January 10th, 2017

Scary Books

Movie Reviews: Cromwell + 5 others

Cromwell (1970)
This stars Richard Harris, Alec Guinness and Timothy Dalton in this inaccurate tale of the English civil war. It was fought between 2 sides and 2 men who felt morally justified behaving however they wanted because they thought they were absolutely correct. There is lots of shouting and overacting. The Royalists are overdressed. Cromwell tantrums and smashes up stuff. A nobleman acts like he’s Sid James. The Queen and her son look silly. The sulkily faced Cromwell (Harris) has no emotional growth.

The King (Guinness) needs to stop looking at what he doesn’t have and start looking at what he does have. The king broods and silly hats are worn. Cromwell has fearful resentment and glares with baleful effect. Significant issues are missing or not covered. The rabble in the street are incapable of trust and await reprisal. Cromwell has intense hostility to the king even though he ends up running the country just like the executed king. This had no narrative momentum or conflict. Cromwell believes in instilling values but is not meticulous and methodical and was really no different from Charles I.

Best Lines:
“It is treasonable talk and I will not have it in my house.”

“He has spoken treason against the king.”

“Work and bread for all.”

“Has this king forgotten the Spanish Inquisition?”

“Awaits your pleasure.”

“Lies beneath the bogs of Ireland.”

“Guarantee their loyalty?”

“Much here has changed.”

“Declare war on my own people?”
“Aye! Before they declare war on you!”

“No money for the king.”

“Tried my patience.”

“They were well supported.”

“Bargain for your crown.”

“I will not sign this warrant.”

“Give it to a whore!”


Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
John Barrowman stars in this badly made shark attack movie. This had bad acting and bad lines.

The Face Of Fu Manchu (1965)
Okay Hammer flick.

The Fiendish Plot Of Fu Manchu (1980)
A parody and not a good one.

The Brides Of Fu Manchu (1966)
Fu (Christopher Lee) and his devil daughter kidnap the daughters of scientists and keep them chained to pillars to make their daddies build a death ray. Can Nayland Smith save the day? Okay.

The Vengeance Of Fu Manchu (1967)
Fu plots a cunning vengeance plot via magical plastic surgery to destroy and discredit Nayland Smith. And it works. Dumb. The BBC showed the 1st 3 films endlessly for years but the last 2 in the saga never aired.
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Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Sherlock’ 4x03 promo

‘Homeland’ promo
This is still on?!?

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ promo
This looks GOOD.

Best Line:
“So many things are forbidden now.”

‘Amerika’ (1987) trailer
This miniseries is set in 1997 - 10 years into a Soviet occupation of American. Sam Neill, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Urich star. This was made by ABC and cost 40 million and was 1 of the last epic miniseries. This was a ratings bust and critically panned. There is mumbling, an upside down flag, cod Russian accents and this looks cheesy and sappy and silly. Recall the video cases for this miniseries? There were 3 of them and they had 1997 emblazoned on them. The 3 parts were called ‘Prisoners In Their Own Land’, ‘The Face Of Occupation’ and ‘Shadows Of Terror’.

Best Lines:
“You lost the land!”

“How could we not win?”

‘Apple Tree Yard’ promo

‘Fences’ promo

‘Class’ opening credits
Silly like this show.

Hazelnut praline - okay.
Hazelnut caramel - okay.
Salt caramel - no.
Orange crunch - okay.
Gourmet soda bread toasts multisided with cumin - tough.
Chicken liver pate - okay.
Raspberry choc - okay.
Almond praline - okay.
Single origin smoked Irish sea salt & cocoa nibs choc - yum.

I may have had chilblains on two fingers once.

Anyone see the 1995 ‘Richard III’?

Robert Harris’ ‘Fatherland’ was okay.

Anyone see ‘Blast From The Past’? or ‘Milk Money’?

I never saw ‘The Philadelphia Experiment II’.

Recall ‘The West Wing’ season 4 finale ‘Twenty Five’? The only ep I ever watched.

Saw some of the new ‘Once Upon A Time’ series. Mr Hyde has shown up, Emma is whining and the Evil Queen and her 80s music video outfits lurks. Snow and Regina are friends and everyone forgets the Huntsman ever existed. Didn’t Archie die? Mr Gold and Belle bore. Emma does facial clenches and the show makes few concessions to conventional plotting. Hook still isn’t dead. Henry lurks. How many surly idiot sons does Gold have?!?

