June 17th, 2013

Scary Books

The Day After part 1 + True Blood 5x05 + The Americans 1x04&1x05 + Once Upon A Time 2x05 Reviewed

The Day After (1983) part 1

The day before. The day of. The day after.

This ‘event TV’ of the 1980s shows the effect of a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR. The opening credits have ridiculous cheery music over beauty shots of Kansas so you know bad stuff is coming.

Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Lithgow, Bibi Besch star as everyday folk for whom everything is normal for the very last time. It’s sadly a long boring build up as issues over East Germany lead to war. TPTB are blinded by angry events that effectively destroy reason.

People have frizzy hair, mom jeans and mullets. But as doomsday nears people stock up on baked beans and water jugs, queue at pay phones, sweep supermarkets clean and indulge in chaos and screaming. Arthur Ashe has a cameo as a newsreader.

There is a quiet scene on a farm that showcases a crow flying around, cows doing cow things and a horse running in slow motion. Then the missiles launch via terrible stock footage. Child actors overact, an idiot woman refuses to accept reality and has to be dragged screaming to the cellar and college students stand slack jawed as missiles fly overhead. This was okay but the characters are too wet to step on.

Best Lines:
“It’s like 1962 all over again.”

“We’re not going to nuke the Russians to save the Germans. I mean if you were talking oil in Saudi Arabia, then I’d be real worried.”

“They’re on their way to Russia. They take about 30 minutes to reach their target.”
“So do theirs, right?”

Let’s Boot and Rally
Sookie pukes on Alcide mid seduction. Jason wears a ‘He-Man’ t-shirt in a dream sequence, Tara points out that Pam dresses like a drag queen and Nora bores some more. The Authority storyline bores, Terry’s storyline bores and Tara and Jessica bond over bloodlust, at least temporarily. Alcide, Sookie, Bill, Eric and some other dude look for Russell. Jesus (or at least a part of him) shows up. Sookie just walks off and leaves some humans trapped in a vampire’s larder. People get shot. Tara feeds on Hoyt to Jessica’s horror. Roman makes yet another long boring speech. Russell is found and everything was utterly boring.

Best Lines:
“New York City smells like pee and the people are rude.”

“I’m thinking maybe this was a not so great idea.”

“I don’t believe you.”
“Well I’m sorry to hear that.”

In Control
Regan is shot as Elizabeth and Phillip have hotel sex. The FBI wants to blame the KGB for Regan’s shooting. Claudia issues orders and sees the shooting as the beginning of a coup. Elizabeth digs up a cache of weapons and prepares for war.

More wigs are worn, Paige bonds with Stan’s son Matthew, Elizabeth shoots someone in the head and is cold. Phillip puts his foot down. A pompous reporter has a secret. Stan and his wife have issues. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Did we do this?”
“I don’t think so.”

“The last two times our leaders died our government pretended they weren’t dead for weeks.”

“I was living with psycho militants for too long.”

The KGB has a mole in the ballistic missile programme who is cracking up under stress. Stan hunts said mole. Phillip spends time with the moronic Martha. Elizabeth is horrible, Nina beds a co-worker and this episode features a legion of fools. Someone gets shot, the FBI has bad security, Elizabeth is a bigger drama queen than Lauren Conrad and the KGB learns they have a mole. This was not good.

Best Lines:
“She never asked any questions about what you did all day?”
“She knew enough not too.”

“I’m your husband Elizabeth. What do you think husbands do?”
“I wouldn’t know.”

The Doctor
Cora’s wiped out the safe haven save for Emma, Mary Margaret and the ever useless Mulan and Auora. The foursome stumbles across Hook who tries to play them. Emma ties Hook to a tree. Flashbacks show how Regina killed a poor unicorn and how she tried to revive Daniel with the help of Doctor Frankenstein (David Anders). Meanwhile in Storybrooke Daniel is staggering around as Dr Whale aka Victor has brought him back wrong. Henry the brat is in peril. More flashbacks show how Jefferson was a sneaky jerk, Regina was a murderous idiot, Rumpy sneered and the monster was Victor’s brother. I had high hopes for this ep but it was utter crap.

