It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

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From the Feeds

Today’s post comes from Buzzfeed and is a compilation of 33 wonderfully heartwarming photos.

Daily Three

  1. I got to watch a film with my dad that I found purely on a few bits of information he gave me. Capricorn One is a tense slow-build of a film that actually even made me scream.
  2. I tidied, hoovered and generally been productive. It’s strange that I had to move back home to unlock the full adulting level.
  3. I made the perfect omelette. It didn’t stick to the pan, it didn’t rip as I folded it and it was cooked all the way through.

It’s not all Doom and Gloom

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From the Feeds

There’s no right way to raise a child. But there’s certainly wrong ways. This article is a heartwarming look at how people who bring a child into the world can make the best of a situation and put their child first. I’m not saying everyone could, or even should, but just look at how happy everyone is in that picture.

https://ew.com/movies/2019/01/21/kenan-thompson-and-cast-hit-the-ice-for-a-mighty-ducks-reunion/?fbclid=IwAR3NzlZ-68KyJHjTSB7RgEqk5BZs4pbIMz7t0n0HaE1r66lI_tQeS4kBJFw

Quack Quack Quack Quack! Anyone who is anyone should click the link above and check out the Mighty Ducks cast reunion in which some of the fan favourites took to the ice like a duck to water.

Daily Three

1.The internet has arrived. No more checking my phone every five minutes. No more expensive data bolt ons from o2.

2. I’ve gotten myself super organised with my blog. I have the next few months mapped out with themes and what not.

3. Anthony Rapp from Star Trek Discovery has liked my review of episode two.

TV REVIEW Star Trek Discovery: S2 Ep2 New Eden

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About: A new signal brings the Discovery to a distant planet, Terralysium, that is inhabited by the descendants of human survivors of World War III, which was fought on Earth 200 years earlier.

Picking up from last week’s reveal, Discovery follows a second inexplicable signal that Spock. Discovery does what Discovery does best and hops across the quadrants to discover a planet over 200 years away and the only way our crew got to it was through use of the spore drive. So, how are their humans on the planet whose lineage implies they’ve been settled on the planet before the development of warp drive on Earth?!

One of the key parts of this episode could retcon all of the franchise and put to rest fan frustration that has existed since the first series. The concept that Kirk on the Original Series was exploring ‘new life and new civilisations’, yet in almost every episode came across humans who got there before Enterprise. It’s a retcon I can get on board with; especially if it stops my father grumbling about this exact thing every time he watches Trek.

It is Pike’s response that wins me over.

“Someone wanna tell me how they got here?”

He implores right before we cut to the credits and my inner, and outer, geek dances. I love the idea that they are clearly discovering a new planet, as so they should, but there are humans already there and everyone is as confused as fuck; and unafraid to show it.

Pike is our every man. For the love of Spock, I hope he’s not a bad guy. I wasn’t sure about Pike in the series 2 opener. I’m more familiar with the Bruce Greenwood incarnation and I was feeling the loss. No longer. Having watched The Original Series double episode, The Menagerie last week along with New Eden, I can safely say Anson Mount is a welcome addition to the bridge of Discovery. Not only does Mount seem to blend both Greenwood and Jeffrey Hunter’s portrayals; he brings something of his own to the role.

It’s through Pike we get the main theme of Science versus Religion. I have a feeling this wouldn’t suit all audiences but I, being someone who has spent the last 9 years teaching RE, adored the exploration of this theme and the fact that Pike’s character clearly has more history when it comes to this. I admire the creative team’s development of a new religion that blends all of the sixth main world faiths. It logically and emotionally feels organic when you consider that there was an amalgamation of people who were moved to the planet. This is seen best in the redacted and edited scripture.

In fact the exploration of the church was my favourite scene. Not only was it able to give us an idea of what the colony was going to be like, it provided a teaching moment. Michael goes to read the scripture and Pike informs her just to look at the windows before explaining that the stained glass was there for that purpose.

