March 7th, 2012

Scary Books

Homeland 1x07 Review

The Weekend

Jessica annoys, is useless and hurls herself at Mike. Carrie and Brody go on a road trip. Carrie won’t shut up and causes trouble as she is off her meds. Saul captures Eileen. Mike swans around the Brody house until he is told to leave. Carrie slips up leading to a confrontation with Brody. There is a twist, this was okay.
Scary Books

Ringer 1x13 Review

It’s Easy To Cry When This Much Cash Is Involved

Bridget hangs out with the ex-special forces driver. Her addiction issues seem not to be bothering her anymore. Bridget finds Siobhan’s secret officer and fails to notice Siobhan hiding in the closet. Siobhan lies, Henry is a tool and seems to have forgotten his murdered wife or the fact he has two ignored children.

Catherine and Olivia annoy. Bridget learned Siobhan never forgave her and is a big old liar. Siobhan seems to have an endless money flow. WTF is she up to? What is she plotting?

The case against Carpenter is dropped and he sues for defamation. Nobody ponders the similarities to ‘Wild Things’. And guess what? Tessa, Juliet and Mr Carpenter obviously have seen ‘Wild Things’ as they were all in on it together to get the money from Juliet’s trust fund. She hasn’t changed at all.

Tyler and Henry are played and the busted skank Siobhan has a plan. Bridget is clueless. This was not a good ep, everyone is stupid.

Best Lines:
“He’s got a sterling reputation and Juliet? Not so much.”

“Here’s to spending daddy’s money.”

“She’s got a bleeding heart and a tiny bladder.”
Scary Books

Trailers and BoreNova

The Avengers’ trailer
War! I don’t like the new Hulk. Iron Man and Thor have a slapfest. There is property destruction, who pays to fix that? I’m not sure about this film.

Best Line:
“How desperate are you?”

‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ TV spot
Nice, love when Duke is told: “You need a new catch phrase.”

‘Gone’ TV spot
I am intrigued.

‘Terra Nova’ has been cancelled. What a waste of potential that show was.
Scary Books

Death Valley 1x06 Review

The Hottest Day Of The Year

It’s 112 degrees which leads to an exploding zombie and other unpleasantness. The UTF is under temporary oversight by Internal Affairs and have new rules to dead with a PUS. What is that you ask? Why Potential Undead Suspect.

Billy is dim, a squad car gets stuck in a zombie and the rookie continues to be stupid. John John and Carla get into peril and have to fight zombies with power tools. The rookie goes to a turning party and sees her boss’ niece turned into a vampire and learns vampires control zombies. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“You’ve been bit.”
“Oh really? Was wondering why the inside of my neck was on the outside.”
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Scary Books

Bleak Old Shop of Stuff Ep 3 Review

Where is Jedrington’s mother during all this? The vile fiend Grimstone is victorious. Jedrington drinks gin and wears seagulls on his feet. Victor and his chum walk back to London but they have a bad sense of direction.

Victoria needs saving. Servegood gets his master off the gin via tough love and a mace. There will be no more gin drinking and Thames hurling; it is time to bring Grimstone down! Cue sap and a blunderbuss. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“I really must grow a moustache to twirl.”

“Thank you crone.”

“Curse you life giving sun!”

“The law of Cavet Idiot.”
Scary Books

Retro Review: Star Trek Deep Space Nine 3x20 + 3x21

Improbable Cause

Garak flirts with the oblivious Bashir. How would that work anyway? One is a reptile and the other is a mammal. Then Garak’s shop blows up, already this ep is better than the boring ‘Heart of Stone’. There is no JAG on DS9 as Odo does a solo investigation.

Odo snoops and Garak who looks like he is wearing pyjamas tags along. It is obvious this is from 1995 as the SFX look very dated now. Odo finds stuff out, Romulans show up and Garak’s old mentor Enabran Tain looms. Was Tain’s housekeeper Mila, Garak’s mother?

Odo and Garak find out what is really going on and it is most unexpected. Or not, because seeds had been planted in previous eps. This was okay.

Best Lines:
It dissolved the carpet.”
“Don’t look at me, it’s what they breathe.”

