Length: 2Hr 4Min Rating: PG About: Three astronauts (James Brolin, Sam Waterston, O.J. Simpson) are about to launch into space on the first mission to Mars. But when a mechanical failure surfaces that would kill the three men, NASA removes them from the Capricorn One capsule. To prevent a public outcry, NASA launches the capsule unmanned and requires the astronauts to film fake mission footage in a studio. However, the plan is compromised when an ambitious journalist (Elliott Gould) discovers the conspiracy.
Bloody hell, talk about a legacy cast. There’s nothing better than watching an old school film and recognising people you watch. Not only that, they’re 30 years younger. James Brolin, Elliot Gould and ? all bring their a-game to this chilling political conspiracy thriller. I’d have liked to have seen more from ?, as early parts of the film hint at a comedic side I’ve not seen in his most recent roles.
The film has this delightful slow build of a plot which you simply don’t see getting made in Hollywood nowadays. There’s no heavy pattern or formulaic action sequences. Elliot Gould may take top billing when it comes to the credits, but there’s no clear star driving this plot forward.
In an age where movies are catering for an over-stimulated audience, this is a nice change of pace; it’s atmospheric, chilling and emotive. I’m not ashamed to say, I jumped twice at events I wasn’t expecting. Actually, I yelped too at one and screamed at the other.
As I said, there’s no star. Unfortunately while it’s a blessing, it’s also the film’s curse. As a result of no one person being followed, the plot feels overly choppy and, at times, hard to follow. It also gave the film an overall uneasy feeling and while I don’t personally like it, I can’t deny that it adds to the whole film.
why was the on-trend colour of the 70s all shades of brown? Literally everything in this film; from costumes to sets was brown. This is such a personal thing but picking a colour palate because it’s in fashion dates a film and it’s a shame because the theme and conspiracy at the heart of this movie has a timeless ‘fake news’ quality about it.
Another strong episode for the show that is finding a wonderful balance between episodes that work as a stand alone but also work towards a larger story. It’s so natural that there’s no need for the dreaded ‘To be continued…’ fans used to fear.
There’s a welcome return of Shazad Latif, Mary Chieffo and Michelle Yeoh for the first of three main plot threads in today’s episode. I do love the Viking and tribal or clan-like homages made while we spend time with the Klingons. It’s not something I would have normally liked, but this had my attention from the start. I found Ash/Vok’s situation well acted from everyone involved and that brought so much emotion to the surface. I immediately wondered if this was Discovery creating an explanation for the appearance of TOS Klingons. It still might be and, if so, this show just keeps winning me over. By the end of the episode, I can’t help but feel we’ve seen a back-door pilot of sorts and can’t wait for more news on Yeoh’s upcoming spin-off.
Michael Burnham spends the episode chasing leads as to where Spock may be. Unfortunately, it does seem by the end of the episode she’s further removed from more than just Spock. I am torn as to whether I am happy with how this story is playing out. The questions are starting to rack up and I feel a little Lost! No, I capitalise correctly, because I feel lost in more ways that one. I have this anxiety that the questions will topple long before I get an answer; much in the same way Lost did back in the day. That said, I had my reservations about the pre- Kirk setting and I was very happy to be proved wrong by the end of series one. I really do hope we get some resolution soon. Or at least someone else sighting the red angel.
Finally, there’s Tilly and her little ghost stowaway. For the love of Roddenberry, it was heart breaking seeing Tilly so vulnerable. From the outburst on the bridge, to her tear ridden reveal to Michael I was feeling her pain. If Mary Wiseman isn’t at least nominated for an Emmy in the next awards season, I will eat my hat. (I don’t have a hat, nor do I understand awards and nominations, but guys she deserves all of them) I loved that it was Stamet’s she needed and that it wasn’t as clear cut as I’d predicted last week. As always, Rapp is a delight to have on screen and this was no exception. With his help there was a resolution of sorts. It’s definitely not the last we’ll see of May, but at least Tilly is out of harms way.
If this show keeps going, this is going to very quickly replace Deep Space Nine as my favourite in the franchise. Something that I never thought I’d see.