“It was how they would teach the Gospels to those who couldn’t read.”

I was a passive viewer of Star Trek until I was 11 years old. I’d become a fan of Deep Space Nine, 3 years earlier, but it wasn’t until an episode of The Next Generation helped me in a Science lesson that I embraced the whole franchise. Worf was injured and spent most of the episode in sick bay where the doctor explained about the spine and its relationship with the brain. The next day, our Science lesson looked at the spine and I received a number of credits for correctly answering a question. One I would not have been able to answer without the episode. Any time an episode has a teaching moment, I inwardly smile and wonder if there’s some teen out there who’ll benefit from that nugget of information.

This plot strand brings with it one other major debate that is seen time and time again; the prime directive and the ethical standing it brings. This clearly isn’t a normal situation and is one that should be discussed. It’s a problem that when you break it down is something any viewer can relate to; an absolute rule to fit situational ethical problems. Or, square peg, round hole. I love that no one finds the directive easy to follow but more so, I love that it’s the Vulcan raised Michael that finds it hardest to follow.

On the ship, it’s a Tilly focused episode. There isn’t a character I don’t like on this show, but I bloody love Tilly. She’s The Doctor; it will forever be head canon for me and a dream casting that Mary Wiseman will be given the keys to the Tardis someday. Her caffeinated problem solving brings the two plots together and ensures the episode is neatly wrapped up; for now.

The plot develops not only Tilly’s character but reinforces some amazing relationships that are strengthening this show. Last week we saw her sadness of Stamet’s announcement that he was transferring. Her ‘I don’t want you to go.’ Was heart breaking and its clearly the motivation for her actions that see her in the med bay. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see Rapp on my screen full stop, but his chemistry with Wiseman is delightful, charming and something I would never have expected this time last season. Tilly has broken down Stamet’s hard and frosty exterior and I can’t wait to see them become firm friends.

Viewers also get some wonderful interactions between Tilly and Saru. Saru is a mentor for Tilly; she respects him and wants to learn from him. However, there’s that parental undertone that I can’t help but smile at. Tilly doesn’t want to disappoint Saru, and Saru just wants her to be safe. While there’s not much to the interaction, I think it’s forming a foundation for the rest of the series. I’d love for the show to last long enough to see her take command.

Not only is this my favourite episode of Discovery, I think this might be my favourite Trek episode of all time. The story is fascinating, the special effects, sets and costumes are nothing short of beautiful. Not only that, I’m invested in the characters and I cannot wait for the next episodes.

Love Han x

Book Tour: Slay on Tour by Kim Curran

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As a reader it feels as if Curran’s opening story was the album and this, second offering that is so aptly named, is the amazing and anticipated arena tour.

You’ll gratefully applaud the hits the familiar characters roll out smoothly and with wonderful transitions. You will get that comfortable, almost homely, sensation even though it also feels different and new. Just like with all good bands on tour, Curran offers the fans something new that also teases what will come next.

I devoured this book, much in the same way I did the first. The key with the enjoyability of this book is having characters, relationships and situations I feel invested in. Slay on Tour has all, in buckets.

What I loved was the sub plot of Tom coming to terms with losing his hand. I had the pleasure of seeing Def Leapord last year and their drummer had his whole arm amputated in a car accident. The band stuck by is side while he recovered and learned to embrace his ‘disability’. I say it in that way because the man was one incredible drummer, regardless. Having that experience allowed me to experience Tom’s predicament on another level and that is all down to Curran’s writing.

The story in itself is fast paced, action packed and contains all the feels. It’s well wrapped up, but we get a juicy sting to tell us that London’s Calling. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Slay.

Love Han x

Mamma Mia! Here I Go Again (2018)

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Length: 1Hr 54

Rating: PG

About: In 1979 young Donna, Tanya and Rosie graduate from Oxford University — leaving Donna free to embark on a series of adventures throughout Europe. On her journeys, she makes the acquaintances of Harry, Bill and Sam — the latter whom she falls in love with, but he’s also the man who breaks her heart. In the present day, Donna’s pregnant daughter, Sophie, dreams of renovating a taverna while reuniting with her mother’s old friends and boyfriends on the Greek island of Kalokairi.

