July 5th, 2016


The Musketeers 3x05 Reviewed

To Play The King
It is the Dauphin’s 6th birthday party and a prison break takes place. Louis has nothing resembling gratitude and dresses like a pimp. Feron has anguish and despair. Louis gives people a chilling reception and the Dauphin is over-flattered. Prisoners escapes and refugee woman trouble stirs. The desperately feeble Feron plots. This is a lazy lazy story. The musketeers pick childish arguments with the Red Guard. There is volatility and Paris is a despotic hellscape. This doesn’t manage even accidental poignancy.

Constance and her ridiculous ‘uniform’ bores. The Dutch lurk. Baddies try to rob a vault under the prison. Treville sticks his nose in, in ill-advised rash ways. Athos shags refugee woman. Dumas rolls in his grave. The Dauphin wears a bad wig and looks like the evil midget from ‘Don’t Look Now’. Anne of Austria and her Spanish pride is all mendacity and is contemptible and odiously ill-mannered. Her jeers must be stilled. There are no terrifying moments and nobody cares about Feron’s sad lonely existence.

Constance’s hand-wringing annoys. She’s an odious twat/hellish harridan and I wish she had been executed in season 2. This is a bleak vision of a rotting system. Anne of Austria is increasingly unhappy and Louis is terribly sad. Peter Capaldi must be grateful he got out of this when he did. Where is Mazarin? Feron’s level of aggression reaches new heights. Downright sinister things happen. The musketeers are boring earnest leads. Feron and co are trying to steal the King’s gold reserves from the vault. TPTB have no valid aesthetic aim. D’artagnan’s sub-plot does not justify its existence or posit a scenario where its existence would be justified.

The script is delinquent and this episode is punishingy uneventful. Constance prances around on her whore hopper shoes annoying everyone. This ep is not transportive. One wishes this show were better acted. Bad people have bad intent. The unwashed Feron is violent and dresses in dirty chic. This is not brutal or compelling or ever up-lifting. Anne of Austria is somewhat unpopular with Louis and his growing belligerence. The musketeers are not nice and friendly just into punitive violence, anger and disenchantment. Baddies creates casualties and destruction. This doesn’t even have a half-arsed attempt at cohesion. Feron is ill-served.

There are smug expressions and totally laughable plot ‘twists’ in this utter drivel. There is a nagging persistent feeling that season 3 has no emotional connection and is a dead trend. The costumes are not wearable art and the characters are unbearable. Nobody has cold class or is hilariously vile. The actors have no energetic enthusiasm in their unhappy circumstances. Poisonous politics and malicious non-wit dominate the court. Cultural machismo and the capacity for stupid define the foursome.

The court is a distant shining citadel that the Paris citizens can never access. There are neither debonair villains nor a Beckettin sense of absurdity. D’artagnan is grim and gormless. The plot is tragically depressing. Concrete is walked on. The climax is all staginess and Sturm und Drang. There is no martial pathos. Anne of Austria and Louis wear tacky low-rent crowns. Aramis has shameless gall. There is no compassion or attentiveness to human minutiae. Aramis is in the palace and then he isn’t - just one example of the bad editing on show in this ep. This ep is not finely wrought. A nutter has mental torment and there is a risible attempt at depravity and exuding malevolence. Actual extras stroll around. The Dauphin sits on his own little throne. Anne of Austria is menaced by a man in psychological dissolution. Then it finally ends.

Best Lines:
“The King doesn’t care about what is happening out there.”

“I’m fighting for the wrong side.”

“I should kill you now.”

“Those four will not stand in my way again.”

“Still peddling sedition.”

“The unfortunate state of his marriage.”

“Something very wrong about today.”

“Feron will be finished.”

“Something rotten is at work here.”

“Possibly a Spanish queen as regent when we are at war with Spain.”

“Bring everything you hold most dear crashing down.”

“You vermin!”
Scary Books

Movie Reviews: Carriers aka The Surrogate + 5 others

Carriers aka The Surrogate (2013)
This exploits the contemporary cultural phenomena of surrogacy. A couple have proper motivation to hire a surrogate. They do something more stupid than picking a surrogate off craigslist. This has no moral voice just failed potential. This was all clever looks as a couple who are crashing bores who can’t act are stalked by a woman who is all upfront villainy. She makes a mockery of all human hopes with a smug expression.

