July 2nd, 2017

Pretty Smart

Movie Review: Austenland (2013)

Jane (Keri Russell) is a mad Jane Austen fan so she signs up for an immersive Jane Austen experience. It is advertised by a woman holding a stuffed lab. Jane drools over a wet Colin Firth on her TV and longs for her Mr Darcy. Her immersive experience is full of eccentrics and weirdoes. This was harmlessly pleasant at first. Jane’s worshipful attitude to Austen is tested and this turns utterly hollow. This gets tiresomely glib in places. How does the immersive Jane Austen park work if it only has 3 guests? This ends up woefully inadequate towards the end. What is the necessity of this? This is not an innovation of Regency times still it has Ricky Whittle.

Best Lines:
“A pony named Sparkles Pancake.”

“I’m as good as it gets baby.”

“People in those days didn’t wear underwear.”

“Nightly dips in the pond.”

“Those wench gowns.”

“Peacock pate.”

“You’re in the creepy tower.”
Illya K

Book Reviews: The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2016 Part 3 + One Of Us Is Lying

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2016 edited by Paula Guran, Part 3

The Absence Of Words
This is not horror. It is just a tale of irrational resentment and selective mutism. No.

Mary, Mary
Despite this being an origin for the ‘Frankenstein’ novel, this is not horror. It is a criminally pointless tale of a woman with sanctimonious righteousness.

The origin of a super-villain. Very good.

A Shot Of Salt Water
A tale of woman who comes home with a mer-baby and her man who can’t accept it. All utter despair and moral collapse. No.

Street Of The Dead House
A retelling of ‘The Murders In The Rue Morgue’. Okay.

The Greyness
An okay tale of Death.

The Devil Under The Maison Blue
I’ve no idea what this was about.

The Lily And The Horn
An excellent tale of poison and cold desolation.

Best Lines:
“You’ve a new way of boiling crab’s eyes to mimic the Whistling Plague.”

“Wishes to take back his ancestral lands in the east, and the lands do not consider themselves to be ancestral.”

I’ve read this post-apoc tale before. It is a tale of survival and heralds of doom and a increasing disinclination for empathy. Excellent.

A tale of Scotland, death and a monster. Good.

Best Line:
Opened a door that should’ve been left shut.”

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
5 high school stereotypes end up in detention, then one of them ends up dead. The surviving four lack moral purity and become suspects and learn that the people who supposedly care about them, don’t. The mystery of whodunit erupts and it soon becomes clear that someone with conceit, paranoia and hauteur is orchestrating a hate campaign against the redemeptively sinless quartet.

This is a very good story of people with secrets, who are morally ambiguous and who are facing a moral panic. People are gratuitously horrible to them and a thoroughly creepy too-cute too-smug insufferable villain has launched a deliciously convoluted evil plan against them.

This is a tale of genuine sourness, creepy dissatisfaction and appallingly hilarious teenagers with moral issues. A comically deluded baddie is deeply un-charming and unedifying and devoid of wit. This is a good dissection of the emotional aridity and unassugeable pain of school.

Best Lines:
“Where’s my backpack?”
“Your back.”

“Thought he should be the center of everything, but wasn’t.”

“Always felt like he should get a lot more respect and attention.”

“Keep this room contained until I get back.”

“You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

“Things that weren’t there before conveniently showing up now.”

“At risk of implication.”
Scary Books

Trailers, Quotes and musings on issues 100&101 of Misty

‘Black Panther’ promo

‘The Evil In Us’ trailer
Annoying friends go to a remote town and take happy juice and go on psychotic rampages. This looks okay.

Best Line:
“It needs a flamethrower.”

‘Colony’ season 2 trailer
Will needs to give Katie a battering. Ally Walker babbles. This has fighting and weirdness.

Best Line:
“I can’t live like this.”

‘Colony’ season 2 trailer
WTF? The world is no longer their own.

Downfall’ (2004) clip
Child soldiers vow to fight to the last man to defend Berlin. Morons.

Organic hummus - okay.
Gluten free Bakewell tart - too sweet.

The Perfect Bride’ (1991) got a laser disc release. Remember that format?

Anyone see ‘The China Lake Murders’ (1990)?

Why has ‘The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017’ been delayed until 2018?

Recall ‘Totally Scott-Lee’? Or the 1980s ‘Wind In The Willows’?

Anyone see ‘Diva’?

Kedi = cat.

Ord fattig = word poor.

I won’t read ‘Blood Sisters’ or ‘Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys issue 4’ or ‘Secret Empire issue 5’.

RIP Barry Norman.

A chocolate shop I like has gone.

I’d try pink grapefruit tonic water.

Anyone see the 1971 ‘The Omega Man’?

