September 6th, 2015

Scary Books

Book Reviews: Child Of The Eagle + The Bunny Years + The Water Knife

Child Of The Eagle: A Myth Of Rome by Esther Friesner
This is an alternate universe tale of a Rome in which Brutus saved the life of Julius Caesar at the behest of a mysterious woman. He is granted power and long life on condition that one day, he perform one simple task. This is a very good story about changed history and the price of the divine.

Best Lines:
“It was in terms destined to drag that dead man’s life down below the level of gutter muck.”

“If he passed you in the street, you drew aside your toga as though the very touch of his shadow on your clothes was an unspeakable pollution.”

“I have more at stake in being Caesar’s son than your son ever could. Be careful of the child: His desires are not yours.”

“You aren’t his only son.”

“If the former dictator had had the courtesy to stay dead.”

“A painful misalliance.”

“Brutus mouthed the name as if it were a lump of wormy meat.”

The Bunny Years by Kathryn Leigh Scott
This 1998 book details the inside story of the Playboy clubs in the 1960s by the women who worked as Bunnies and reveals where they are now. There are tales of sexism, poor working conditions, painful costumes, ridiculous work practices and this is an enjoyable slice of social anthropology.

Best Lines:
“I’ll give you a hundred bucks to drop that tray.”

“The ‘brown-shoe crowd’.”

“Code for; I’m not a hooker.’”

“I thought it was the most European thing I’d ever seen.”

“The Bunnies decided to go out on strike, and the Teamsters helped us organises the walkout.”

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
From the author of ‘Ship Breaker’ comes this tale of a devastated future. There is alienation, unapproachable awfulness and lunatics. The relentless bleakness wears you down.

Best Lines:
“How much farther they’d gotten with that kind of provocation waving.”

“You’re sure.”
“Pretty sure. He tried to shoot me in the head.”

“Nobody survives on their own.”

“She only sees how it used to be. Before."
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Movie Reviews: The Falling + Dead Man's Curve + The Runaways + 4 Others

The Falling (2014)
This was advertised as a very dramatic horror which leaves viewers in complete ignorance of many relevant facts. Like the fact this is not a fantastical classic horror just a crap kitchen sink drama. Lydia (Maisie Williams of ‘Game Of Thrones’) dislikes her mad mother (Maxine Peake) and adores her BFF Abigail. They have a mean teacher (Greta Sacchi - who still acts in-between moaning about naked pictures of herself on the internet).

The precocious Abigail dies of never explained causes and no one reacts. It is the 60s so maybe that explains it. The unequivocal view is that this is poo. There is babbling about leylines and no slow burn horror. Lydia is shunned. This is audience alienating swoon with a view. There are secrets, polemics, faux-indignation and consequently you don’t care. People are locked up and this gets ever more dire and ineffective. Lydia rips up a wall quite easily, there is a reveal, a nervous breakdown and it finally ends.

Best Lines:
“Puking up on her is probably the most attention she’s ever had.”

“I know she’s awful.”

“Non-denominational prayer.”

“Making a display of themselves.”

“The result of not being educated.”

“Some concern expressed.”

“Beehives are completely outmoded mother.”

“Crazy witches!”

“Don’t look at me.”

“It’s them and us.”

“She thought she knew it all. Naïve little thing.”

“She wouldn’t care if we were all dead.”

“A malicious prude.”

“I don’t do things like that.”

“Write that down.”

“I resent this idea.”

“I’m glad you’re ill.”

“Hysterical contagion?”

“The disordered womb.”

“Crazy face.”

“Kill the system! It’s killing you!”

“Something so poisoned.”

“I’m not a faker.”

“I’m expelled.”
“Good for you.”

Dead Man’s Curve (1998)
There is an urban legend that if your college roommate kills themselves you get straight A’s. So Tim (Matthew Lillard) and Chris (Michael Vartan) decide to take advantage of this and murder their disgusting jerkass roommate Rand (Randall Batinoff) so they can go to Harvard. Chris’ galpal Emma (Keri Russell of ‘The Americans’) and Rand’s abused galpal Nat (Tamara Craig Thomas of ‘Odyssey 5’) are drawn into the messy plot as is the college counsellor (Dana Delany).

