April 10th, 2016

Scary Books

Movie Reviews: A Gnome named Gnorm + 6 others

A Gnome Named Gnorm aka Up World (1990)
A gnome meets a cop (Anthony Michael Hall). Together they fight crime. Jerry Orbach, Robert Z’Dar and Claudia Christian co-star in this horrible film. This was filmed in 1988 and understandably sat on the shelf and has been forgotten. This is abject nonsensicality and Orbach has increasingly broad irritation at being in this.

~
The Charge Of The Light Brigade (1936)
Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland star in this wildly inaccurate tale.

Mrs Miniver (1942)
A propaganda film that isn’t that good.

High Plains Drifter (1973)
Clint Eastwood stars in this creepy film.

Pale Rider (1985)
Clint Eastwood is a gunman.

Serpico (1973)
The title character (Al Pacino) dresses like a pimp and whines.

Henry V (1989)
Kenneth Branagh’s constant need for validation is on display. He doesn’t have any unique talent and this was devoid of substance.

Best Line:
“Love me soundly with your French heart.”
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Richard/Lost

Trailers, Quotes and tape tales of 2004&1999

'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ trailer
This prequel to ‘A New Hope’ looks awesome. People won’t submit to the superior wisdom of the ruling class. The heroine is Rey’s mother isn’t she? This has an old school look. The Death Star, a dude in white and ethereally calm people. This has a retro-feel and there is fascist cape brooding. The used future aesthetic looks good apart from the scene that looks like the London underground. Forest Whitaker looks intense and battle-scared. There is the Emperor’s royal guard, a lot of AT-ATs and diverse climate planets don’t exist. More of the metal colossi please. Why is the heroine in an Imperial uniform? A dude beats down a stormtropper with a stick. I’m there.

Best Line:
“I rebel.”

‘Arrow’ 4x19 promo
Well they killed the Canary (again). Diggle wears the moronic helmet.

‘UHugs’ ad
Creepy.

‘LalaLoopsy’ ad
NO.

‘IDo3D’ ad
Awesome.

‘Murders That Shocked The Nation’ promo
Taste-free.

‘Millionaire’s Mansions’ promo
No.

‘Gameshakers’ promo
So much stupid.

‘Bad Company’ (2002) promo
Horrible.

‘Supernatural’ season 11 promo
Oh hell no.

Billions’ promo
Oooh.

‘Flowers’ promo
WTF?

‘I Want My Wife Back’ promo
Ha.

‘The Jungle Book’ TV spot
No.

‘CSI: Cyber’ promo
Crap.

Sour cherries - yum.
Gorgonzola picante - yum.
Wild garlic pesto - yum.
Gluten free apricot, walnut and treacle granola - yum.

There is pesto butter?

They’re making a ‘Carry On Bananas’ in 2017? No!

‘Sherlock’ season 4 sounds interesting.

Read a truly horrible 'Sleepy Hollow' season 3 spoiler. That show was RUINED.

Magnolia perfume smells nice.

I will read ‘13 Minutes’ and ‘Would-Be Witch’.

I won’t read ‘Pointe’, ’Cold Embrace’, ’The Cardinal Virtues’ or ‘Daughters of Ruin’.

I won’t review ‘Snap’.

‘The Big Bang Theory’ Quotes:
“There was something in the wall that wanted out.”

“Holes and birds and wind.”

‘The Inbetweeners’ Quotes:
“Had hosted an orgy on the fold out table.”

“Smoking drugs? In the open? On a school day?”

‘Sky News’ Quotes:
“Whatever this is.”

“There’s not need for that.”

“Grateful looking locals.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Positioned in opposition to all organised authority.”

“Has nothing to his personality.”

“Gothic disorder.”

“A terminally confused soul.”

“The sort of bad clothes worn only by Christians in liberal-skewed movies.”

“Say awful things to one another.”

“Lacks gravitas and coherence.”

“Unintelligible CG madness.”

“Dark-hearted denouement.”

“Delete, delegate, respond, defer and do.”

“I can see nothing but olive groves, unless I go to the end of the village street, and there is Albania.”

“Eutrophication.”

“Water stress.”

“Striking paucity of efforts.”

“Left to decay miserably.”

“To call it bleak is to understate the matter.”

“That’s why so many buildings from the period look as though somebody has been urinating on them for the past half-century.”

“Long-forgotten and unmourned.”

“Horrible, squat dump of a place,”

“Dullness and mediocrity.”

“Agroforestry.”

“Dire social exclusion.”

