January 20th, 2013

Scary Books

Movie Reviews: Wildcat’s of St Trinian’s +Sherlock Holmes In Washington +Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Wildcat’s of St Trinian’s (1980)

This was the 5th in the series and is considered the lost St Trinian’s film as it is ignored. Shelia Hancock is the mad headmistress of the school which has a sign by the gate that proclaims: ‘Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here’ and the school song contains the lyrics: ‘Trample on the weakest and glory in their plight’.

Flash Harry is drawn into the pupil’s desire to form a trade union of schoolgirls to demand stuff otherwise they’ll strike. Flash Harry advises them to infiltrate other girls’ schools and create a closed shop. So the St Trinian’s mob abduct and replace a princess.

There is bad acting, the teachers are paranoid delusional nut jobs and St Trinian’s is a petty, vindictive and violently hierarchical place. This tries hard but just isn’t funny. There is excessive nudity, Flash Harry is offensive and the plot is incoherent. The Ministry of Education and the teachers try to foil the strike and naturally the terrible schoolgirls from hell triumph.

Best Lines:
“They’re even more unpopular at home than they are here. If that’s possible.”

“You gotta hand her back.”
“We can’t, not yet.”
“Why not?”
“Because we borrowed 400 quid from her handbag to send out the strike notices.”

Sherlock Holmes In Washington (1943)

Boring evil men on a train are looking for documents. A spy is abducted. Sherlock Holmes in called in and he and Watson fly to the US to find the secret papers. Holmes treats Watson like a moron and the microfilm plot is dull. I swear ‘Due South’ borrowed the plot of the film for a two part episode back in the 90s.

Holmes wears a hideous suit. Watson embraces US slang, chews gum and slurps a milkshake. Why was Watson written like such a fool? Why would Holmes have such a stupid friend? This had bad acting, a woman with no agency, propaganda and was boring. Naturally Holmes foils the villains who have rap sheets longer than Lindsay Lohan’s.

Best Line:
“Don’t underrate that Englishman. I have several friends who did. They now reside in some of the best prisons in England.”

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)

This is a vast improvement in the series and is based on ‘The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual’. The WW2/Nazis theme is played down and the gothic tone is revived. Watson is overseeing a county estate that has been turned into a convalescent home for officers. The vile family who own the estate have secrets and a murderer is lurking. Holmes shows up and solves the mystery, unmasks the killer but does not explain why the clock strikes 13.

This has Lestrade (stupider than ever), talk of combat fatigue (the 40s term for PTSD?), a document signed by Henry VIII, a human chess game, a raven and a cameo by Peter Lawford. His was okay.

Best Lines:
“We knows what we knows.”

“Don’t loiter, you won’t be welcome.”

“Simple reasoning. A child could do it.”
“Not your child Watson.”

“Grim old pile, very spooky.”

“Ghosts don’t stab people in the neck do they? Or do they?”
“Not well bred ghosts Watson.”

“Scotland Yard’s already taken charge.”
“Oh really? That’s unfortunate.”

“Don’t you lie to me woman.”

“Doors don’t lock themselves.”
“They do in this house.”

“He will get lost Sir.”
“Let him.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Book Reviews: Black Thorn, White Rose + Mysterium

Black Thorn, White Rose edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

The 2nd in the fairy tale anthologies series is almost as dull as the 1st. However this does have two good stories. ‘The Goose Girl’ which retells the tale about the Princess and the false bride from the perspective of the Prince. And ‘The Black Swan’ which tells the story of an ungainly Princess who changes everything about herself to make the Prince love her. Other than those two stories, I can’t recommend this volume.

Mysterium by Robert Charles Wilson

It seems to me Eric Flint got his idea for ‘1632’ from this book. There is a government research installation near the small town of Two Rivers. It is devoted to investigating a mysterious artefact discovered in a desert years earlier. By accident or design, someone has activated the artefact and Two Rivers has been sent someplace else.

Two Rivers now exists in an alternate world where the country is a Gnostic theocracy and history and the world map are very different. Two Rivers is a dangerous anomaly in this new world and the two cultures collide. This is a compelling and highly recommended tale.

Best Lines:
“When the idolatry laws were passed and the Proctors came to take her father away, he went wordlessly. A month later they came back for Linneth’s mother who screamed all the way down the drive to the boxy black truck.”

“Joe Kingsley hadn’t been in his right mind since his wife died last August, you could tell because he never washed his clothes anymore.”
Scary Books

Fringe 5x12&5x13 + Once Upon A Time 1x18 Reviewed

Liberty/An Enemy of Fate

This was a disappointing end to the series after five years. Olivia travels to the other universe, Peter seems to have forgotten he was born in the other universe and the child Observer is menaced by other Observers. What did the Observers do to the Statue of Liberty?

In the other universe Lincoln Lee and the other Olivia are married but he still has thing for Olivia. Also Chelsea Clinton is to be President. Lincoln Lee annoys and then Olivia returns home after some sap, Olivia twitches, nobody cares about Walternate and Lincoln Lee pulls faces.

Walter proclaims his love for Peter. I guess TPTB want us to forget season 4. Everyone ignores the fact that he isn’t Peter’s father. He stole him and then brainwashed him to forget that fact. It seems to have worked as Peter doesn’t mind Walter talking about him like he is a possession.

Bad things happen to Broyles, poor Gene is trapped in Amber, there is more sap and yapping about feeling. The gang kill Observers and Loyalists in disgusting fashion via old fringe events. There is incoherent action. More people die and a sap filled ending. If the Observers never came to be than why isn’t Peter in the other universe?!?!? I did not like this at all. It was an utter disappointment and once again Walter stole some other man's child and got away with it.

Best Lines:
“We have no idea what you’d find over there.”

“When we first came here, we did not know the true nature of our expedition. We were not told.”

“Nature abhors a paradox.”

“They intend to reset time.”

The Stable Boy

Mr Gold and Regina are conspiring to send Mary Margaret up the river. Emma is stupid and a snot and wears a stupid hoodie. Storybrooke has a DA and is it the former evil king (Alan Dale). He makes Mary Margaret look stupid and murderous in less than 5 minutes. Hee. Emma hangs out with August, the creepy drifter. Nobody is looking for Jefferson. Emma finds a convenient shovel shard. But when it comes to going up against Regina, Emma won’t win. She won’t even place. Mary Margaret blubbers. Emma finally figures out Sidney Glass is a bad one.

Flashbacks to fairytale land show how Regina had a nasty mother named Cora (Barbara Hershey of ‘Black Swan’). Cora was fond of giving unwanted ‘helpful advice’. Regina was in love with Daniel the stable boy (it's the guy who plays the goob Ryan Fletcher on 'Nikita'). Cora (Hershey overacts more than she did in ‘Black Swan’) wants Regina to marry the king and be stepmother to Snow (a terrible child actress). Everyone sounds like they are reading their lines off cue cards. Snow sees Regina kissing Daniel. Cora rips out Daniel’s heart and Regina’s epic hatred of the stupid Snow is born. This was not good not even Regina’s pimped out wedding dress and the twist ending could save this ep.

Best Line:
“You’ve finally done something right.”

“You do deserve this.”

“Why have you done this?”
“Because this is your happy ending.”