The mood is set by a poster that proclaims: you don’t win silver, you lose gold. This was full of plotholes. There is a lighthouse and a moronic security guard. This is not as funny as it thinks it is. People die and the corrupt unscrupulous young exploit their elders. This was not fiendishly ingeniously plotted despite what the big twist thinks. The young are ambitious and willing to set aside moral considerations. It helps that nobody has any intelligence and that the cops are dumb. The acting is bad and Matthew Lillard annoys. This film makes no logical sense, the acting is wooden, women are without agency, selfish behaviour is rewarded and instead of plotting murder - studying would be realistically more attainable.

Best Lines:
“I’d always be concerned about anyone who underlines passages in ‘The Bell Jar’.”

“Suzanne Vega, The Smiths, The Cure, anything from the 80s.”

“We have a sale on Joy Division.”

“Go pay for that would you?”

“I can’t pee anymore.”

“Chick from ‘Species’?”

“That was unexpected.”

“I hear you get amoebic dysentery if you swim in it.”

“Feelings of despair.”

“That’s clearly unfortunate.”

“All your friends seem like they’re committing suicide.”

“We’ll dedicate a wing to you in the psych department.”

“What are you going to get your Masters in?”
“I’m thinking about; drama.”

The Runaways (2010)
A biopic that lacks something. This tale of Joan Jett and co is criminally appalling. I don’t care about this leaden take on the rough-hewn band because it is flat, uninteresting and full of degrado.

Dream Demon (1988)

Avalanche (1978)
Huge, horrible, natural and crap.

The Hindenburg (1975)

Man On The Moon (1999)
Okay Andy Kaufman biopic. He appears on ‘Taxi’, wrestles and dies.

Best Lines:
“There isn’t a real you.”

“This is a bar of soap. Say it with me. Soap.”

“This is toilet paper. Good grief. Use it.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Trailers, Quotes and a 1999 Tape Tale

‘Awaiting’ (2015) trailer
This UK horror has weirdoes, violence, blood and gurning. It looks ridiculous.

Best Lines:
“I know you’re up to something.”


“Why are you mad at me?”

“Ungrateful and rude.”

‘Insignificance’ (1985) promo

‘Whore’ (1991) promo

‘The Cassandra Crossing’ (1976) promo

‘Devious Maids’ season 3 promo

‘Everest’ TV spot
Didn’t ‘Vertical Limit’ do this already?

War Room’ promo

‘Strike!’ trailer
A comedy set in a 1960s boarding school. This has sex jokes and a bad trailer and it was a not so good film.

‘Susan’s Plan’ trailer
Awful people plan a murder. This was a bad terrible trailer and a hideously awful movie.

Best Line:
“Get away from me or I’ll hurt you.”

‘Angel’s Dance’ trailer
Two hitmen chase a nutter who chases them back. Kyle Chandler and Sheryl Lee star. Okay trailer but a dumb movie.

Best Line:
“Now rake!”

Mint M&Ms - okay.
Strawberry yogurt - not as good as the passion fruit.
Strawberry Refresher bar - nice.

I am reading ‘The Big Lie’.

There will be no reviews of ‘Once Upon A Time’ 4x08&4x09 ‘Smash The Mirror 1&2’.

I recall the 1989 ‘Doctor Who’ saga ‘The Curse Of Fenric’ - scary.

I will review ‘Containment’.

‘Taxi’ Quote:
“It hurts me to see you not working.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“I’ve never had fun sober.”

“That’s shocking to me.”

“A problem with anger.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Imprisoning them in a large internment camp for hedonists where they will be bombarded by loud noises and get to have magical adventures with drunks.”

“GAA-jersey-clad alcoholic Blur fan with poor boundaries.”

“Pint-quaffing progenitors.”

“Begone foul succubus.”

“A foul muddy landscape where the brutals listen to a barbaric din.”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: Trevor menaces the undertaker and so Jason arrests him and Robbie. Trevor takes his shirt off and looks like a bowl of mouldy spud. Nico figures out Kim’s evil deeds. Ziggy won’t wear a shirt. Theresa reappears. Darren annoys. Nobody listens to Nico. A new female gangster shows up to menace Trevor. Lindsey reveals she gave her sister Kath brain damage. Kim stalks Lindsey. Jason collapses. Ben menaces Robbie and Maxine is orange.

On ‘Neighbours’: Josh is awful. Amber is awful. Shelia bores. Brad shuns his wife. Naomi’s fat. Brennan shoves his nose it. Paige interferes more and wants Terese gone. Brad is awful to his wife and is ready to throw 20 years of marriage away for Lauren. Shelia is a moron. Brennan is a tool and Terese learns that Brad regrets his marriage.