~
On ‘Hollyoaks’: The radio news describes Lindsey as “sweet and unassuming”. I’m tired of Loveday drama. Tegan the husband-stealing, coke-head, toddler kidnapping faker harasses Celine. Where are Cameron and Leela? Where did Lockie go? Lindsey goes OTT. Where are Jason and Robbie? Joe comforts Hypnotoad. Why does Lindsey suddenly not care about JJ? Kim moves in with Esther. Where is Curtis? Trevor cries. Kim has GHDed hair. Frankie is saved, Cindy is horrible, Ben resurfaces and Lindsey puts on a crap blonde wig. Silas helps Lindsey escape and offers a partnership.

Remember what hanging out with Silas led to for poor Will? Nico plots against her mother which doesn’t work out the way she planned. Ben asks Sienna to marry him in Nico’s hospital room. Ste and Harry are thankless, lazy, ungrateful and endanger Trevor’s beloved fish so he kicks them out. The Lovedays catch their fake daughter and real son going at it on the sofa.

Best Lines:
“We don’t want it here.”

“Your evil sister.”

“Frankie, you were never neighbourly.”

“I’m not scared of you!”
“Well, you should be.”

“Lindsey’s kill list. What? We’re all thinking it.”

“She’s not going to knock is she?”

“I knew a Lyndsey once.”

“Let’s go and cause some mischief.”

~
Cleared out two tapes. The 1st was from 2004 and began with a ‘Charmed’ ep ‘I Dream Of Phoebe’ in which an evil genie prances. Paige bothers a slumming Getty heir. There is a flying carpet and Phoebe ends up in a bottle in a bad wig. There is really bad SF and Chris looks like a truck stop ho. Chris is stupid and this was dull.

Best Lines:
“Why I always get struck with the wig?”

“There’s a warning on the genie bottle?”

Then came another ‘Charmed’ ep ‘The Courtship of Wyatt’s Father’ in which Chris worries he won’t be conceived. Well then, why did he split his parents up in the first place? Gideon sneers and this was dull.

Then came a ‘Dead Like Me’ ep ‘Sunday Mornings’ in which the Reapers annoy and I really do not care about George.

Best Line:
“Sleepy and grumpy.”

Then came another ‘Dead Like Me’ ep ‘Business Unfinished’ about which I just did not care.

~
The 2nd tape was from 1999. It began with a ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ ep ‘in Sickness and in Hell’ in which Xena and her gobby sidekick are struck down with various diseases and Joxer lurks. This had no comedy and no cinematic swagger.

Then came a season 3 ‘Due South’ ep ‘Odds’ in which Stephanie Romanov guest-starred as a poker player. This ep is a powerful caveat as to how this show sucked once Ray left.

Best Line:
“It’s very difficult to anticipate an exploding wall.”

Finally there was the alleged classic movie ‘Better Off Dead’. It has a mother who can’t cook, Diane Franklin as the love interest showing off her bad perm and the hero Lane whines. Lane’s galpal left him for the school jerk Stalin. Lane is a useless whining jerk and this movie is a glorification of stupidity and Lane’s capitalist sense of property rights. He is not a self-scrutiniser.

Best Lines:
“Dates the basketball team. Not certain members of the team Lane, the whole team.”

“Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.”

“Big boy smut like this.”
Scary Books

Book Review: SPQR

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
This tome explores the founding of Rome, its expansion and transformation into an Empire. It also explores Roman debate about citizenship, culture, liberty, migration and how they thought about themselves and the social comparison disorder they had. This is a good look at the socially engineered phenomena that was Rome. This shows while it was not something to emulate it still influences us today. It may not have been a pleasant society but it is was enormously influential.

Best Lines:
“Notoriously, tediously but ultimately persuasively ending ever speech he made with the words ‘Carthage must be destroyed”.”

“Other reformers were battered to death in the Senate house itself, the assailants using tiles from the building’s roof as their weapons.”

“He was given an impromptu cremation in the Senate house, which burned down with him.”

“Put to death by being tied up in a sack with poisonous snakes.”

“Stabbed him to death with their writing styluses,”

“Specialised in insulting the local residents.”

“Had been shocked to find enemy heads casually pinned up at the entrance to Gallic houses, though he conceded that, after a while, one got used to the sight;”

“Veni, vidi, vici.”

“Dangerously dissatisfied.”

“Entirely pointless consumption.”

“Octavian responded by getting his hands on Antony’s will and reading out particularly incriminating selections from it to the Senate.”

“Their barbarian wealth and weird weapons.”

“His early, and predictably, suspicious death.”

“Disapprovers always need something to disapprove of.”

“Terrible moral turpitude.”

“The emperor Commodus, dressed as a gladiator and threatening the Senators in the front-row seats of the Colosseum by waving the head of a decapitated ostrich at them, is often taken to sum up the ludicrous sadism of corrupt authority.”

