September 27th, 2016

Scary Books

Shades Of Blue 1x11 Reviewed

The Breach
Stahl boffs his Harlee lookalike hooker. Bad Donnie (Michael Esper) plots. Wozniak yells and stands open mouthed. Everything goes awry. Christina hangs out with Miguel and his sly hints. Harlee makes disgusted sighs. Miguel sniffs around and lurks like a horror movie villain; he is a stain on humanity. There are no ethical choices. Stahl lies. Harlee learns of his lies and obsessions. Miguel lurks more. This ep had an infinite capacity for the ridiculous. People are deliberately misled. Significantly guilty people plot. People get shot and there are complications. There are negative responses and this was all deadly serious anguished sincerity.

Best Lines:
“You beg forgiveness.”
“I won’t get it.”

“I like to argue.”

“G-Man Ken doll.”

“Giving his ‘Henry V’ speech.”

“How bad a beating do you want?”

“Don’t do that again.”

“Be the monster he is.”

“Money trumps pride.”

“Confirm it from over there.”

“There’s plenty he can find.”

Book Reviews: The Secret City + The Scorpion King + Roger and Other Cats

The Secret City by C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
This ridiculous sequel to ‘The Secret Fire’ features oafish morons and their innate feelings of self importance which miserably bores the reader. This horrible sequel is full of rampant Americanisms and a heroine called Taylor. There are no inspirational acts and the bimbo Taylor has no real emotional involvement and her banal French boytoy has a depressive flatness of tone and tortured self-absorption.

There are sinister goings on, clear and avoidable mistakes, bleak resignation, moral anguish, no emotive appeal and a dull baddie. Everyone has bored insouciance and are a moral stain. People are irony-bored and exclaim slightly too enthusiastically. Things happen without any consequences and the brutal thug baddie is incredibly ugly and evil.

This was not a finely wrought twisted horror, just a really offensive mess full of expositional speeches on morality meters, manic insecurity, dark practices and a lack of ethical standards. This is a tale of coincidences, a felonious past, the least insightful people ever and this invoked a coldly dismissive response to the stupefying and deeply irrational behaviour therein.

Best Lines:
“Who is that guy and why aren’t they fighting him?”

“To him, it was just two lines of people, glaring at each other.”

The Scorpion King by Max Allan Collins
A modest novelisation of the 2002 movie. It was written with workmanlike precision and hyperbole. This was slightly off kilter with the movie.

Roger and Other Cats by Hugh Leonard
This slim 1992 volume tells of the authors many adorable pet cats and their misadventures.
Illya K

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Designated Survivor’ 1x02 promo
So who wiped out the US government? There is a delinquent son, body bags, people storming through doors and Maggie Q. There are also annoying reporters and my theory is that Kiefer Sutherland’s character is the big bad. This looks good and incentives me to care.

Best Lines:
“Yesterday I was asked to resign. Now I’m trying to put the entire US government back together.”

“I’m giving you an enemy we can kill.”

‘The Scorpion King’ (2002) trailer
What prophecy? No prophecy was mentioned in the film. A tyrant takes on a warrior. There is fighting, fire and arrows and sand.

‘The Baby$itters’ trailer
Babysitters become hookers. Ugh.

‘School Of Rock’ promo

‘Game Shakers’ promo

Best Line:
“That sounds ominous.”

‘Babe’ (1995) promo

Blue Steel’ promo

‘Gotham’ season 2 promo
Gordon and the Penguin brood to the cover version of The Sound Of Silence. This was a good ad. I’m watching this for Mr Freeze not Gordon and his sweaty self pity.

‘Humans’ series 2 promo
Trouble ahead.

Free State Of Jones’ TV spot

‘Josh’ promo

‘Dr Strange’ promo

‘The Russia House’ promo

‘The Presidential Debate’ ad

‘Today Tonight’ (1984) opening credits
So dated.

Salted caramel chocolate -mmm.
Old fashioned cocktail - STRONG.
Raspberry sorbet - good.
Crème Brule - good.
Asparagus in butter - yum.
Butter steak - yum.
Spelt bread - good.
Gluten free After Eight brownie - okay.
Sparkling Birch sap drink with cherry flavour - ugh.

I want to dentist, how I hate him.

What are soutens-gorge?

Marriage blanc.

Remember when David Copperfield walked through the 20 centuries old Great Wall Of China?

‘The Beauty Queen Of Leenane’ is a depressing play.

Aertel is to be discontinued like Ceefax. Boo!

I will review ‘Transcendence’.

I won’t review ‘The Last Ship’ 3x11.

‘The Scorpion King’ console game looks utterly terrible.

Sam Neill is in ‘Thor 3’?

‘Fleabag’ Quotes:
“Always stay sexy.”

“A rug with perks.”

“Sexy plank.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Render him unfit for purpose.”

“Find the cat flap unseemly.”

“Assertion of strength.”

“I was comfortable that I wasn’t one...”