Dubiously talented actors prance in a movie of no certain charm. The crazy woman has twisted existence and is casually abusive. The drab contents of this film bore. TPTB seem to be questioning the idea of the likable character, especially the likeable female character. The husband has an ignorance he refuses to acknowledge. This film is absolutely and utterly wrong in every way.

Creepy emails and credit card fraud take place. Considering a parrot is now an actual murder witness, this plot isn’t so far fetched. I’m totally disgusted by these ghastly people. The surrogate has triumphant hate and the husband the latest scapegoat for all that is wrong in the wife’s life. There are crazy women, fleeting obsessions, suspended love and then things end in ridiculous fashion. There are bad movies, there are inept movies and then there are movies like this.

Best Lines:
“This secretary lady.”

“She kills the bad girl.”

“Please be obvious.”


“Nobody uses that website.”

“I want you out of this house.”

“Accept the consequences.”

The Mirror Crack’d (1980)
Angela Lansbury and Elizabeth Taylor star in this appalling take on a classic Christie novel. Nobody has propriety and everyone is unhandleable and has an aggressive attitude.

Sleepless In Seattle (1993)
No, a woman makes lifelong obligations to a man she doesn’t know.

Battle Royale (2000)
Okay if deeply unsettling.

The Ring (1998)
This Japanese horror is scary and has no extraneous elements.

Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Stranger Things’ promo
In a small town in 1983 a boy vanishes. There are weird scientists, a mysterious girl and Winona Ryder emoting. There is a wall Ouija board, a van flip and an 80s Stephen King style font for the title.

‘The Walking Dead’ season 6 promo
No, I’m done.

‘Ghostbusters’ TV spot
Oh hell no.

‘Life Is Beautiful’ (1997) promo

‘The Secret Agent’ promo
No, leaves one bemused.

Spiralised courgette - yum.
Greek style mango & Passionfruit yogurt - nice.
Potato salad - good.
Mixed seeds with sweetened dried cranberries, and blueberries - okay.
Haagen-Dazs chocolate salted caramel ice-cream - yum.

There’s gold glue?

What are fried cheese curds?

I want to try pasteis de nata and lemon-mint ice-cream.

Recall the Frames and No Frames option?

Milk solids = cheese.

Black pepper & strawberry. Popcorn & white chocolate. Raspberry & sorrel sorbet. All sound interesting ice-cream flavours.

Duktig = clever.

Anyone ever seen the play ‘I Do Not Like Thee, Doctor Fell’? I think I saw the play ‘The Last Apache Reunion’.

‘Now You See Me’ Quote:
“Isn’t there a proud tradition in the FBI of men wearing dresses?”

‘The Sunday Times’ Quotes:
“An erotic bicycle film festival.”

“Vegan condoms in vanilla and blueberry.”

“You can see the kind of child I was-”

“That British audiences only respect war documentaries presented by the officer class.”

“Music was angry and comedy was angry.”

“See his utterances as deranged.”

“Manicures her thoughts.”

“Whose every success came as the direct result of someone else’s disappointment.”

“Saying the sort of stuff that I guessed boys would want to hear.”

“I shouldn’t have trusted someone who never used punctuation in texts.”

“Used as a breath fresher by Ottoman hookers.”

“The table was too small to fit the plates, the drinks and the dishes.”

“Wild cows have been extinct for centuries.”

“Stabbings of used up characters and blowing up whole religions.”

“Turn plagues into tools of foreign policy,”

“Went to Liszt’s Budapest apartment with a revolver and poison (also fake), threatening to kill him.”

“Somewhat complicated personality.”

“You think I’m that type of girl?”

“I wasn’t brought up that way.”

“I feel like if I did cocaine, I would die immediately.”

“Must they be so explainy.”

“Fear-filled living.”

“Moved to Australia, vowing never to appear on television again.”

“Over-decorated nouns.”

“An act of calculated political treachery that had long been planned.”

“Sub-arctic puffin munchers.”

Monkey Life’ Quotes:
“She recognises what she is.”

“I don’t want any part of it, thank you very much.”

“Isn’t very bright.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“Kicked out of his sober living house.”

“I got in some legal issues.”

“They don’t care as much.”

“That isn’t good.”

“I sold my food stamps.”

“Who knows you?”

“Meal credit.”

“I need dip and cigarettes.”

‘Teen Mom 2’ Quote:
“You live with a felon. I don’t.”