“It is a fallacy to imagine that only the poor write on walls.
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Illya K

ManFromUNCLE 2x26&2x27+LegendsOfTomorrow 1x06+Colony 1x01+Supergirl 1x10+Agent Carter 2x03 Reviewed

The Project Deephole Affair
Men lurk in dark alleys. Solo has privilege and condescension. Fat sweaty men make up this plot. One or two are in peril and one is evil. Solo thinks he is rather fabulous and wonderful. A Thrush agent named Narcissus Darling lurks. It took fanfic to give Solo and Illya depth and character. Not this ep, this was pedantic. The guest stars are long standing has-beens uttering entendes. The duo manipulates an innocent. This ep left me unimpressed.

Solo is neither charismatic nor charming. Sometimes it is hard to see how this show had such popular renown. Thrush invents the self-driving car. Illya is in peril and sadistic and tawdry things happen. A drilling rig looks like its been covered in silver glitter. A Thrush moleman plots. Narcissus acts like the part was originally meant for Angelique. Solo growls sexily and wants his “travelling companion” back.

Best Lines:
“More or less alive.”

“He and his companion ducked into a hotel.”

“I can’t get it up for you right now.”

“A new top-secret project we don’t know anything about.”

“Occupation: none.”

“I like you.”
“Oh, really.”
“I’ve never said that to anyone before.”

“I thought you might like to see our air pollution.”

“You really did have a homing device sewn into his suit.”

~
The Round Table Affair
Illya is called an American and is in peril. A country gives fugitives asylum. Solo has to chat up a Grand Duchess who is still in school because her regent is corrupt. The mafia (though the term is never used for some odd reason) have taken over the Grand Duchess’ country so she has to take it back. Illya doesn’t utter any homely Russian proverbs. A royal wedding is suggested and there is a sword in a stone. The Grand Duchess (who was still in school when the episode began) has to marry mafia member Artie King. Said King is a scumbag with suspicions of high culture. There are no overt displays of sentimentality until King starts acting nice for no apparent reason. There is an old fashioned wedding dress, a duel and comedy. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“I’ve been in worse jails.”

“I know what Mr King’s friends are.”

“I don’t care what you do or how you do it.”

“All the s’s are f’s!”

“There’s an Interpol cop behind every tree.”

“What do I do now? Throw it back at him?”

“The happy populace.”

~
Star City 2046
This episode was good so I’ll stick with this show for now. The gang have arrived in Star City in 2046 and there is fighting and Rip Hunter has no messianic allure. Palmer Tech is now Smoak Technologies. Sara has over-gelled hair. Oddly Sara never asks about Sin. Ray annoys. Jax pulls faces. Mick has no brain and Stein won’t shut his gob. Kendra is a sexual trophy to be won apparently.

Terrible damage has been done to Star City. Mick takes over a gang and stands around glowering at this underlings. There is a mention of the Uprising and how Slade’s son, Grant Wilson, showed up to mess up Star City. It is not said that Slade wasn’t always insane. Nobody thought to check out Slade’s son before this and tell him how his father was once a good man? No.

The gang can not but give into provocation. Lance has unwavering monologues. An older Oliver (Stephen Amell - as wooden as ever) doesn’t tell Sara how Laurel was murdered as a way to make their father sad. That was a disgusting act by TPTB. Grant Wilson outed Oliver as the Green Arrow and cut one of his arms off. Now Oliver has bad old age makeup and a beard. Lance and Diggle are dead, Felicity left town apparently and John Diggle Jr is the new Arrow. John Diggle Jnr has no admiration for his predecessor. What happened to Diggle’s daughter?

Oliver and his manpain has more manpain. No one cares about Thea. The Jax/Kendra/Ray love triangle crap is jarring and un-dramatic. Grant Wilson is not au courant with sanity. Where is Oliver’s son? Rip Hunter and his bag lady fashion sense annoys. I’ll stick with this for now. Ray is the least cool guy ever. Oliver whines about how he’s literally half the man he used to be. Oliver can’t do math. No-one has peripheral vision. Mick is a nut and Grant Wilson gives off serious Kylo Ren vibes. This was good.

Best Lines:
“I don’t like him.”

“The events that you dread.”

“You think too much.”

“I got a chalice!”

“Go to hell!”
“Most likely.”

“You’re just a punk in a Halloween costume.”
“Funny. I was going to say the same thing about you.”

“That is not a nice family.”

~
Pilot
This new show was excellent. It’s a bit like ‘Falling Skies’ only way better. There is forced normalcy in Katie and Will’s family. They have three children, but one is missing. They have razor wire protecting their precious orange tree and transportation passes and phone cards are needed. Everyone rides bikes, there are drones flying overhead, checkpoints and something called The Factory that people speak of with dread. What happened? Well it seems that aliens showed up in something called the Arrival. Buildings bear battle scars. A huge wall divides the city and something called the Exclusion Zone has been created.

