September 20th, 2010

Scary Books

Bouquet of Barbed Wire (2010) Episode 2 Review

Peter’s obsession with Gavin reaches dangerous new levels when he learns that Gavin stalked Prue before they hooked up. Giles plays with Cassie. Prue annoys. Peter stares at his screensaver of Prue and the thuggish Gavin is a loathsome oik.

Cassie flips out. The mystery of who Paula is drags on. Gavin plans to move to Yorkshire. Giles turns on Peter who is now unemployed. Peter hires someone to stab Gavin in the back with kitchen scissors. Cassie reacts by jumping into bed with Gavin who is still in his hospital bed cackling like a loon. This was boring, every character is loathsome and Gavin acts like the baddie in a 1970’s Hammer film not an actual person.
Scary Books

Movie Reviews: The Watch + Without A Clue + The Robber Bride

The Watch (2008)

Cassie (Clea Duvall) works on her graduate thesis while she takes a fire watch job in a watchtower in the middle of the forest. Her VBF Andrea is a bit concerned but Cassie likes the solitude and Ranger Rhett. Then she sees someone one night lurking, finds evidence of a fire and talks to someone mysterious on the radio.

Cassie is freaked out by creaking noises, the wind and the dark. She has a past and so wastes her radio batteries and finally breaks it. Something is going on in the woods. Meanwhile Andrea learns about a creepy stalking nut and acts like Miss Marple with a weird voice. This is good which shows how people are willing to set aside moral considerations.

Best Lines:
“A month in the woods? That would be way too ‘Deliverance’ for me.”

“Really not loving this all alone in the woods I the middle of the night waiting to be picked off by a serial killer and then eaten by a bear vibe.”

“This place doesn’t exist on any map.”

~
Without A Clue (1988)

Sherlock Holmes doesn’t exist; he was created by Dr Watson (Ben Kingsley) who is the real detective for his writings. Watson also hired an actor to portray Holmes. The fake Holmes (Michael Caine) gets all the glory and the smug Watson does all the work. They also shout insults at each other and do not get on at all.

This leads to mildly amusing scenes with the loutish Holmes, the proper Watson, the disapproving Mrs Hudson and the scrappy Wiggins and the Irregulars having adventures. Lestrade also shows up to look like a twit. This first half of the film is mildly amusing. Then a boring Moriarty turns out to be lurking and plotting a plan that makes no real sense. There’s a shrieking woman (Lysette Anthony) in peril and the film descends into tedium. This is okay viewing.

Best Lines:
“The same man who once declared with total conviction that the late Colonel Howard had been bludgeoned to death with a blunt excrement?”

“John you have jeopardised the integrity of English literature.”

“Are you coming or not?”
“I would rather waltz naked through the fires of hell.”

“Are you sure he’s not trying to kill me?”
“Of course not, he knows you’re an idiot.”

“You’re alive.”
“Astounding observation Inspector, we must discuss it.”

~
The Robber Bride (2007)

This is a butchering of Margaret Atwood’s novel. The book was fairy tale like account of three women who were tormented by the malevolent Zenia. This TV movie makes the plot all about two men drooling over Zenia, changes the plot and spends too much time explaining Zenia’s motivations. This was stupid.
Scary Books

True Blood Season 2 Ep 2 Review

Keep This Party Going

Eric eats his prisoners while having his hair highlighted. Why a blonde Viking would need highlights isn’t explained. Eric makes speeches and bores. Jason bores. Eggs reveals his past. Daphne the crap waitress drops stuff. Sookie sees Jessica’s parents on TV and has a terrible idea.

Bad things happen to Lafayette. Sookie and Jessica bond off their truck stop hooker attire and Sookie’s plan to drive Jessica to her parents’ house. Maryann acts weird, Sookie’s dumb plan leads to disaster, Bill yells and this was just awful.
Scary Books

Eastwick Ep 10 Review

Tea and Psychopathy

Kat throws hysterical fits, ignores her kids, heals everyone in sight and gets an over elaborate death bath. Joanna is disgustingly self centred. Rosie is dumb beyond belief. Jamie tells Roxie that Darryl is his dad. Max and Joanna find their lives are in danger. Raymond shows up again to be threatening, again.

This was dull. Why is Roxie so obsessed with Darryl? Why is the horrible murder of Jamie’s mother Gloria forgotten? What is Darryl? Why is Roxie so stupid? Why do three grown women act like teenagers?

Best Lines:
He’s not of this world. He’s something else, something wrong.”

“A dank bar that is nothing like Coyote Ugly.”

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Sons of Anarchy Season 2 Ep 2 Review

Small Tears

Jax seems to have forgotten about that “time for a change” he was growling about at the end of season 1. Gemma asks Tara for help and keeps quiet about what was done to her. Otto’s attack on Agent Stahl continues to have far reaching consequences. The LOAN guys plot. Jax yells and continues neglecting his child. The SOA branch out into porn. There’s a gunfight and Opie appears to have cracked. Jax and Clay have issues. This was dull.
Scary Books

The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Ep 7 Review

Haunted

Bonnie learns her family fled Salem in 1692. Caroline is a vapid airhead. Vicki is the Lindsay Lohan of the vampire world. Bonnie is given the mysterious crystal by Caroline. Elena acts like a smug cow to Vicki, which is a bad idea. Vicki figures out the whole inviting a vampire in trick.