“You are investigating a very insignificant piece of a much larger puzzle.”

“If you believe in coincidence...”

“He retired some years ago. He was, I might add, the only head of the agency who ever lived long enough to do so.”

“Always burn your bridges behind you. You never know who might be trying to follow.”

The Die is Cast

The combined Romulan Tal Shiar/Cardassain Obsidian Order fleet decloak before passing through the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. Why did they decloak? They recloaked as soon as the passed through. Tain and the constipated looking Colonel Lovok (Leland Orser) look forward to their strike on the Founder’s home world. Odo is appalled and Garak is excited.

Back on DS9, Eddington lurks and Sisko is told that the UFP, Romulans and Cardassians are willing to stand by and see if the strike against the Dominion succeeds. Sisko and co take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to get Odo back. Eddington plots, was he in the maquis at this point?

The smug git Garak questions Odo and shows off an anti-shape shifter weapon that was never seen or mentioned again after this ep. Odo wants to go home, the Defiant is sabotaged and the grand attack on the Founder’s home world turns into a disaster.

This was okay, there was to be much fallout from this ep as the Founder’s flexed their might. However the temporary breakdown of relations between the UFP and Klingons was a bit interminable.

Best Lines:
“After four hours of watching you stare at him, he confessed.”

“Sounds like Wolf 359 all over again.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Angel & Faith Issue 7 Review

Daddy Issues, Part Two

Drusilla’s back and she’s sane. Angel is stunned. Meanwhile Faith is reunited with someone from her past too. Something disturbing about Angel is revealed and when Drusilla is the voice of reason and restraint, you know bad things are coming. This was good. I’m really enjoying this series and I love the way the plot unfolds.

Best Line:
The day will come when you can’t keep them quiet any longer and oh, what a bad day that will be.”
Scary Books

Movie Review: Contagion (2011)

This opens with the ominous words: Day Two. A plague spreads and Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) is patient zero. Her husband Mitch (a chubby Matt Damon) yells. An annoying blogger named Alan (Jude Law) uses the nascent pandemic for his own ends.

This is a very good fast moving depiction of a global nightmare as the viral outbreak spreads. Forget ‘The Crazies’, ‘Outbreak’ and the dreadful miniseries ‘The Stand’, this is great unsettling viewing.

Burial is an issue, there is panic, petty bureaucrats and the self righteous Alan peddles self serving crap. The death toll rises. Which of the starry cast (Bryan Cranston, Enrico Colantoni, Laurence Fishburne, Elliot Gould and Kate Winslet) will survive and which will end up in a mass grave? This and ‘Carriers’ are wonderfully scary plague movies.

Best Lines:
“’s just graffiti with punctuation.”

“When did they run out of body bags?”
“Two days ago.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Book Reviews: Blood Games + That Which Divides

Blood Games by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Saint-Germain is in Rome during the reign of Nero. He moves in the highest circles, drawing the attention of the Emperor and Atta Olivia Clemens. Olivia is the abused wife of an ambitious man and Saint-Germain is drawn to her plight.

Saint-Germain has attracted notice and ire, something a vampire should not do. This is good, an absorbing adventure of first century Imperial Rome. It covers years as Emperors fall, rise and fall. Saint-Germain makes yet another enemy in a petty bureaucrat, meets Roger and ends up in the arena. This is dark, sad and has love and loss in equal measure. In other words, this is vintage Saint-Germain.

Star Trek: That Which Divides by Dayton Ward

Like ‘To Brave The Storm’, ‘Rise Like Lions’ and ‘The Rings Of Time’, this was a letdown. It starts out well enough with Kirk and co exploring a spatial rift. They discover the secret of the rift and the planetoid beyond it, then Romulans show up and it all gets boring.

There is a load of uninteresting characters, the plot is a yawner and this is a dull waste of potential. I am hoping for better from the upcoming Trek novels.

Best Line:
“I hope that you did not take offence at her suggestion regarding improper physical relations with your ancestors.”
Scary Books

Sapphire & Steel (1979 – 1982) Review, Part 1

This is a sci-fi classic as is ‘Alien Nation’ which ran from 1989 to 1990 (and 1994 to 1997 if you count the TV movies), so one has to ask. Where has all the good sci-fi gone?