The Good

Well, the joy of the first outing means that you’re invested from the outset and you care about finding out what they’re all up to.

The new cast is a perfect fit for the older counterparts we already know of. You can’t fault the Donna and the Dynamos; Lily Janes, Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies steal this film and the songs that they sing.

The Bad

It feels rather weak by having the two timelines running; one of which was boiled down to a single song in the first movie. Other than retconning Rosie and Bill’s relationship, I’m not sure there was enough added to the 1979 plot. If the plot was given more room to breath and the boys given something other than lip service cameos, I would have enjoyed it more.

The Ugly

Unfortunately, all the ABBA hits were used and what we’re left with are the B sides. Yes, they are well shoe horned into the plot, but only hard core fans will be singing along this time.

It’s another film that reveals too much with the trailer. There were too many things that play out as if we’re not meant to know. It leaves you feeling a little deflated.

Movie Review- The Meg (2018)

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“Just keep swimming”

About: Previously thought to be extinct, a massive creature attacks a deep-sea submersible, leaving it disabled and trapping the crew at the bottom of the Pacific. With time running out, a visionary oceanographer recruits rescue diver Jonas Taylor to save the crew and the sea itself from an unimaginable threat — a 75-foot-long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.
Length: 1 Hr 52

The Good

Who doesn’t love a good shark movie? Who doesn’t enjoy the mindless plot of a Jason Statham movie? Put them together and you’ve got an action movie with enough laughs to keep it going.
It’s plot isn’t as simple as it appears on the outset, which is brilliant for those who a worries that its simply rehashing Deep Blue Sea.
I squealed a little at the arrival of The Office’s alumni Rainn Wilson. While his character is a little bit of a confusion, Wilson’s humour is a welcome addition.

The Bad

Ruby Rose and the ‘team’ were underused. Obviously it’s a Statham vehicle, but they just needed a few more scenes and a little more development for me. Especially when you’re needing to feel for them in the final act, it’s hard when you’ve spent zero time connecting with them.
Part of the charm of this sort of movie is the ‘bad’. This film was actually lacking some of that ‘cringe’ factor that I personally needed. I needed the film to let go just a little and give me more lines like ‘just keep swimming’.

The Ugly

The opening scene felt a little clunky. Okay, Jason’s got PTSD. It could have been done very nicely through flashbacks. I needed something other than a five minute exposition that has me on Jason’s side and thinking everyone else is a dick for not believing him.
I want to doubt him, I want his story arc being me learning that he’s not the alcoholic wreck everyone else sees. It just feels a little too much to have EVERYONE against him when we know what he’s seen.

Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan

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Muhammad Khan’s second novel is a relevant cautionary tale of self realisation, challenging the trappings created by fear and, most importantly, acknowledging stereotypes of gender and culture before working against them.

My affection for the protagonist hit me fast and hard. Ilyas is a young man I’ve had in my classroom time and time again. He’s a person who is so busy trying to balance what everyone else expects, that he forgets who he really is and what makes him happy.

The journey that Ilyas goes on, in part, is a solo one. However, as a reader, you feel every step he takes. It’s hard to see the assumptions made about him and decisions made for him when you get to hear his own thoughts of the matter.

By the time the reader meets Kelly, they already get a feel for the world in which Ilyas lives and the way in which it goes against his own moral code. Khan is able to explore the complexity of a teen’s life and how complications don’t always arrive from one social group or source alone.

Kelly’s arrival and Ilyas’ Maths teacher takes the story on a wonderful and heart warming adjacent storyline. It’s here where I feel Khan does his best work; raising issues and challenging stereotypes not only within the story, but to the reader directly.

