January 12th, 2014

Scary Books

Book Review: Hellfire

Hellfire by Jean Johnson
The 3rd in the ‘Theirs Not To Reason Why’ saga is a sad letdown. This military sci-fi started out wonderfully with ’A Soldier’s Duty’, faltered with ’An Officer’s Duty’ and goes utterly off the rails with this penultimate volume. Ia (and her messiah complex) has her own ship and assembles a crew to save the galaxy as foreseen in her prophecies. The second Salik war erupts and prices must be paid. Entertaining subplots are ignored in favour of battle scenes, Ia wangsting and it all seems aimed at the domestic wine drinking demographic and not SF fans. I loved Book 1 and am bitterly disappointed by Books 2&3.

Best Line:
“I am the Prophet of a Thousand Years, the Changer of Worlds, the Meddler of Destinies, the Defender of Our Galaxy.”
Scary Books

Trailers and Stuff

‘The Tomorrow People’ 1x02 promo
Oh shut up.

‘Dracula’ 1x10 promo
Dracula has made Lucy into a vampire and she seems to like it. This looks good.

Best Lines:
“Death is coming.”

“I know who you are.”

I watched some of ’Splash!’, I am ashamed.

The ‘Veronica Mars’ movie poster looks good. Bet it will flop harder than ‘Serenity’ though.
Scary Books

Hostages (2013) 1x01 Reviewed

Pilot
Dr Ellen Saunders (Toni Collette of ’Muriel’s Wedding’ and ’United States of Tara’) is a surgeon hired to operate on the POTUS, her cheating dudebro husband Brian (Tate Donovan of ’Love Potion no.9’) takes up space and Duncan (Dylan McDermott of ‘The Practice‘, which was probably the worst legal drama ever broadcast) is an FBI with permastubble, ’depth’ via sick wife and idiot daughter who hires minions to blackmail Ellen into killing the POTUS on the operating table.

Sounds like it has promise doesn’t it? And it has a nice title card but this has to be the worst thriller drama ever broadcast. Ellen wears a bad wig, Duncan shows off his Matthew Fox stubble, sneers and has no inherent dignity. Ellen’s daughter Morgan is knocked up, her son Jake is a failed drug dealer and the family has working mother issues like it is 1989. The Saunders family are a pack of idiots and liars who are easily taken hostage by Duncan and co.

Duncan spouts adverse references and has negative, offensive and irrelevant views. He is also a small piece of a much larger conspiracy. They nail the windows shut and let the Saunders know that everyone is in on it. My interest in this show has deteriorated to a point where I want Duncan to die violently along with Morgan, Jake, Brian and Declan’s minions.

Duncan’s ‘brilliant plan’ is for Ellen to poison the POTUS with a clear fluid hidden in a lipstick case. Ellen’s response is to think about cutting off a finger with some scissors. This was ridiculous with way too many extraneous issues. This was contrived crap with Stockholm syndrome setting in after about two minutes and Ellen finding her brain in the closing minutes.

Best Lines:
“What if you’d be wrong?”
“I wasn’t.”

“Sewn more sponges into his patients than stitches.”

“I want my red Hello Kitty dress!”

“What are you doing home? Did you get fired?”

“We know all your secrets. All of them.”

“Nothing you do will save him.”

“They have to fear us.”

“The guy took a baseball bat to some college kid who tried to stiff him for 200 bucks worth of weed.”
Scary Books

Movie Review: Burke & Hare (2010)

This John Landis ’comedy’ is set in 1828 Scotland and is a wildly inaccurate and wildly inappropriate biopic of the notorious grave robbers and murderers Burke (Simon Pegg) and Hare (Andy Serkis - stop it Peter Jackson, he isn‘t happening). The duo are failed conmen who decide to make beer money by supplying medical schools with cadavers. The doctor (Tom Wilkinson) doesn’t ask questions, his rival (Tim Curry) glowers and one of their first murders is of a Napoleonic War veteran (Christopher Lee).

The captain of the local militia (Ronnie Corbett) is not as stupid as they think he is, Hare’s wife (Jessica Hynes) is a lush, Burke falls for a prostitute (Isla Fisher) and Hugh Bonneville and Jenny Agutter show up for no clear reason. There are cameos by Greyfriars Bobby, Dr Lister, Samuel Coleridge and Charles Darwin. There is also mutterings about progress and the enlightenment as the duo murder for money.

Finally Burke and Hare are busted and their fate is softened a lot. Hare did not end up running a funeral parlour, but yes the executed Burke’s skeleton is on display in an anatomy museum to this day. This was crass, unfunny and plain bad.

Best Lines:
“That would be an artery.”  

“I’ve a very very good explanation.”

“He stopped living and died.”

“No chance, piss off.”

“I’m not saying anything, especially to a Presbyterian.”