This was bizarre, inexplicable, memorable TV created and written by P.J. Hammond who also wrote for ‘Torchwood’. Who or what the title characters were is a mystery. No matter what the memorable opening credits say, neither is an element.

Assignment One

Episode 1

Two children are alone in a remote house as they parents have gone. Two strangers named Sapphire (Joanna Lumley) and Steel (David McCallum) show up to investigate. They poke around. It seems the father smoked a pipe, which would get social workers involved nowadays.

The children are Rob and Helen and Rob and his stage school acting annoys. Sapphire wears an extremely bright RenFaire reject dress while Steel looks like he is there to read the gas meter. How did they get to the house? Who sent them? What are they? Rob asks all those questions and gets no answers. Sapphire and Steel can communicate telepathically and Sapphire can change her appearance and her eyes can glow. Steel is humourless.

This is creepy as nursery rhymes make things go very wrong in the house. Rob needs to shut up and time itself is malevolent. The effects are dated especially the animated opening credits. This is okay but why do Sapphire & Steel knock? How does a door stop them? Why is it their job to fix time?

Best Lines:
“I’ve contacted him and told him that everything down here is under control.”
“But it isn’t.”
“No. That’s why we’re here and not him.”

“Old names, an old house, lots of old things, lots of old old echoes.”

“They must never be allowed in. Never, ever.”

Episode 2
Steel tosses Helen’s teddy into the time corridor. Rob still needs to shut up. Sapphire and Steel are most certainly not human. Rob is stupid. This was tiresome.

Episode 3
The SFX crew wave a torch around to make scary lights. Rob is irritating and frustrating. Roundhead soldiers tromp around. Sapphire vanishes into a painting. Helen needs to shut up. Sapphire is in peril and Steel shows off his uncanny powers. This was good.

Best Lines:
Don’t you know your history?”
“I know mine, yes.”

“It’s in here with me.”

Episode 4
This show has a disquieting effect. One of the scary lights is trapped in a freezer. Steel can reduce his temperature to Absolute Zero, but it has an ill-effect on him. Rob needs to shut up. Sapphire says there are 127 of them. But Steel insists it is 115 because “We must never rely on the transuranics.”

Helen is an irritant. Lead shows up due to Steel icing himself up. Lead eats. Why does he need to eat? Rob learns Sapphire, Steel and Lead once dealt with a case on the Marie Celeste. Helen and Sapphire chase a book page around the kitchen. This was good.

Episode 5
Lead shows off his 70’s sideburns. Steel glowers possibly because he is not a tall man. Sapphire burns more books in the aga. Rob is lured by the weirdness in the house, again. Helen needs to shut up and Lead calls Steel a mean man. This was an incompetent ep.

Best Lines:
“It’s locked.”
“It isn’t now.”

Episode 6
Rob’s stupid and trapped in the cellar. Steel, Lead and Sapphire stand around glowering. The trio of whatever they are fight the things in the house. In the climax, Lead hilariously shoves Steel out of the way to crush the foundation stone of the house.

Everything is back to normal and only Rob remembers. He last sees Steel, Sapphire and Lead standing ominously on the stairs, glowering. With the parents back, it is clear they are ghastly people and Helen is the favourite. Rob is clearly screwed by all this. This ep was a bit uh, mostly due to Rob and his stage school screaming. Still the sight of the trio on the stairs glowering was creepy.

Assignment Two

Epsiode 1

At a dipiladated railway station, Tully is looking for ghosts. What would Health & Safety have to say about that nowadays? Tully fiddles with his primitives 1970’s tech. Steel shows up. Tully asks who he is instead of asking when Illya Kuryakin got such a bad haircut.

Sapphire also shows up in a dress that looks like one of Kate Middleton’s discards and what look like high heeled ugg boots. Steel wears a tux that looks like something from the prom night scenes in ‘Carrie’. The ‘eerie’ music is really annoying. Tully sips from a tartan thermos as Steel and Sapphire swan around.

There is a darkness lurking in the station so Steel and Sapphire stare straight at the camera in unnerving fashion. This was okay.

Best Line:
Some would be ghost catcher.”