December 17th, 2017

Illya K

Feud: Bette And Joan (2017 - ?) 1x01&1x02 + Arrow 6x09 + The Man From U.N.C.L.E 3x07-3x11 Reviewed

This stars Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Judy Davis, Kathy Bates, Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Reed Diamond, Mark Valley and Kiernan Shipka. It tells the story of the legendary feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Joan is making a comeback after a 3 year absence from the silver screen. She needs constant care and attention but does not face a favourable climate. Meanwhile Bette Davis has a resentment of her ex-husband and daughter’s needs and when offered a role in Joan’s comeback vehicle, she decides on a visually striking show stealing make-up job.

Joan (Lange) and Bette (Sarandon) make innumerable digs at each other. Bette has shallow charm and a vastly over-inflated sense of importance. Vile gossip columnist Hedda Hopper is unfreighted by conscience or remorse and has hideous, supercilious self-justification and a devotion to an invented ideal of Hollywood’s former greatness. Hedda (Davis) worships this mythic universe and hates the inevitability of change and so is a malign presiding influence over la-la land and loves the thrill of retribution.

Joan is described as a great movie star and Bette as a great actress. They only ever made one film: ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?’. It is 1961 and Marilyn Monroe is the it girl du jour. Joan found her own project by sending her trusted maid to buy massive amounts of books. Joan gets a director (Molina). Jack Warner (Tucci) is sexist. Bette swears, drinks and harangues her daughter BD (Shipka). This was okay.

Best Lines:
“They’re about pain.”

“Her unemployment is my long simmering revenge.”

“Anything with ladies on the cover.”

“Announce me.”

“Yesterday’s it girl.”

“Marilyn Monroe and the vulgarity of her clothing and pictures.”

“With good morals.”

“I can’t play Elvis’ grandmother!”

“An honour to prune Miss Crawford’s bush.”

“Another guest shot on ‘Wagon Train’?”

“My no good father who ran off with a stripper.”

“Welcome to the house that fear built.”

“Sandal saga.”

The Other Woman
Bette and Joan’s attempts at rapprochement are foiled by the studio who want the publicity of their bad blood. Joan wanted dignity and Bette complains and speaks in a very weird way. Joan self-sabotages. Hedda rants and blackmails. Bette is insecure. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“The slattern and shopgirl roles.”

“I gave you your career back.”

“Early tawdry years.”

“Play the shopgirls and the slatterns.”

“What a dump.”

“Explain? To you?”

“That incontinent cow!”

Irreconcilable Differences
Thea has recovered from her coma pretty fast. There are endless scenes about Felicity and Oliver’s wedding and how much they love each other. So much for Oliver’s love for Laurel, Sara, McKenna and Huntress. There is slo-mo soft focus and people shrug off Oliver and Felicity’s glibness and the script is curiously insistent on their great love. Curtis recalls Paul the husband he ditched and dismissed.

Why does Oliver have friends considering the appalling way in which he treats them? This show is a glorification of the objectionable Felicity. Lance fawns over Oliver in WTF fashion. Felicity’s dad lurks and everyone overlooks that he is a wanted criminal. Oliver learns that someone on the team will testify against him. Oliver has widespread consternation at being made to pay for his multiple murders. Oliver rants about betrayal and how he should never have trusted the newbies.

Artemis is mentioned. Diggle tells Oliver and Felicity not to spy on Curtis, Dinah and Rene. Oliver is dangerous, hostile, perpetually angry, glowering and embittered. Curtis is eminently forgettable and forgets that he drove Paul away. Oliver forgets that it is because of him that Tommy died. Dinah and Vigilante have purposeless scenes. Oliver views his team in a nefarious light. Black Siren shows up and she beats up Thea and kidnaps Lance. Black Siren is a stick. Cayden James ignores Oliver’s growling.

ARGUS is air-gapped. Oliver shuns Dinah. Oliver suddenly cares about his son. Oliver rants about not trusting Dinah. Diggle doubts Dinah but learns Rene is the snitch. TPTB coerce characters into various situations. Cayden James is a scheming enigma. Oliver is a jackass. Why is Black Siren blonde? Black Siren reveals her dad died.

Oliver goes on about broken trust and throws Rene off the team, twice. Dinah and her lip fillers quits. Rene has his brat back. Curtis quits. Cayden Jams planted a minicam in the lair and he leads a team of evil that includes Black Siren, Ricardo Diaz, Anatoly and Vigilante. Felicity is smug, Oliver is unwaveringly consistent in being a jackass and did Black Siren play Lance? This was okay.