Best Lines:
“Why does Captain Hook want to go to Storybrooke?”

“I’ve made my monster. Now I do hope you’ll be able to make yours.”
“I’m not making a monster.”
“Sure you’re not.”

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ trailer
The bard in black and white. Reed Diamond features and it seems as good as the Kenneth Brannagh film.

‘This Is The End’ TV spot

Best Line:
“Could it be that Hollywood has finally gone to hell?”

Pea and mint soup = odd.
Peppermint tea = yum.

There will be a 3rd season of ‘Continuum’! Yay!

Reviews of: ‘The Birth of Venus’, ‘I.O.U’, ‘A Cold Season’ and ‘Six Wives’ forthcoming.

I just learnt of the existence of Strawberry Fanta, I don’t know whether to be intrigued or disgusted.

Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“The only difference between him being dead and not dead is just that he didn’t die.”

“That would make you none less dead.”

‘Modern Family’ Quotes:
“That’s so sweet and sensitive. Why did you kill that part of yourself?”

“It’s not the 70s. We know better.”

“If he sees it, we’ll have to talk about it.”

“Is she still throwing out those college brochures?”
“She just tossed one now. Who does she think empties the trash?”

“If no-one gets concussion, we’re totally coming back.”

“Complicated thought. What magazine taught you that?”

“We’re in a wooden box built in 1970. Let’s go.”

‘The Time Traveller’s Guide To Elizabethan England’ Quotes:
“The house of John Shakespeare, the father of William. Of whom you might have heard.”

“Many will tell you tobacco makes your breath smell like the piss of a fox.”

“John Dee; he of the wife swapping angel séances.”

‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!’ Quotes:
“Did you come down here just to give me a hard time?”

“I do not wish to hurt you.”
“Well we don’t feel the same way.”

“You believe your arrows can defeat me archer?”
“I’m really just the distraction.”

“The robotic demon has much to answer for.”

‘A Cold Season’ Quote:
“They were placed on the village boundary to keep witches and bad spirits out, supposedly of course, they could just as well keep them in. You have seen the locals?”

“Blackadder II’ Quotes:
“Shut up Balders, you’d laugh at a Shakespeare comedy.”

“This place stinks like a pair of armoured trousers after the Hundred Years War.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Book Reviews: A Soldier’s Duty + Generation V + Affliction

A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson
The 1st in the ‘Theirs Not To Reason Why’ series. Ia is a precog cursed with visions of the future. She knows that in 300 years, the galaxy will be laid waste. She unlike Cassandra of lore, Ia plans to change that terrible future.

It will mean leaving her backwater colony world, joining the Terran United Planets Marines and rising through the ranks. She must influence friends, family and colleagues building a reputation as the solider known as Bloody Mary to inspire those who will come after her when she is long dead.

This is good as Ia shapes the future dealing with aliens, criminals, religious differences and transhumans. It is an intriguing start and I look forward to reading more about Ia.

Best Lines:
“That makes me responsible for anything your or your descendants do. I cannot allow them to exist. I’m sorry.”

“I will backhand you. Yes. With this hand.”

Generation V by M.L. Brennan
The 1st in a new series. Fortitude Scott has a useless college degree, works in a horrible coffee shop, has a horrible roommate and is a vampire, something he likes to ignore.

His mother is creepy, his elder brother is controlling and his elder sister is hateful. Then another vampire pays a visit and starts killing people. Fortitude decides to do something about it and learns he can’t run from his heritage anymore. This is an excellent engrossing, quirky read with an intriguing vampire mythos. I am so there for book two.

Best Lines:
“Maybe it hadn’t been entirely clever life decisions that led me to stand in an alleyway at night, accompanied only by a fox and a pair of bodies.”

“If threats don’t work?”
“Then use violence.”