The word alien is never used and no one Will knows seems to have seen one. People are downbeat reflecting on their new status as the conquered. Will goes looking for his lost son but is caught up in a resistance bomb. This brings him to the attention of the proxy governor and his enforcers the Redhats.

This has a nice title card, a wall of missing people and it is obvious how much things have changed. Will (Josh Holloway of ‘Lost’ and ‘Intelligence’) is given an offer he can’t refuse. Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies of ‘Prison Break’, ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Tarzan’) tries to find insulin, waves a gun, has a dog and is obviously a resistance member. Having a weapon means trouble, being out after curfew means trouble and it seems the aliens are wif-fi deniers.

There are weird logos and the aliens motives are unknown. Will sees that collaborators live the high life. This reminds me of the original ‘V’ not the cack-handed remake.

Snyder the proxy governor is slimy and reveals Will’s real name and hidden past as an Army Ranger/FBI fugitive finder. After the Arrival the military/law enforcement vanished. Will is told to infiltrate the resistance and bring Snyder the leader who is known as Geronimo. The aliens put on a weird light show. Who is the bimbo hanging around Snyder?

There is blathering about occupation law. Katie and Will’s kids Bram and Gracie stand around looking worried. Will is returned home and Katie is affectionate and then gets angry. Charlie is their missing son’s name. The kid who needs insulin is Hudson and may be Katie’s nephew. Snyder claims the aliens plan to leave after their needs are satisfied. What are their needs? Snyder says Katie can reopen her bar. The aliens undervalue recreation apparently. Charlie’s return is conditional on Will’s cooperation. Katie reveals all to a resistance bigwig (Paul Guilfoyle of ‘CSI’). I enjoyed this and want to see more. So many mysteries to be answered.

Best Lines:
“You made insulin from a dog?”

“Tell me what I’ve done!”

“He’s with those people now.”

“No-one ever sees them.”

“Our hosts are tired of the insurgency.”

“The most important day in human history is coming.”

“What do you want to hear?”

“Do they even know who their enemy is?”

“Collaborate and you die!”

“Good things come to the loyal.”

“I came hungry.”

~
Childish Things
What is the ill-defined plot arc of this season? Winn’s father (Henry Czerny) who is a cold, lizard-eyed killer escapes from jail using yoyos. There is bad wire-work and angst dialogue and characters staring sadly into the distance. Cat sneers and reveals that Lois Lane wrote a memoir called ‘A Time To Soar’. Lucy wants to be effective but is just irritating as hell as she picks a fight with James. The Toyman aka Winn’s dad is a terrible baddie. This show has no nested sub-narratives. Winn is a dark, unrelenting ass for long interminable stretches. Is that a Batman doll that Winn’s bad dad uses? Winn is thoroughly nasty. Emma Caulfield has a thankless role as an FBI agent.

Lucy and James bore. Maxwell Lord bores. Winn has no intellectual heft. Lord’s ambiguous motives bore. This was a muddled and misconceived ep that was a misbegotten project. Alex waffles. This ep served no grander narrative. Nobody shakes the brain bush. Winn has manpain and whines about peanut noodles. Winn goes on a nice guy tantrum because Kara won’t love him. Alex is stupid and Maxwell Lord and his bumfluff is onto Kara.

Best Lines:
“Self promotional claptrap.”

“Is this a job interview?”
“Do you want it to be?”

“Wearing a glorified pair of yoga pants.”

“Staring into an existential abyss.”

“Do you think he can cry on cue?”

“Code Phoenix.”

“Narcissism and ill-kempt facial hair.”

“No-one you’ll remember.”

~
Better Angels
Howard Stark shows up to annoy. Peggy is painted as the only person to see though the other character’s hypocrisies. She’s hyperverbal and rude. Jack has no scruples. Terrible decisions are made. Weird stuff happens. Jarvis does English states and this ep inspires no raw joy. There is paranoid suspicion and I had a negative assessment for this ep. This ep encapsulates the joylessness of this show. Peggy has seething frustration but attracts little sympathy. Boo to the rigid value system of the 40s and its oppressive, tightly prescriptive culture. Peggy is always expressing herself very loudly. Distinctly sinister men loom. This show does not retain its own reality. Evil is embodied in the Dark matter/exotic totem/Whitney Frost. Jack has an odd lack of curiosity. There is a twist. Whitney Frost is whiny and a famous scientist. This was dull.

Best Lines:
“Every eye in the country is on her. And no-one sees her.”

“Capturing light in its permanent form.”

“Fabricating the future.”