“Something that was a given and you had it.”

“We didn’t really think they existed.”

“Been in many, many fights.”

“Cultural ownership.”

“Feel compelled to fill the room with the sound of their own voices.”

“Fulcrums of unaccountable public fury.”

“Fixes his jowly face into a grin.”

“Taking on a semblance of prophecy.”

“Recycling safe works from the past.”

“No idea what culture would be appropriate to this new era.”

“Capitulation to the male gaze marketed as fitness.”

“Fermented swampiness.”

“It leads to fighting.”

‘The Simpsons’ Quotes:
“So insane with rage.”

“Horribly butcher you.”

“I’m a good good man.”

“I’m all murdered out.”

“Tastes like its fermented under a radiator.”

“Gonna pee in the river.”

“This moment of tranquillity.”

‘The Man From UNCLE’ Quotes:
“Your criticism is most useful.”

“Much more threatening.”

“Hold 2 hot-dogs.”

“Only a spit in the Balkans.”

“Please don’t, I’d prefer you send somebody more intelligent.”


“Discounts its importance.”

“How can I have ideas? I’m dead.”

“I thought you’d be gone.”
“But where would I go?”

“Disposes of his mistakes by garrotte.”


“Violated his area of authority.”

“You sent them floor wax.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“How many DUIs do you have?”

“A party mom.”

“I want my mom back.”

“Left her and the kids in your rear view mirror.”

“I broke 2 doors.”

“I was not welcome at that house and don’t act like I was!”

“Let you out of your misery.”

“Tired and exhausted from my ex-wife’s behaviour.”

“No one wants to deal with the craziness.”

“You don’t look unhappy.”

“Controlling disrespectful son in law.”

“My family is not yours.”

“Sexually offensive way.”

“Banned from the local grocery store.”

“Given me good direction.”

“Explaining all of my problems with you.”

“Look for attention.”

“Damn internet.”

“Fold into this family unit.”

‘Boot Camp’ Quotes:
“The faster you learn. The sooner you can go home.”

“Ain’t my logic.”

“Get up rich girl.”

“Misunderstood doctor who cares only for broken children.”

“You didn’t try to stop me.”
“What for?”

“If you think you can swim for it, take a look around. You’re on an island surrounded by ocean. Surrounded by more ocean. And if the undertow doesn’t get you the sharks will.”

‘The Sunday Times’ Quotes:
“A combination of suction and mucus.”

“Socially dissonant.”

“Everyone will come back.”

“Planet sized ego that verges on a personality disorder.”

“Another manifestation of ambition.”

“The soundtrack to many people’s lives.”

“Stuffed into a trash can while being told this was where I belonged. All business as usual in catholic school in the fifties.”

“Play until they liked it.”

“Their status in society is marginal.”

“Self-inflicted defeat.”

“Chain-lock the fridge.”

“Ventilating a few past miseries.”

“The concept of an author as a personality.”

“World-distaining pessimist of legend.”

“Appeals to every unthinking person.”

“Crawl back into the swamps of Jersey.”

“Catching feelings.”

“Expects to be satisfied.”

“Considers it her obligation to comply.”

“Pleasing over pleasure.”

“Commercialised version of sexiness.”

“Performance for male pleasure.”

“Intimate justice.”

“Bad club.”

“Navigational skills.”

“Emergency services people are authorised for physical contact.”

“Not have body odour. Or eat smelly food.”

“I narrowly miss a watermelon stand and a cathedral.”

“The ones to fear.”

“Believe themselves human.”

“Potentially tragic.”

“Dark puzzles.”

“Analyse ourselves from the point of view of the other.”

“Grimly clear.”

‘Lords and Ladles’ Quotes:
“A lot of crow activity.”

“Living pantries.”

‘Celebrity Island’ Quotes:
“I need diarrhoea.”

“Carry the fire in it.”

“Carrying a lit termite.”

“Sense some pending doom.”

“We all want to leave frankly.”

“I’ve wanted to and I haven’t.”

“Termite things.”

“Everyone’s falling over.”

‘Blades Of Glory’ Quotes:
“Smell like urine.”

“You drunk?”
“This oughta do it.”

‘Futurama’ Quotes:
“The greatest joy a woman can feel. Worshipping some lowlife jerk.”

“Giving it away on a street corner. Just like you.”

“Hurt you until you explain it.”

On ‘Neighbours’: Big slag Xanthe wants Ben to give her Chlamydia in the bum in a dodgy hotel. Brennan is an ass. Xanthe has run off to the Gold Coast with Ben. Madison is a moron. Shelia is a tool. Angus shows his face. Nobody has top reasoning skills and they’re all irredeemably awful.