Recall ‘Meet The Applegates? ‘Lord Love A Duck’? ‘Transylvania 6-5000’? ’Nothing But Trouble’?

I may review ‘Pompeii’.

‘Class’ Quote:
“Pooped out through the bunghill of time.”

‘Around The World In 80 Days’ Quotes:
“Where is your training?”

“And remove your hat!”

“We will review your impudence.”

“We’re all British gentlemen.”

“Tempting him down the path of inequity.”

“A woman! In the club!”

‘Lenihan: A Legacy’ Quote:
“The crowd was howling.”

‘The Simpsons’ Quotes:
“People are staring up at the sky in terror?”

“Bunch up and riot.”

“Vomit with rage.

“Management over think.”

“Lard lad.”

“Cultureless Mars-scape.”

“With permission of husband, father and pastor in writing.”

“Shut up.”
“Well that was clear.”

“I’ll find you, if there are still roads.”

“Look at me lovingly.”

“Daughter character.”

“Land apes.”

“Chinese overlords.”

‘The Witches’ Quotes:
“They defined themselves by what offended them,”

“The residents of Massachusetts Bay did not always know who sat on the throne to which they owed allegiance.”

“Captivity narrative.”

“We have all believed that someone had nothing better to do than spend his day plotting against us.”

“A Puritan did not waste a catastrophe.”

“The Salem constable suffered a painful run-in with a warming pan.”

“Had the misfortune to prove correct.”

“She would seem to have wandered into the village directly from the Brothers Grimm, were it not the fact they had not been born yet.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“A party mom.”

“Not leading to anything good long-term.”

“Attention seeking whore.”

“Big bucket of crazy.”

“Too real for you.”

“Redneck piece of trash.”

“Doesn’t even want her child.”

“Refuses to do so.”

“Partying and stripping.”

“I won’t have it.”

“Loves to torment.”

“Why isn’t he a person to you?”

“Told me verbally.”

“Doesn’t get a voice in your behaviour.”

“Way out of the question.”
Scary Books

Book Reviews: The Shadow Of What Was Lost + Heathers

The Shadow Of What Was Lost by James Islington
This is part 1 of a new fantasy ‘epic’. It started out as a self-published novel which shows. In a cod-medieval Europe world, magic users are the subject of murderous loathing due to a war generations ago. Now one magic student has a gift, another has an obvious secret and one is stricken by despair due to a lie. Other magic users and normal people do things unsuited to logic. This starts out well but a 1/3 of the way through it goes downhill fast. The stupid framing story bores; nobody has experience, intelligence of humanity. There is time travel, revelations, dropped plotlines, no harm reduction approaches and people jabbering incomprehensible phrases. The author tries and fails to impose a narrative on this tale of people with stupid names reacting with dismissive incredibility to the coming of danger. Everyone is plotting, lying and having private urges. This has every cliché in this sometimes unlovely genre but none of them are put to positive use. This was a real disappointment.

Best Line:
“Such is the way of weak men.”

Heathers by John Ross Bowie
This is an examination of the stunningly effective black comedy movie that is a bastion of vulgarity and uncontained menace; ‘Heathers’. The author goes on and on and on about the awfulness of high school while discussing this film. This is full of intelligence, humour and outrage. This is well intentioned though quite short at only 125 pages.

Best Lines:
“This is harmful. Avoid it.

“No one suspects him for the genuine threat he is.”

“Jason Bateman got thrown in the trashcan a lot.”

“Anything Lars Von Trier inflicts on the public.”

Sherlock 4x02 + James Clavell’s The Children’s Story + The Americans 4x12 Reviewed

The Lying Detective
Well, that was a vast improvement. Watson pawns his baby off on ‘friends’. What friends? John crackles with resentment and has an implacable grudge. He also hallucinates his dead wife. Naturally Johnlocke fans think Mary isn’t dead, that John shot her to prove his love for Sherlock and that there is no baby. John goes on and on about the dead wife he truly madly deeply adored for no clear reason. Sherlock unravels but it is a lie.

Culverton Smith (Toby Jones) is vehemently terrible. John has a decline in his concern for Sherlock. Smith and his horrible teeth and mush-mouth accent has dark intent. There is guff about memory drugs and people don’t act like people. I feel less ardour for series 4. Smith has a daughter, Faith, who has a walking stick for no clear reason. Sherlock festers and is toxic. Smith is a local menace, Sherlock is drug addled and Wiggins lurks.