Best Lines:
“I don’t do DJs.”

“All that matters to Oliver, at least.”

“Evil Laurel.”

“No good reasons.”

“I’m not wearing your puke.”

The Thor Affair
There is bad stock footage and a politician has gone on hunger strike to end world strife. The duo seem to have a low level of understanding of the requirements of their role. There is slo-mo, bad manners and was the cat okay? The duo are in peril and then they are not and the peril is never explained or referred to again. This is not heightened reality jus a needless distraction. Nobody is genuinely menacing. A bad guy crushes a walnut.

Solo pervs over the innocent du jour. There is another cat and the innocent says she hears voices via her molar. The innocent is manhandled. Bad guys plot. This was not exciting or thought provoking. Killer toys attack. Is the second cat okay? Waverly is a cheapskate. The big guy is Dr Bombay from ‘Bewitched’!

Best Lines:
“I’ve read about your type, just never met one.”

“Essence of cat.”

“If you saw three seedy-looking characters standing on the road. Would you pick them up?”

The Candidate’s Wife Affair
A candidate for POTUS (Richard Anderson) has his wife replaced by a double. Solo is inept. Another woman is menaced. There are Kennedy jokes. Illya is in peril. Characters are gormless sods. There is sexism and a dramatic door slam. WTF is the point of all this other than Solo being a perv? This was okay.

Best Line:
“Napoleon really, don’t you ever turn it off?”

The Come With Me To The Casbah Affair
There are fezs, idiots, a weird attitude to women, sinister Arabs and belly dancers. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Rattle the beads at least.”

“No wonder you prefer the blonde one.”

“We could go to Beirut. Oh darling, life there is so bright, so gay.”

The Off-Broadway Affair
This was pretentiously obtuse. There is singing and dancing in a terrible play. Solo mocks Illya for being a foreigner. Shari Lewis guest stars. This was graphically stupid and unarguably awful. Waverly talks about a tap on the UNCLE computer. This was badly lit with comedy fights. Illya plays the horn apparently and does weird avant-guard ‘singing’. They’re incompetent and this annoyed. People have killing intent and there are no logical conclusions. Solo is a perv and the play is a success.

Best Lines:
“It swings downhill with all the pace and deftness of an Alpine glacier.”


“Here’s our illustrious producer Mr David X Machina.”

“A very bad hoodlum element.”

The Concrete Overcoat Affair, part 1
Jack Palance and Janet Leigh guest star as THRUSH psychos who plot with a Nazi to divert the Gulf Stream. Illya lies in a meadow. The duo face murderous hostility and there is no logical clarity. Solo is nearly forced into a shotgun wedding again TWICE in this ep. Elderly mobsters run around. Solo and Illya are slapped and menaced by geriatrics. This was objectionable. Janet Leigh bothers Illya.

Best Line:
“Your playmate Solo.”


Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Feud’ promo

‘Carol’ promo

‘Discovering Bigfoot’ promo
Camouflage and terrain survival and Bigfoot.

‘The Legend Of Bagger Vance’ (2000) promo

‘Riverdale’ 2x10 promo
The Southside High kids end up in Riverdale High. Betty’s brother shows up and Jughead is bothered.

‘The 15:17 To Paris’ (2017) trailer
The true story told by those who play themselves.

Best Lines:
“Baby sodas.”

“Given authority over your life!”

‘Z Nation’ 4x12 promo
The Secret Service and the POTUS. Mmmm.

‘Designated Survivor’ 2x11 promo
So the FLOTUS died. Maggie Q and Kiefer get angry.

‘Den Of Thieves’ promo
“You’re not the bad guys, we are.”

‘Alpha’ promo

‘Red Sparrow’ promo

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ trailer

Best Line:
“Break back in.”

‘Smallfoot’ promo

‘The Post’ promo

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri’ promo

‘The Greatest Showman’ trailer

Alita: Battle Angel’ trailer

Gluten free salted caramel filled muffin - nice.
Hot Port - yum.
Lightly salted kettle crisps - yum.
Irish whiskey chocolate - okay.
Hazelnut praline - yum.

There is to be a ‘She-Ra’ reboot!

I want to read ‘Harvest Home’.

Who saw ‘Space Jam’ (1996) or ‘Turner and Hooch’ (1989) or ‘The Nativity Story’ (2006) or ‘Snow Day’ (2000) or ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ (2004) or ‘The Grinch’ or ‘Frida’ (2002) or ‘Studio 54’?

