April 21st, 2013

Scary Books

Book Review: Queen Isabella

Queen Isabella by Alison Weir

She was a Princess of France married to Edward II who cheated on her with his favourites. She led an invasion to overthrow her husband in the name of their son. She lived an eventful life that took in the decimation of the Knights Templar, civil war, famine, the start of the Hundred Years War, the arrival of the Black Death, martial discord, an alleged murder and Geoffrey Chaucer attended her funeral procession. Her resting place was lost due to the Reformation and the Great Fire of 1666. Despite all that, this tome is dull suffering from repetition.

Best Line:
Somewhere, below the ground lies the dust of a long-dead queen.”
To Light The Way To Bed

The Ice Cream Girls 1x01 + GCB 1x07 Reviewed

The Ice Cream Girls (2013) 1x01
ITV have adapted Dorothy Koomson’s novel. Serena returns to her hometown after 17 years. She’s never told her husband and daughter the reason she left, but now her mother is dying and she has to return to the low rent seaside resort she fled years ago. Meanwhile Poppy gets out of jail on parole and her mean stepfather hates her and her mother doesn’t really care.

Flashbacks to 1995 show how Serena had a crush on a creeper teacher who took advantage of her and of Poppy. Then someone stabbed him 11 times and Poppy was convicted of murder and Serena walked away scott free. But what really happened?

Serena is known to police, Poppy is bitter and angrily proclaims her innocence but no-one is listening so she stalks Serena and plots. This was okay. Did Serena’s lawyer mother and sister stop her from going on trial? Why was only Poppy tried? Who killed the perv teacher? Why didn’t the fact the teacher was a perv come out? Who is the beach weirdo lurking around Poppy?

Best Lines:
“He’s got to be seen to be respectable.”

“I don’t want that filth in my house.”

“I’ve served 17 years for that bitch.”

Sex Is Divine
Burl proposes to Gigi, Pastor Tudor makes an interesting sermon and Amanda continues to date the vile Luke for some reason. Zack is dim and going bust so he and Sharon come up with a new business plan. Cricket and Blake try to have sex to conceive a second child. They eventually manage to get in the mood by watching the oysters and snails scene from ‘Spartacus’.

Carlene founds a Purity group and throws the Land Of Milk And Mommies class out of the hall. Amanda tries to foil Carlene’s plan for a Heck House. Which leads to the two bonding and a revelation about Carlene’s past. This had potential but was not good.

Best Lines:
“Science is very advanced these days. If you believe in that sort of thing.”

“Why do you hate Purity?”

“Here are the little streetwalkers. It’s so sweet of you to loan them your clothes Heather.”
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Scary Books

Quotes & a 2000 tape tale

Reviews of ‘Deadlocked’, ‘Cat’s Eye’ and ‘Promise of Blood’ forthcoming.

I’m skipping ‘Evil Dead’ (2013).

‘Doctor Who’ Quotes:
“I’m the Doctor.”
“Doctor what?"

“The Ministry of ungentlemanly warfare.”

“For the love of god: stop screaming.”

“Come on then big boy, chase me.”

“How do sharks make babies?”

“They’re quite eaty.”

‘American Gothic’ Quote:
You only exist because of that child’s faith. That too will pass when he learns his full potential.”

The X Files’ vintage promo for ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’

‘Highlander’ opening credits
This 90’s show had its charms. Whatever became of Adrian Paul and Stan Kirsch anyway?

‘Drake & Josh’ Quotes:
“Where’s my stereo?”

‘Drinking Midnight Wine’ Quote:
“Not all of its ghosts sleep the sleep of the just.”

‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ Quotes:
“Half an hour. One bag. Plus the guns. I’ll make pancakes.”

“Sarah Connor is a deluded, dangerous grade A wack-a-mole.”

“You can’t bring anything through when you come. Not weapons, not clothing, nothing. You send someone back to build it.”

‘Supernatural’ Quote:
“If the ghosts are in hell. How do they hear the chanting?”

Numb3rs’ Quotes:

“You know when you told me you were going to join the FBI. You know what the first thought I had was?”
“Where did I go wrong?”
“Honestly, yes.”

Cleared out a 2000 tape. It had a ‘Relic Hunter’ ep ‘Nine Lives’ on it in which Sydney faces down a Egyptian cult lead by Rena Mero who is the worst actress ever. This was awful. Then came a ‘Cleopatra 2525’ ep ‘Run Cleo Run’ in which Cleo has to save the day, this was ugh.