This is slightly uneasy as Sherlock is socially void. Interest does not dissipate. Mrs Hudson whines. Mycroft sneers and Sherlock is watched. Who or what is Sherringford? Smith has a grubby secret. Mrs Hudson panders to Sherlock who is intemperate and insalubrious. John cannot bear another moment of Sherlock’s presence. Molly is inauspicious. Sherlock rants and John is apology rejecting. Sherlock is not unembarrassed.

Sherlock is an emotional addict. John has a steely gaze and Smith is a coagulation of human evil. I detest Molly. People scream their approval of Smith who is perniciously bad. This was okay but has no scorching insights. Smith has no self-regulation. Mycroft and Lady Smallwood may date. Who’d buy Smith’s breakfast cereal? Sherlock unravels, Lestrade sighs and John beats the tar out of Sherlock and causally mentions how Sherlock shot someone in the face. Oddly Lestrade a highly ranked police man does not do anything about the confessed murder or assault.

John has punching people powers which oddly don’t work when he is imperilled later on. Stupid rift. Dreadful people. This was OTT. Mary is on the make from beyond the grave. A nurse is snotty. Sherlock was faking yet again. Why does John put up with him? This was subtext free. TPTB ruin John some more. Irene Adler sexts Sherlock. Oh come on. John falls into a trap and is apparently shot in the face by Sherlock and Mycroft’s long lost evil sister Eurus. Like WTF?

Best Lines:
“I stopped lying down.”

“Of course alone.”

“No one’s seen him.”

“I don’t think about him.”

“Not something you can fail to notice.”

“This is obscene.”

“Elective ignorance.”

“A need to forget.”

“I need to kill someone.”

“Go away.”

“He’s left his flat.”
“Was it on fire?”

“Privacy could not be assumed.”

“Cooking smells.”

“Taking it from who?”

“Rich and powerful and necessary.”

“Games’ afoot.”

“Sherlock on Twitter.”

“You will not have me.”

“They don’t matter, you do.”

“You’re not my first smackhead.”

“They dropped me. Twice.”

“I’m against new people.”

“The boot was mean.”

“The world being explained to you by a man.”

“Only catch the dumb ones.”

“I rounded up for dramatic effect.”

“I am a bit creepy.”

“We always saw it coming. But it was fun.”

“Stop it now.”

“Setting a man trap for Father Christmas.”

“Karate the fridge.”

“The scary mad one.”

“She’s insanely dangerous.”

“The secret one.”

“Yes boring, go away!”

James Clavell’s The Children’s Story (1982)
This 26 minute play is hosted by Peter Ustinov. The US has been conquered by them and a classroom awaits the arrival of their new teacher as their old teacher cries. The bad child actors gawp in the aftermath of the war. This was by the author of ‘Shogun’. Who has defeated and occupied America? We never learn. The new teacher walks into the classroom in her fascist jumpsuit. She is relentlessly positive about her diabolical intent of making the children reject the pledge of allegiance and prayer in school.

She reframes their hopes. The children didn’t understand the pledge of allegiance anyway. She has comforting power and habituates them to the new regime. They cut up the flag in strangely stilted fashion. She says their daddies will be home soon. There is vague talk of re-education camps and wrong thoughts. This was oddly compelling even if everything is treated as the ultimate dramatic moment.

Best Lines:
“The enemy have beaten us.”

“I’m afraid for all of you.”

“I’m your new teacher.”

“Good children like you.”

“Christopher, but he’s away.”

“Saying it good.”

“We just had to learn it.”

“How can a flag be more important than a real life person?”

“She’s going to have a long rest.”

“Is the war over?”

“WE won.”

“Dad’s gone away forever.”

“Wanted other grown-ups to believe them.”

“My dad never thought anything bad.”

A Roy Rogers In Franconia
Paige whines about her mother casually dispatching people. The FBI pry and poke. William is scared. Philip has perseverance and determination. The mail robot is busted. Oleg looms. There is a mention of Challenger. Oleg spills his guts to Stan. William has a crisis. Paige is an informer. Stan uncovers something. A sense of finality hangs over this ep. Nobody has enlightened standards. Paige strongly resents everything. Henry is dim and Stan feels jubilant. Risk rises exponentially and this was good.

Best Lines:
“A very undignified way to go.”

“Squirt yourself out your anus in liquid form.”

“You’re afraid.”
“Who wouldn’t be?”

“Dangerous didn’t matter.”

“How can I believe in this?”