why did Richard talk to Dharma as shown in season 5 and not Widmore? Was it because part of Richard's role is to protect the leader? What was the stuff on the ground outside Jacob's house? The Richard not aging revelation was good. Who was in the cabin if not Jacob as Season 5 revealed?What happened to Ben's girlfriend Annie? And Olivia? And Horace's wife and child as shown in season 5?

Best Lines:
"There are properties on this island that exist nowhere else on Earth."

"Don't worry. It's just the Hostiles."

"We're having some skirmishes with the natives."
"What do you mean natives?"
"Well, we're not exactly sure who they are."

"Are you one of them?"
"One of who?"
"A Hostile."
"Do you even know what that means?"

"They couldn't even co-exist with the island's original inhabitants. When it became clear that one side had to go, one side had to be purged. I did what I had to do."


~
Ep 21: Greatest Hits
Ben sets up an unwise attack on the beach. Richard gets antsy. This was good. Why has it taken them this long to try to find the radio tower? How can Charlie suddenly swim?

~
Ep 22: Through the Looking Glass
The lostaways get everything they ever wanted in the worst possible way. Richard takes the Others to the Temple not to be seen again until season 4 is nearly over. This was due to the actor getting a job on 'Cane'. The Others were building a runway. Was this so the plane could land in season 5?

Best Lines:
"This island is under assault by forces stronger than anything its had to deal with in many, many years and we are meant to protect it."

"Why won't you just let them leave?"
"Because I can't."

""We were not supposed to leave."


~
Season 4

Ep 11: Cabin Fever

Flashback reveals that Locke has a destiny (which he never achieved thanks to Ben) and that Richard is finally back. Richard is a fascinating character. Shame it took until season 6 for TPTB to make him a regular. This ep had moments both creepy (anything to do with Richard, Claire's apperance in the cabin) and the hilarious (Ben and Hurley splitting an Apollo choclate bar.) Locke didn't recognize Richard when they met again. Ben finally mentions that he wasn't always the leader. Who is in the cabin? Where is Claire? Did Desmond lie to Charlie about Claire's fate? Who or what is Richard? The 1956 Richard looked both dapper and wonderfully creepy. This was okay.

Best Lines:
"I thought you were the leader."
"Not always."


~
Ep 12: There's No Place Like Home, Part 1
Richard intercepted Sayid and Kate while they were searching for Jack. He told them to put their guns down, revealing that they were surrounded by a number of Others. After disarming the two, he led them into the jungle. Offscreen between parts 1 and 2 Richard made a deal with Sayid and Kate that if they helped the Others rescue Ben, then they could leave the island. Flashforwards show the lying liars Oceanic 6 returning home except their homecoming is full of lies, deceit and a devastating revelation. This was an excellent episode, the best episode of Season 4. But why were the Others wearing their raggedy disguises? It is clear that Richard is far, far more than Ben's consigliere.

Best Lines:
"We're going to move the island."
"Right and how're we going to do that?"
"Very carefully."

Scary Books

True Blood Season 1 Episode 1 Review

Strange Love

Now that was good tv. Based on the books by Charlaine Harris, this is set in a small town in America’s Deep South. The existence of vampires has been public knowledge for two years now. Sookie (Anna Paquin) is a telepathic waitress in a bar and grill. Bill is a vampire and one night he comes to Sookie’s workplace for a drink. Setting in motion a violent chain of events.

Meanwhile Sookie’s brother Jason hangs out with fangbanger Maudette and watches her freaky sex tape. Maudette is then murdered. Whodunit? A no account backwoods trash couple attack Bill and later Sookie. So this is typical steamy small town drama. With vampires.

I enjoyed this. It is faithful to half of chapter one of Harris’ first book in the series ‘Dead Until Dark’. I won’t ask how the couple subdued Bill or how vampire blood can be used as a drug. I like the fact that vampires don’t like silver. I can only remember the vampire cop show ‘Moonlight’ also using that piece of mythology.

Best Lines:
“Not after what I did for you last night in the bedroom. Which by the way was disgusting. Even though I kind of enjoyed it.”

“I feel like I’m trapped in some hillbilly’s oxycontin nightmare.”

“I’m gonna get my babydaddy who just got out of prison to come and kick your teeth in.”

“I know he’s not your daddy but your daddy does not want to live with us anymore remember?”

“Where are we going to hide the dead vampire in our trailer?”
Scary Books

Stargate Universe Episodes 1&2 Reviewed

Air, part 1
First things first, let one state the obvious: could this rip off ‘Battlestar Galactica’ any more? Okay, now that’s out of the way let us move on. Dr Rush sets events in motion that strands 80 plus people on an ancient damaged starship that can travel the universe.

Among the stranded are a noxious IOA bureaucrat (Ming-Na of ‘er’ and ‘Vanished’), an annoying Senator (Christopher McDonald of ‘The Eighteenth Angel’), also along for the ride are nerd Eli and military leader Young (Louis Ferreira of 'Dawn of the Dead' and 'Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II'). It is Young who gets the most spectacular entrance as he is hurled across a room through an exploding Stargate. It’s a nice looking stunt. All these characters have issues and the story is told via flashbacks which are not signalled making scene transitions jarring.

Anyway the ship looks suitably ‘Event Horizon’ as people moan about Rush’s stranding them. Chief among the moaners if the Senator’s spoilt daughter Chloe. As Young is injured, Scott has to take temporary command. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips of ‘Numb3rs’ and ‘The Triangle’) vanishes and isn’t mentioned again. Young may not be around long as the medic TJ is barely qualified.

So a bunch of injured, unqualified soldiers, civilians, politicians and various whiners are stranded on a universe travelling starship several billion light years from home. This was very good; I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

For some reason Dr Rush is more interested in his 9th chevron theory than the ancient city of Atlantis which was last seen floating in San Francisco bay. What are they doing with Atlantis anyway? How did the baddies find the base?

To pander to the fans O’Neill, Carter and Daniel Jackson cameo. O’Neill looks bored throughout.

Best Lines:
“You really embedded a top secret problem into a game?”

“Where’d they go?”


~
Air, Part 2
The noxious Senator dies. Rush learns the ship is called the Destiny and breaks out the very convenient mind swapping gadget that allows communication with Earth. The Destiny has been badly damaged under unexplained circumstances. The pack of emotionally chilly control freaks don’t bond. Rush thinks Destiny is more important that Atlantis.

They need Oxygen and Destiny stops at a planet but they’ve only 12 hours to get what they need. Eli is smug. The ancients seeded stargates everywhere. This was okay. How long until TPTB screw this show up like they did SG1 and SGA?

Best Line: “Don’t touch anything that looks like it might be dangerous.”