Recall ‘Asterix In Switzerland’?

Saw some of the ‘Marple’ ep ‘The Body In The Library’: in-house idiots and frank hostility feature in this camp and mischievous tale. It’s full of name actors like Ben Miller and Jack Davenport and Joanna Lumley and Simon Callow. People stare for interminably long periods. Not a tangible cultural product.

Best Lines:
“All those men under him.”

“Dubious types.”

“Spanish bitch!”

“Major slut!”

“Nothing in the strangling line.”

“Behaved well enough.”

‘The Perfect Bride’ (1991) Quotes:
“Have a look at this beautiful tablecloth.”

“That tablecloth survived 3 generations in Stephanie’s family and you’ve managed to ruin it in one evening.”

“When are we going to the church?”

“Came on like such a little slut!”

“Did you really like her samples?”

“And if you try to cause any trouble between her and Ted. I will never forgive you.”

“She’s got some deep dark secret and you’re here to uncover it.”


‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“They either ran away from it or fought it.”

“Stabs him in the head with a model of the Eiffel tower.”

“Defunct British monarchs.”

“Like Doctor Who, the EU has changed its face many times.”

“Where teenage girls are pushed into shipping containers.”

“That’s how complex complexity is.”

“Don’t respond positively to military coups.”

“Panic measure.”

“Impugn the motives.”

“Unconcealed hatred.”

“Feel the judgement.”

“A lunatic fringe.”

“A few loopers.”

“Class prejudice.”

“A type of rabble.”

“Mood was hostile.”

‘The Guardian’ Quotes:
“Cultural camouflage.”

“Independent thought.”

“Seeing us as a nuisance.”

“Took no pleasure in being around him.”

“Not going to the pub as much as they used to,”

“Fabric calming cap.”

“Make a fetish of their doom.”

“Civilisation-scale transformation.”

“Felt an overwhelming lack of appreciation.”

“Intellectual heritage.”

“Working behind locked metal doors.”

“Seems to be talking into a Bluetooth but actually turns out to be just nuts.”

“Bespoke vaping experience.”

We do not except anyone or anybody to care.”

“Shoulder-barged her.”

“A stripper having bottles thrown at her, when already intimidated, she refused to take her clothes off.”

“Cor, smells a bit.”

“Fans are the worst people ever sometimes.”

“Obsessed with respect.”

“Locals began to suspect them of being a gay cult.”

“None-more-90s inclusion of a CD-Rom interview.”

“Chose instead to congregate on stairwells.”


“Create calm.”

“Laced with resentment.”

“Risked the perception of violence.”


‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Quote:
“His fresh air face.”

‘3News’ Quotes:
“Will not be letting this go.”

“Stop this nonsense.”

“Criminalise sit down protest.”

“Totally restraining.”

“Shame. Shame.”


“Quite simply untrue.”

“Criminalise a working class community.”

‘RTE News’ Quotes:
“This conspiracy idea.”

“Perceived level of risk.”

“Rural crime gang.”

“Stitch us up.”

“Shame on ye!”

“For who he was.”

“Orchestrated conspiracy.”

“Can you deny.”

“Talk of a government agenda was untrue.”

‘Getaway’ Quote:
“14 bars on 3 levels.”

‘The Never King’ Quotes:
“I didn’t like to believe it.”

“No one stands with it.”

“By then they were getting scared of him.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“How many credit cards do you have?”
“What do you do with the bills?”
“Throw them out.”

“Stop playing victims.”

“She grew me up.”

“Fish fillet. I pushed it in her face.”

“I don’t really care.”

“Why are you crying right now?”

“Tell me how that’s flattering to you.”

“Threw a pizza in her face.”

“He doesn’t do anything.”

“Wiped him out emotionally and financially.”

“Not appreciate.”

“People do what works.”

‘Irish Daily News’ Quote:
“Standing bare-chested in the middle of the road behaving in an agitated manner.”

‘Tastes Like Home with Catherine Fulvio’ Quote:
“Some sort of rocky thing.”

‘Risk’ Quote:
“You have a problem.”

‘FTWeekend’ Quotes:
“Denial marketing.”

“Sexual dissidence.”

“Seals sleep on the bottom of the sea! The flesh of the Greenland shark contains nerve gas,”

“The simplicity of being alone.”

“The hulking beast lurking the jungly shadows isn’t Marlon Brando.”