“You heal like an immuno-compromised grandma.”

“Visit an elf outpost and you practically hear the banjos in the background."

“Do I look like some Gaia-hugging twat with a Coexist bumper sticker on the back of my Saab?”

“Just exercising my Second Amendment right to shoot stuff, sir.”

Affliction by Fay Weldon
This 1995 novel comes from the author of ‘The Life and Loves of a She Devil’, ‘The Cloning of Joanna May’, ‘Growing Rich’ and ‘Letters to Alice.”

Annette and Spicer used to be happy. But now the pregnant Annette realises the once loving Spicer has turned into a repellent, abominable jerk full of brooding menace. As she tries to figure out why he has turned against her she suspects the therapist he is devoted to is drawing up plans against her.

This is a good cruel ferocious novella. Annette is changed into a pathetic grovelling woman fixated on ’saving’ her marriage as the monstrous, glazen and malign Spicer wickedly gaslights her into believing she is petty, selfish, solipsistic, jealous and obscenely envious.

Spicer will not leave the false comfort of ‘therapy’ and he communicates with Annette only by threatening. Will she realise life with the puerile corrupted Spicer isn’t worth it? The ending is not upbeat or life affirming but has a lot of unfazed defiance. This is a tale of suffering and resilience against an unhelpful, anti social, unstable, inept, weak, rude spouse.

Best Lines:
“You overcook the mange tout in a way that only be deliberate.”

“He’s given herpes to at least a dozen people I know.”

“Someone some where’s trying to turn you against me. That’s all it can be.”

“You always side with my enemies.”
“Enemies? A middle-class housewife with enemies?”

“There is no place for you here. You have always made me profoundly unhappy.”

“Wait for the enemy powers to gather.”

“He loved me until you put it into his head that he didn’t.”
Scary Books

The White Queen (2013) 1x01 Reviewed

BBC1’s event TV of the summer begins. It is 1464 and Elizabeth Woodville is a widow, her husband died fighting for the deposed King Henry VI. So she stands by the road to appeal to the new King, Edward IV, for the return of her confiscated lands. The young King likes what he sees and marries Elizabeth in secret to the delight of her witch mother Jacquetta and the horror of his House of York. The Woodville clan supported Henry VI but switch sides as Elizabeth’s star rises.

Elizabeth has inexplicably crimped hair, exposition is dropped and Edward’s cousin/mentor Warwick (James Frain) has a 1970s pimp hairdo and is an utter arse who yells a lot. Edward who looks like Justin Bieber brings Elizabeth to his court where Lady Margaret Beaufort (mother of King Henry VII) lurks and introduces her to his brothers George and Richard (yes, that Richard). Elizabeth then faces down Edward’s mother and her coal scuttle style headdress who hates her on sight and snide remarks about Edward’s rumoured illegitimacy are exchanged.

This was okay, you know what will happen to these people but it is fun to watch. Medieval England looks very clean and the idea of marrying for love as Edward IV and Jacquetta did is anathema to most nobles. Of course Edward IV’s grandson Henry VIII would change England forever to marry for love. Must be something in the bloodline. The promo for 1x02 shows Warwick doing more screaming and Elizabeth plotting and I’ll be there

Best Lines:
“You may not fall in love with a York king unless there is some profit in it for you.”

“Sometimes woman, you even scare me.”

“I am not happy about this marriage.”
“That’s a shame. We’re all delighted.”

“She is a roadside strumpet.”

“Edward of York is not the King. He killed our father.”
“He is King now and we must show our loyalty to him.”

“That whore would get her hooks into you when she lured you into her hovel.”

“Baron Rivers, a hastily made up title to cover red faces when a high born Lancastrian lady bedded a grubby commoner as I recall.”
“He was a Squire and always twice the man you are Lord Warwick.”

“Do you want to be drowned in a ducking stool?”

“What were they?”
“Things that you will never know, children who will not be born, chances you will not take. They are lost to you.”

“He will not take her in a rosebush John.”