Then came a ‘Jack Of All Trades’ ep ‘Daddy Dearest’ in which Em’s dad shows up and Em has daddy issues. This was ugh.

Best Line:
“The last time we met, I was attempting to hurl you off a cliff. Jolly good fun.”
Scary Books

Movie Reviews: Madhouse + I’ve Been Waiting For You + Iron Man 2

Madhouse (1990)
John Laroquette and Kirstie Alley star as a yuppie couple afflicted by houseguests from hell in this hilarious comedy. After the animated opening credits, Mark (Laroquette) announces his cousin Fred (John Diehl), his shrew wife Bernice and their cat Scruffy are coming to stay. Within seconds of their arrival, Scruffy projectile vomits all over the couple.

Then Jessie (Alley) allows her gold digging sister to stay. They won’t leave, then the gruff neighbour and his two vile kids comes to stay as well. Mark and Jessie find their home has been taken over and then Claudia’s son shows up and moves himself in too. This has a sightseeing montage, a dance routine, a dream sequence and a police raid.

Finally after weeks of slaving for their ungrateful unwanted guests, Mark and Jessie finally crack and violently evict the freeloaders. This was very good with horrible 80s hair and clothes as well as orange tans and an elephant.

Best Lines:
“I want to buy one of those big vulgar televisions.”

“We’re talking five days.”
“Well Chernobyl only took five minutes.”

“Just tell her we’re not here.”

“As if I wanted to live in a garret.”

“I could drywall her into your basement.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Get your haemorrhoids off the barstool.”

“I’ll just lick the crumbs off my filthy sheets!”

“Maybe we’re in some vacation guide for the damned.”

“I hope my water breaks all over your fur coat.”

“You want me to mail urine to New Jersey?”

“I am talking about houseguests from hell.”

“Let’s clean house.”

I’ve Been Waiting For You (1998)
In Ye Olden Days, a witch was burned and vowed to return and avenge herself on the descendants of her murderers. Now Sarah (Sarah Chalke) has come to Pine Crest with her mother and the in crowd at her school think Sarah is the witch reincarnated.

Mean girl Kira (Soleil Moon Frye) and her gang wage a hate campaign against Sarah. The local loser Charlie (Ben Foster of ‘Final Destination’) is Sarah’s only friend. There are dated pop culture references, a lurking nutter with Wolverine claws lurks, Sarah is a bit of a jerk and the in crowd have no concept of trespass laws.

This was terrible and very loosely based on Lois Duncan’s novel ‘Gallows Hill’. The twist ending is silly and nobody faces any consequences for bullying and attempting to burn someone at the stake. The acting was terrible and this film was stupid and populated by hysterical idiots who whispered ominously non-stop.

Best Lines:
“Sinister forces come on down.”

“A promise is a promise.”

“There’s so many holes in that story I don’t even know where to begin.”

“Could it be Kevin? I mean could he pull this off?”
“Sarah come on, Kevin is lucky if he can pull his own socks off.”

“Garlic, you morons, is for vampires. Well, if you don’t believe me ask ‘Buffy’. Doesn’t anyone at this school watch television?”

Iron Man 2 (2010)
Tony made a dramatic announcement at the end of the first film and now has to live with the consequences. He is obnoxious, vainglorious and arrogant. So Ivan (Mickey Rourke) shows up to get revenge and dress like a crazy homeless guy.

Howard Stark appears in old footage and it is clearly not the same guy as in ‘Captain America’. Tony has daddy issues, insults a Senate Committee, drinks too much and is dying due to the Arc Reactor. Also Justin Hammer is a business rival of Tony’s and teams up with Ivan to get Tony.

Pepper becomes CEO of Stark Industries and bores. Black Widow shows up to lurk and eventually kick ass. She’d cut her hair for ‘Avengers’. All the dialogue is incoherent and badly enunciated.

There are Stark family secrets revealed, a prison break, a fight at the Monaco Grand Prix, Rhodes steals a suit, Nick Fury shows up, Coulson annoys and there is sexism. Justin Hammer and Ivan are underwhelming villains and the final fight bores. This was a meandering mess.

Best Lines:
“I’ve successfully privatized world peace.”

“You look like you got friends in low places.”

“Is that supposed to be smoking?”

“I told you that I don’t want to join your super secret boyband.”

“His happiest day was when he shipped me off to boarding school.”

“I will taze you and watch ‘Super Nanny’ while you drool into the carpet.”

“Tear gas, smoke, hippy control.”

“It’s capable of reducing the population of any standing structure to zero. I call it the Ex-Wife.”