Found out what sugarplums are. Ew. But WTF was 1920s motoring chocolate?

Who read ‘Memoirs Of A Geisha’?

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Public sentiment.”

“So anti-school he stops engaging as soon as he thinks he might be learning something.”

“Food archaeology.”

“1980s identity politics.”

“A big rock in the middle of the ocean where mad-bastard monks subsisted on gull’s eggs and Jesus.”

“Secret patrols.”

“Not a flattering portrait.”

“Too poor to endure their poverty well.”

“Destruction of those who are richer and happier than themselves.”

“The only land on the campus that has been untilled and unbuilt on.”

“Nutritionally dense.”

Made one yearn for the second glacial apocalypse.”


‘Hollyoaks’ Quote:
“Meet your new dad!”

‘Elementary’ Quote:
“Loosened his sense of piety.”

‘Nationwide’ Quote:
“Working livestock guardian dog.”

‘The Sweetmakers At Christmas’ Quotes:
“Social norms.”

“Cold fondant.”

“Hot fondant.”

“Coating consistency.”

“Love a bit of foiling.”

‘FTWeekend’ Quotes:
“Beard nets.”


“Exalted forum.”

‘Poirot’ Quote:
“Just like you would normal people.”

‘Rick And Morty’ Quotes:
“Unfreeze my daughter’s idiot.”

“Murmur it up.”

“The machine of unspeakable doom.”

"Kinda played out dude."
Scary Books

Book Review: The Mammoth Book Of Vampire Stories By Women, part 2

The Mammoth Book Of Vampire Stories By Women edited by Stephen Jones, part 2

The Vengeful Spirit Of Lake Nepeakea
By Tanya Huff. A ‘Vicki Nelson’ story, that sees Vicki and her mancandy/blood bank investigate a lake monster. This was good with dark wit and a magnificently odious bad guy.

Best Line:
Wasn’t entirely certain the involvement of the Jesuits added credibility.”

La Diente
A maid uncovers her inner power. This is a tonal mess that is not tough and gritty. This follows no logical process and is mediocre.

Miss Massingberd and The Vampire
A sensible teacher encounters a vampire. This was short, sweet and good.

The Raven Bound
A vampire insinuates himself into a family. This deserves no acclamation.

Vampire King Of The Goth Chicks
By Nancy A Collins. A reluctant vampire sorts out a pretender. Good.

Just His Type
A writer investigated the origin of the vampire mythos and lived to regret it. This was good and increasingly creepy.

Prince Of Flowers
A woman steals from her workplace and his was dire.

Services Rendered
A woman tries to save her dying husband but devolves into paranoia and shrewdom. This was po-faced baloney told with po-faced solemnity.


One Among Millions
This was not good.

Luella Miller
An old tale of an emotional vampire or something.

Best Lines:
“Who had an evil name in the village,”

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Kylo Ren

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

This is an okay if overlong tale about two bunches of people habitually killing other. There are odd references to a soul and someone uses the phrase Godspeed. Luke blathers about the force, Leia uses the force and Kylo Ren is tormented, moody, shirtless and brooding and everyone gives up on him: his mother, Luke, Rey and Snoke.

There are endless bad fights, lots of battles, copious VFX, Poe is annoying, Finn is unnecessary and Porgs are cure. Crystal critters run around and the reason for Ben Solo’s fall to the dark side is shown. Phasma is there. Rey is a Mary-Sue, Snoke is a non-event and Hux is a jackass. Laura Dern takes too long to do anything. There is a dirty mumbling guy, a vomit inducing scene with cute kids, comedy, an unnecessary trip to Canto Blight, terrible tactics and a rejected redemption .

Shovel faced types talk, BB8 runs around under a bin and Kylo Ren has barely contained violence. There is so much intense animosity for the violently unstable damaged fighty man Kylo Ren who wants merciless retribution for understandable reasons. Kylo Ren’s fall into darkness and his furious sadness and decision to wreak terrible personal vengeance seems like a fairly reasonable reaction to what pushed him over the edge. Nobody seems appropriately concerned about Snoke driving Ben Solo to darkness and Luke giving up on him. There is a redemptive act but not a rejection of a totalitarian and theocratic state. This was okay if not society-shaking. But we do get to see the First Order’s laundry and note the Resistance’s hypocrisy.

Best Lines:
“Dead heroes.”

“Fleet killer.”

“Son of darkness.”

“Most hated man in the galaxy.”

“Ben Solo will turn.”

“Page turners, they were not.”

“That is pretty much nowhere.”

“Did you create Kylo Ren?”


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