Best Lines:
“There is an issue?”

“I never said that.”

“Something dodgy happening.”

“It’s dirty money.”

“I’m not being critical pet.”

“Everything I do attracts criticism from you.”

“You don’t respect me.”

Cleared out a tape from 1999. It began with a ‘Nash Bridges’ ep ‘Resurrection’ in which a sniper wanders and Cassidy is presumed dead in a car wreck. Nash is a burk and the sniper isn’t the greatest possible concern. The unfortunate result of the plot is that Cassidy isn’t dead.

Best Line:
“He just dropped.”

Then came a ‘Star Trek Voyager’ ep ‘Timeless’ in which there is time travel. Harry Kim caused Voyager to crash into an ice planet and now 15 years later, he wants to fix it. Starfleet apparently just left Voyager stuck in a glacier for 15 years. Chakotay has a disposable woman. There is asspull plotting, technobabble and bad acting. Geordi is captain of the USS Challenger (in the books, he is still on the Enterprise). There is much talking and a fairly decent SFX scene where Voyager crashes onto the ice planet. This was dull.

Best Lines:
“Decks 9 through 14 are now Deck 10.”

“A Borg temporal transmitter.”

“Conspiracy to violate the Temporal Prime Directive.”

“We’re talking to yesterday. Timing is everything.”

“Even if they survived re-entry at this velocity. We wouldn’t.”

Finally there was the 1998 film ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ which was a ‘thriller’ in which vile college students plot and bore.
To Light The Way To Bed

Thicker Than Water (1993) + Reign 2x03&2x04 Reviewed

Thicker Than Water (1993)
Theresa Russell stars as identical twins in this BBC drama. Based on a book and is forgettable.

Mary whines and Francis is unkempt. Francis has claimed Lola’s bastard and made it a Baron. Bash and Kenna sulk. Why does nobody curtsey to royalty? Francis is an arse. Lord Narcisse oils his way around. France needs grain. Mary tries to make a deal with Protestant Germany. An annoying woman makes accusations. Dowager Queen Catherine lurks. Amid all the plague, war debts and unrest - one wonders where Mary’s Guise relatives are. Nobody has sleeves.

People wander corridors. Were there corridors then? Where is Mary’s dog? Francis is an ungrateful moron. WTF is that on Mary’s head? Kenna is thick. Francis’ longstanding unlawful behaviour won’t let him reconcile his aspirations. There is illegality. Will Francis die already? Mary has no wit and never cared about her people or country. All the male guest starts look alike.

This was okay. The music seems rejigged from ‘Earth: Final Conflict’. Francis is crowned King in his throne room and not in a cathedral. Mary is crowned with him despite the fact she wasn’t. The imagery is borrowed from ‘Marie Antoinette’. The crown of France looks gimcrack.

Best Lines:
“The dead do not shout.”

“Horrid plague fires.”

“Is that judgement in your tone?”

“A new relationship with God.”

“Preening pea-hens with empty heads.”

“Watch Rome prop up a new puppet king.”

“Fighting over a rancid potato.”

“Tell them a different story.”

“No more help from you.”

“Do you accuse me of something?”

“Her too.”

The Lamb And The Slaughter
There is rain. Where did all the pagans go? Where are Francis’ siblings? His sister Elisabeth is mentioned for the first time since 1x01. Lola’s bastard is to be christened. Mary is blank faced. Leith lurks. Lord Narcisse has married the peasant girl he carted off in a cage in 2x01. WTF is on Mary’s head? Why is there a sea wall near the castle? Mary is pregnant. Catherine has developed a pregnancy test. Elizabeth I is mentioned. Mary drinks whilst pregnant and then miscarries over her pink shoes. Lola (it’s Susan from the ’Narnia’ movies) accuses Lord Narcisse of being abusive to his many dead wives. There are exposition dumps. Greer bores. Lola has no regrets. There is a baby carved of butter at the christening feast. There is dancing and this was okay.

Best Lines:
“Been denied.”

“This is how it’s done.”

“He’s poisonous and cruel.”

“I had your chamber pot tested.”

“An heir-producing Catholic.”

“Barren and unmarried.”

“The wives before me.”

“Knocking your bed through the floor.”

“What were you?”

“Conde smells fraud.”

“The dullest cows in France.”

“You are no innocent.”

“I rode here all night.”

“An excess of tenderness.”

“Damning rumours.”

“Dark times are upon us.”
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