My favourite aspect of this story is the comic Ilyas and Kelly develop. The glimpses you get about the story will have all readers scrambling to Twitter and begging Khan to create the comic book proper.

Kick the Moon is out now.

Love Han x

WED: No Doom, No Gloom

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From the Feeds

sorry. Finding things tough at the moment without WiFi. Should be up and running by Monday. So just one for today;

https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/19/i-will-not-stop-until-syrian-refugees-are-reunited-with-the-beloved-pets-they-left-behind-8331338/?ito=social

Daily Three

1. I’m all registered at my doctors and somehow it feels like everything is right with the world.

2. I was given a £7 voucher from Starbucks. I dropped the company an email because i’ve found the service a little inconsistent (cold coffee, no filter available, a very messy caramel Mach). I didn’t want anything other than a warm cup of coffee the next time I went in. Now I’ve gotten enough for 3 filter coffees.

3. I watched BoRhap with my dad. I learnt more about my dad, his views and even a little bit about my own life in this one viewing than anything else in my life. From fashion, the fears of people at the outbreak of HIV/Aids and what he thought of Freddie. ”He had such an amazing personality. A charisma and a character that no one else had. Taken way too young. He’d only just gotten started.”

⁃ Then the bit that hit me right in the emotions. My dad told me during the final scene that my mum was in hospital and watched all of Live Aid, having just had major surgery removing a fibroid from her womb to save my life. I don’t know how well my father has remembered it, but I like the thought that Live Aid helped with ‘our’ recovery.

Anomaly by Michael Rutger

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I don’t think i’ve ever felt as tense as I did reading this chilling adventure. I knew if like it; I was told the moment I was told It was for fans of Dan Brown. That is very true indeed; only I would be so bold as to say it’s a perfect blend of the aforementioned Brown and the late, great, Michael Chrichton. 

Becoming an adult means certain things have to take priority, which means I thought my days of staying up through the night reading were left behind with my tolerance for shots. Yet, with The Anomaly, I found myself turning those final pages at 3am. I couldn’t put it down, I couldn’t let it go; I needed to know the answer and know how everything played out.

Part of what makes this book a gripping read is its main character and voice. Comparing him to Indiana Jones doesn’t quite do the character justice. There’s a closer resemblance to Greg House from the namesake show. That, certainly, for me made him a much more engaging read. His interaction with all the other characters brings not only a full development of him, but to a number of others too.

The plot and writing are beautifully filmic in quality, bringing a sense of Crichton nostalgia. There’s also that deep rooted almost mythological puzzle that begs to be solved.

The imagery is haunting and garners a real threat towards the characters that will leave any reader’s heart racing.

Love Han x

Mon: No Doom, No Gloom

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From the Feeds

This is all the joy. The Merc with the Mouth wishing international treasure Betty White happy birthday. The Golden Girl was celebrating being 97 years young last week and Ryan Reynolds didn’t let it go without a shout out from himself.

Daily Three

1. Got an appointment to be registered with the Drs

2. Made plans to see someone I’ve not seen in a long time tomorrow

3. I watched Riverdale AND… ever so briefly got myself onto the Hospital WiFi

Love Han x

Hotel Flamingo by Alex Milway

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This is a delightful, fanciful tale that would make for a cute bedtime read for younger children and a perfect independent book for older littles.

I devoured it in a little over an hour, falling in love with the characters, their relationships and the overall tone of the book.

It’s the message that is central to this charming book’s success. The main character, Anna, is good at problem solving and that will be inspiring to any young reader. However, the most heartwarming message I took from this story was that its as much a strength to recognise when you need help and seek it out. Some of the story’s best situations are solved when Anna seeks out the expertise of other people at the hotel.

Overall, the story is perfectly pitched for this to be a book that grows as a child does. It contains stunning artwork to compliment what undoubtedly will be just the start of a wonderful series of books and a grand adventure.

This beautiful book is available from 7th Feb 2019 and is available to pre-order now.

Love Han