Read ‘Misty’ issues 100 and 101. The final ever issues. ‘Smile’ was a dumb tale of an evil Polaroid. ‘The Experiment’ is an okay tale about a girl who realises something about her home is terribly wrong. ‘The Dryad Girl’ is a tale of a dryad who wants to be mortal because she loves a human boy. It goes badly for her. I just realised that in the crap evil plant people story, the bad guy was called Bracken. LAME! ‘Country Churchyard’ is daft. ‘Friends’ sees 2 yobs (one named CRIPPEN) get theirs. ‘Crowning Glory’ was an okay tale of hairy revenge. Where was the evil dollhouse story I could have sworn was a ‘Misty’ tale? This was a good comic. You can see why its memory lives on.

Best Lines:
“We could phone the police. But the telephone is too near the camera!”

“The plant-people are everywhere.”

“Why are all these dogs going one way?”
To Light The Way To Bed

Doctor Who 10x12 + Shadowhunters 1x13 + iZombie 2x05 Reviewed

The Doctor Falls
Well, this was rubbish. This was not made with even semi-competence. It had no staid realism. The Doctor has regal distain and a macho 90s vibe and makes speeches. ‘Caprica’ is ripped off. 10 years passed for Bill as she was made into a cyberman. Shrug. The First Doctor shows up, okay then.

The malign force Master creates another self-perpetuating crisis. The Master acts vilely and Missy has gnawing existential ennui. This was not grimly evocative. The Doctor finds it morally incumbent to be a narrative device during his protracted detainment; he also passes out and makes speeches. This was not very emotive. Missy acts in an over-exaggerated way and is not a dark nemesis. This was odious twattery.

Grievances are aired. This ep was demonstrably useless and was all contrived dramatic inertia. This was not a profound and satisfying pivotal moment. This was not ponderous or peculiar or inherently interesting. There are no momentous consequences to anything. The Master and Missy are petty, ruthless, clueless, megalomaniacal and frequently wrong. This was a nadir of crassness.

Bad things have happened and will happen to Bill. John Simm has no cold command or combustible persona just petulance and discord. There is no magnificent idiocy and this was not gruesomely compelling. Why is Matt Lucas in this? WHY? There are no moral voices or dark experiences. Missy is still making poor choices. Bill has tenacity and bores. The Doctor and the Master and Missy have an unbridgeable distance. There is no moral reasoning and people do the damage of men. Cybermen are an obliterating horror.

Donald Trump is insulted, because BBC. The Master and Missy kill each other. Bill gets an ass-pull ending. The Doctor walks off his coming regeneration.

Best Lines:
“Quite possibly not empty.”


“Cybermen don’t have fear but they know how to use it.”

“Feeling the glimmer of purpose.”

“If you’re trying to make a point, I’m not listening.”

“Kiss me.”
“Make me.”

“Like sewage, smartphones and Donald Trump, some things are just inevitable.”

“Begging for your life already? That’s a new record.”
“I’m not begging you. I’d rather die than beg you.”

Morning Star
There is no quiet dread as Hodge acts like a blatant psycho. Valentine has abandoned his Chernobyl outpost. Why was he there in the first place? Valentine has a lot of followers. He doesn’t want Hodge as one though and abandons him. There is a destruction of trust. Jace loves his leather jacket and fingerless gloves. Dire consequences are about to erupt. Nobody notices the wolves hunting Hodge?

Hodge and Jace fight. Hodge wields something curvy and Jace has a double bladed seraph blade. There is bad fight chorography. That is not the only ‘Star Wars’ ripoff in this ep. Nobody notices Jace talking to Valentine? As for Valentine, he wants to brainwash Jace. Clary tries to be tough. How long has it been since 1x01?

Clary is dumb. Where is Hodge when Jace runs after Clary? Where does Valentine get all his weapons? How did Hodge get back to the Institute? Valentine gets Jace to go with him. Simon is an ass. Jocelyn is woken and poor Jace is trapped with his crazy father. Good, I want to see season 2!

Best Lines:
Stop thinking with your stele Alec.”

“Jonathan and Clarissa, find them.”

“I am coming for you.”

“Jace isn’t Valentine.”
“Not yet.”

“You’re acting crazy.”

“He raised me to be a killer.”

“You’re just like your father.”
“Then you know how slow your death will be if you don’t answer my questions.”

“Oddly I haven’t missed you.”

“Love is fleeting.”

“It’s complicated.”

“You abandonded me.”

“Raised him to be evil.”

Love and Basketball
There is a murder, Liv babbles about basketball, Major broods and evil corporate types plot about zombies. Nobody exhibits emotions. Major has no assertiveness. Nobody has an ethical responsibility. Major has discontent. Nobody has emotional energy. Extreme sarcasm does not a quality show make. Liv is facetious. There is dubious behaviour and this was tiresome. Liv is petty-minded. Blaine bores. This was not unutterably gloomy. I have widespread contempt for this show. Major burns hot with injustice.

Best Line:
“Don’t ignore me woman!”