There’s a Halloween party at the school where Tyler is dressed as a ‘300’ extra (but of course) and Bonnie and Caroline are slutty witches. Tyler’s drunken mother dresses as Daisy from ‘The Great Gatsby’ (oh, subtle) and flirts with Damon. Elena runs around in a slutty nurse outfit while Jessica’s a really slutty vampire. As Damon flirts information out of Tyler’s cougar mother, Matt annoys and Vicki gets bitey.

Bad things happen, the crystal is sort of explained and for some reason Damon still doesn’t get staked. This was good. When did Elena get the 12 week blow-dry? Does nobody notice that Zack is missing?

Best Lines:
“He walks on a moral plane way out of our eye line.”

“Why do I have to pee? I thought I was dead.”

“She’s been coped up in your room all day, she’s not Anne Frank.”

“You confuse me for someone with remorse.”

“People die around you.”

Scary Books

Book Reviews: Irredeemable2 +The Shadow of the Rat/The Tangled Skein +Murder My Dear Watson & more

Irredeemable Vol 2 Created and Written by Mark Waid

The saga of the ultimate superhero turned ultimate super villain continues. There are mad killer robots, flashbacks of happier times that weren’t really so happy, hints of the Plutonian’s past and the revelation that his former Paradigm team-mate Bette Noir is a slut. Also the Plutonian gave a scientist a piece of recovered alien technology to study. There were consequences, bad consequences.

This was good. There’s poor Volt the hero whose mentor the Plutonian did something cruel. One of the Plutonian’s former team-mates gets really, really angry and we see how the Plutonian got more and more annoyed by entitled humans until one day, he had enough. But was he ever really sane to begin with? What did the Plutonian do to Encanta the supervillian? Is another Paradigm team-mate flipping out?

Best Lines:
“Wow, population is really down.”

“This is bad. This is Pandora’s Box bad. Don’t.”

“Modeus could make a Death Ray out of an iPod and a shaving mirror.”

“Very few people on the other hand, can be comfortable inside a live volcano. Resist any urge you might have to open a window.”

“It was the kind of the thing that could give nightmares to the devil.”

“We might as well be handing out hand grenades to orang-utans.”

“It was sort of the textbook definition of a hollow victory.”

“What made you turn this city into a river of blood? Some five-year old flip you off?”

~
The Shadow of the Rat & The Tangled Skein by David Stuart Davies

Two novellas of supernatural Sherlock Holmes adventures are gathered together for camp enjoyment. In ‘The Shadow of the Rat’, Holmes and Watson come up against the Giant Rat of Sumatra, plague and a villain who is a very obvious copy of Irene Adler. ‘The Tangled Skein’ is a sequel to ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and sees Holmes and Watson face off against a villain who isn’t dead as well as a villain who is undead, Dracula.

This second novella is pure Hammer as Holmes and Watson chase a vampire count and vampire brides in white nightdresses over Dartmoor. This is good but you do sense that Davies thinks Watson is stupid.

~
Murder My Dear Watson edited by Martin H Greenberg, Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashtower

This is a good collection of tales about our favourite duo. However we also get some dull essays and one is hideously outdated.

The Adventure of the Dying Doctor
A credulous Watson falls prey to a con while elsewhere a super villain-in-waiting plots. This is good.

The Adventure of the Young British Solider
The man who saved Watson’s life in Afghanistan is in peril. Holmes and a poem by Kipling save the day. This I okay.

The Adventure of the Mooning Sentry
Various types run around an English country house. This is okay.

The Adventure of the Rara Avis
Holmes and Watson meddle when a bejewelled flacon is found in an ancient barrow. This is good.

The Adventure of the Agitated Actress
An actor playing Holmes in a play has to solve a crime. This is okay.

The Case of the Highland Hoax
Holmes and Watson face off with Moriarty in Scotland prior to ‘The Final Problem’. This is good.

The Riddle of the Golden Monkey
Holmes and Watson help out a man who is being threatened by the real life inspiration for Fu Manchu. This is okay.

The Adventure of the Curious Canary
Holmes unmasks gold-diggers in this okay tale.

~
Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

This is a somewhat bizarre urban fantasy novel. Justine Jones is a hypochondriac who has an annoyed boyfriend and a past hurt involving a con man who wrecked her family. Then one night she meets Packard who says if she joins his vigilante team, she can weaponize her neurosis and free herself of it. Free herself by inflicting it on criminals.

Justine agrees and is free of fear and her near madness, until she learns the price she has to pay. Motivations become shady and the enemy lurking in the shadows is not who she thought. This is good, bizarre but good.

~
A Bouquet of Barbed Wire by Andrea Newman

The infamous tale originally published in 1969. Peter loves his worthless, ungrateful daughter Prue and cannot abide the loutish thug she has married. Peter’s wife Cassie tries to keep the piece while the manipulative Prue plays her father off against her husband Gavin.

As unspoken truths begin to tear the family apart, Peter has an affair, Cassie admits a secret, Gavin would rather eat dirt than put up with his wife and Prue sows the seeds of her own destruction. This is a good somewhat unnerving novel about the dark desires that can lurk in people’s souls. Never admitted, never acted upon, but those desires can squat inside a person and destroy them.