On ‘Neighbours’: Madison is awful and she can’t act at all. Terese, Shelia and Toadfish moan over the article. Terese won’t let Piper date the older perv Tyler. The common criticism of Terese is that she’s a fat, workaholic cow. Brennan whines about the article. Paul is contorted with rage and has full fury. I bet Piper will be knocked up by Tyler due to her aversion to taking advice. Brad is a useless father. Terese has an unearned and funny sense of superiority. Madison can’t act. Brad won’t accept that his outreach kids are trash. Brad fails so completely. Steph whines. Piper wears a pleated leather skirt that shows off her buttocks. She is dreadful. The locals deserve to be excoriated.

Best Lines:
“That article could ruin lives.”

“Really frustrating not being heard.”

“Robotic boy toy.”

“Rigid and unforgiving.”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: Warren Fox used to live in Patrick’s flat. A photo of taken of a drunken Neeta. Warren Fox commits B&E. What did he hide in Patrick’s flat all these years? Sienna plots. Warren Fox is back in the opening credits and is romancing the stupid Maxine whilst calling himself Mike. Marnie plots against Neeta. Warren is the worst person Maxine could be unfortunate enough to meet. Maxine plans to marry ‘Mike’ - didn’t Warren get married already and kill his pregnant new wife? He’s full of indecorous behaviour.

Grace’s brothers have Bohemian oddness. Harry is a moron. I deplore and detest him. There is no mention of Brexit. John-Paul shagged James - which is not an achievement and aspiration. Scott gurns. Marnie is nonsensical. Where is Kim? Lisa prances. Marnie indulges in damning disparagement. Where is Cindy? Sienna finds Warren Fox molesting her sink. Last time I can remember him on this show - he fought Brendan in a hot-tub. Mac has dissatisfaction with Neeta. The McQueens are still exclusionary to John-Paul. Harry is still Ste-obsessed and not sufficiently obedient or hugely co-operative. Is Ben still in jail? Grace’s bothers make maximum insinuations. Nobody is constrained by morals.

Best Lines:
“My daughter is your sister.”

“A career criminal.”

“Mini-horse type things.”

“Better put that away.”

“Literally anything else.”


“Do I look like a plumber?”

“Get my hands on your sink pipe.”

“Made aware of your existence.”
Pretty Smart

Book Reviews: From a Drood to a Kill + Roadside Magic

From A Drood To A Kill by Simon R. Green
In a cold act of contempt the plot described on the back cover doesn’t kick in until the last 90 pages. Eddie Drood and Molly are intransigent and regularly lose all reason in this latest ‘Secret Histories’ novel. The plot of Eddie’s long lost parents is dragged out some more. There are yet more hints about the Merlin Glass and the source of the Drood’s power. Odd disparate things are thrown together in the plot.

One of Eddie’s support and assistance characters who Eddie under-appreciated dies, causing emotional fallout and brief contemplative moments. There are enough decent set-pieces to justify this book’s existence and it is surprisingly decent. But yet again no destiny shaping decisions are made and Eddie’s rabidity and general loutishness are chillingly unchanged. There are no ominous showdowns of will and no moral horror to match the moment earlier in the series when the original source of the Drood’s power was revealed.

There is bad intent and portentousness, no mortal danger just petty disputes. Somehow we’re meant to overlook that supposedly responsible adult Eddie is a twisted man with a talent for hurting and that Molly is the worst human being you could ever imagine. Eddie doesn’t do reflective rumination for long and I wish Green would do something with the ominous groundwork he keeps laying and never doing anything with.

Best Lines:
“I could hear voices calling my family name, and not in a good way.”

“Droods are trained to win.”

“Staring back at me, with intent.”

“Butt out, hippy,”

“They do seem to be very angry indeed.”

Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow
Book 2 of the ‘Gallow & Ragged’ series is bland compared with Book 1. Gallow lurches around being harrowing and important and having dubious associates. The irritating faithless bint Robin Ragged is in grave risk as she does not trust anyone and craves milk. This whole thing was a ghastly miscalculation. Nobody has any moral principle and this had no creative élan. This hole-filled narrative causes consummate boredom. The sidhe are disorderly and unforthcoming and morally flexible and create fearfests. I will read Book 3 though; hopefully it’ll be significantly better.

Best Lines:
“Or so some of the Sidhe said, affecting at prophecy.”

“Such questions were pointless, but could only be used against you if they were spoken."