Best Line:
“What sort of weirdo does that?”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: Myra is awful. Isn’t Leela a firefighter? Ellie does anguished moans. Lisa and Nathan are awful with grim relish. Joe is an unstoppable raconteur. Where is James? Nobody has a very moral view. Ellie had blackout sex. So we get way too much Ellie and Hypnotoad. Public opinion is killing Ellie. The morally unacceptable Ellie is called names as she shuns Nick. There is no calm and stability. I’m tired of Ellie’s cries for attention. This was drearily plodding. Is the relatively cheerful Nick bad? Or is this a scathing indictment of Ellie and her drinking? Nobody has jobs or practicable skills or talents. This was all disillusionment and was not strange, mysterious or odd. Too much confusion and conflict.

Best Lines:
“Council estate chavs.”


“That cheap tart.”

“I thought you had some morals.”
To Light The Way To Bed

Movie Reviews: The Scorpion King + 3 others

The Scorpion King (2002)
This launched Dwayne Johnson as a movie star when he was still using his pro-wrestling ring name of The Rock. It also spawned 3 sequels. It is set in 3000 BC and was directed by Chuck Russell. This is a prequel to the ‘Mummy’ movies and centres on the villain from ‘The Mummy Returns’ identical grandfather. Johnson, Kelly Hu, the late Michael Clarke Duncan, Bernard Hill, Grant Heslov, Steven Brand and Ralf Moeller star. This was promoted by a making of programme on TV, poster, 2 magazines and a novelisation.

People are somehow surprised that our hero Mathayus (Johnson) rides a camel in the desert. Mathayus is all thick neck, bug eyes and gurning. He has a bone to pick with evil warlord Memnon (Brand) and Nubian warrior (Duncan). This is before the time of the pyramids and the last of the free tribes stand against the evil Memnon and his sorcerer. Mathayus’ doomed brother is played by Branscombe Richmond from ‘Renegade’.

Various characters run around. Arpid (Heslov) is the comedy sidekick, Thorak (Moeller) is Memnon’s bodyguard, King Pheron (Roger Rees) is doomed, Queen Isis (Sherri Howard) is an Amazon and Pheron’s evil traitor son Takmet (Peter Facinelli of ‘Twilight’, ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Nurse Jackie’) has nasty drawn on facial hair and annoys. People bluster and beat on each other. There are 20 blood rubies that are forgotten about. Arpid gets punched in the face a lot. There is betrayal, death and a fire ant attack.

There is comedy, action, bad wigs, a bizarre mix of accents, leather underpants, magic and the sorceress (Hu) wears gold nail polish and is named Cassandra. Memnon rants about his 1000 year rule. This was shot in California and the local market has very glam hookers. Memnon shows off his arrow catching skills whilst an irritating kid and a mad inventor (Hill) lurk. Everyone is caked in fake tan. There is a catapult and a harem Memnon never visits. The two are linked. The sorceress bathes in her rose petal bathtub. Takmet hangs around Memnon’s palace and in the climax, he apparently wears chain mail.

Memnon and his militarist philosophy must be defeated so the heroes combine (eventually) to take him on. This film has subtextual nostalgia for sword and sandal epics. This has no intricacies just gentle non-engagement with reality. Memnon’s many tall lurking heavies are defeated. The brand defining actor (Johnson) was not in the 3 sequels. The gravely voiced Balthazar growls and Memnon comes to a thankless glory free end.

There is muttering about destiny and reckoning. All the awful people die. Cassandra has on and off steely competency. This does not lend any resonance to anything and is not a brilliant or exciting story. It also lacks pithy dialogue but it is still utterly absorbing and immersive. Memnon faces predicable negative consequences for his grotesque behaviour. There is no virtuosity or verbosity. There is heroic music, wooden acting and Mathayus and his band of followers fight while gurning. Johnson’s acting wasn’t exactly subtle or skilled at this point. Cassandra wears metallic thong underwear as clothes. There are endless fights. Was there steel in 3000 BC? Where did the cobra go? This has a British villain, a hot chick, Dwayne Johnson, a happy ending and stuff blowing up. This was good and then the end credits roll and Godsmack screech I Stand Alone over them. Shut up Godsmack.

Best Lines:
“He still swept across the land like a plague.”

“I thought they were wiped out long ago.”

“Feast on our naked heads.”

“Die a horrible death.”

“Drinking that yak piss.”

“After a hard day of looting and pillaging, there is no greater city than Gomorrah. Except maybe Sodom.”

“They’ve got the city sealed up tighter than a crab’s buttocks.”

“Nobody goes to the Valley Of The Dead! That’s why they call it The Valley Of The Dead!”

“I’m not without my wiles.”

“Who dies first?”

“I see your fate hollow king and its time has come.”

“Catch this.”

“Don’t forget how you got here.”

“Nothing lasts forever my King.”

By Dawn’s Early Light (1991)
This is an okay TV movie about a catastrophically escalating nuclear war with a memorable ending.

Winter’s Bone (2010)
People with no purpose or self worth have miserable lives. Survival is premised on an ability to tell lies. This was dull but gave Jennifer Lawrence’s career an appropriate sturdy foundation.

Best Line:
“He ain’t anywhere.”

A Passage To India (1984)