Publisher: Piccadilly Press Pages: 322 Release date: 5th February 2019 About: A stirring and heart-warming tale of a young deaf girl who is determined to make a difference, the perfect read for fans of Wonder. Iris was born deaf, but she’s never let that define her; after all, it’s the only life she’s ever known. And until recently she wasn’t even very lonely, because her grandparents are both deaf, too. But Grandpa has just died and Grandma’s not the same without him. The only place Iris really feels at home anymore is in her electronics workshop where she loves taking apart antique radios. Then, during a science lesson about sound waves, Iris finds out about a whale who is unable to communicate with other whales. The lonely whale awakens something in Iris. She’s determined to show him that someone in the world knows he’s there. Iris works on a foolproof plan to help the whale but she soon realises that that is not enough: Iris wants to find the whale herself. One stolen credit card, two cruise ship tickets, and the adventure of a lifetime later, Iris and the whale each break through isolation to help one another be truly heard in ways that neither had ever expected.
I don’t think i have ever related to a character so much in all my life. I felt every emotion Iris had along her journey. My heart ached at the beauty of the storytelling and the gratitude that this book exists for those who identify with Iris’ hearing issues. Not only is this book about to go out into the world and allow some people, like myself, to feel represented but it’s a book that will enlighten others on some of the physical and emotional problems faced by those with hearing difficulties.
The theme of isolation resonates with me quite strongly; I was diagnosed with serve hearing loss at the age of 15. However, I was showing signs of hearing loss as young as 6 or 7. My inability to answer people was put down to my dreamer nature with a bit of laziness thrown in. School was a different matter. I suspect that in an environment where blanking someone was the highest crime. I was considered rude and stuck up. I felt like I spent much of high school in my own little prison cell of silence. In short, I totally relate to Iris’ frustration and I would have been exactly like her and feeling the kinship with Blue-55. I might not have gone on the adventure she did, but curling up and reading this book I feel like I actually did.
The writing is breath-taking and compliments the heartfelt plot entirely. How ASL is relayed in the book is nothing short of perfection. There’s a distinction made between speech and ASL, and that in itself is wonderful. However, Lynne Kelly goes beyond that and gives some stunning descriptions of the hand movements to some words and phrases.
The plot moves at an engaging pace, intermingling what appear on the outset to be completely unrelated and independent plot threads. It means that you get to know all the characters that surround Iris in all parts of her life. I’d have personally loved to have seen more interaction between Iris and her brother, but it reminded me so much of the relationship I had with my brother and I just wanted to dive right in and stay a little longer.
This book will forever have a place in my heart, it has soothed my soul and I already predict a mid-year reread. Thank you, Lynne Kelly, from the bottom of my heart for allowing people like myself to be seen, heard and most importantly, understood.
Length: 1Hr 52 Rating: 12 About: Kate is a single, working-class mother of three who’s hired to clean a luxury yacht that belongs to Leonardo — a selfish, spoiled and wealthy Mexican playboy. After unjustly firing Kate, Leonardo falls off the boat and wakes up with no memory of who he is. To get payback, Kate shows up at the hospital and convinces the confused amnesiac that they’re married. As Leonardo tries to get used to manual labor and his new family, Kate starts to wonder how long she can keep fooling her fake husband. Netflixhttps://www.netflix.com/title/80216281
The cast is brilliant. Eugenio Derbez for me was a curious casting choice, but once you see the film he will win you over. His privilege, charm and development of character is on point. Leo’s growing relationship with Kate’s three daughters was sincere, heartfelt and rather cute. A difficult thing to pull off without seeming seedy in the current climate. Eva Longoria was just delightful in a supporting role as Kate’s best friend. She’s got the sass and the guts to get the plot rolling and I’m almost sorry she wasn’t given the role of Kate; she’d have nailed it. Of course, that’s not to say Anna Faris was bad. Over the years she’s really come into her own and there are some sincere and emotional scenes that she owns that I don’t think she’d have pulled off a decade ago.
It was rather slow and lacking any charm or humour. There were a *few* giggles to be had, but it was with old and tired jokes which means I already know this will not stand up to repeated viewings. The film takes up too much screen time establishing both Leo and Kate’s situations. I’m not sure if the creative team felt that more was needed here due to the gender bending of the premise, but it felt like it was trying too hard to justify Kate’s motivation to bring him into the family home. It had a hard job, trying to live up to the original movie. It’s a classic Sunday afternoon, waiting for your roast dinner sort of film. Quite a brave film too, having it be a single dad and a yuppie woman. There really isn’t anything that can be added to it, and it is almost like the film knew that too.
No so much the fault of the film, but Netflix and its dodgy formatting. Make sure you go into the film with your subtitles on. It was about an hour in and three scenes in Spanish before I hit the subtitle button. The first scene I thought was meant to be like that as one woman slipped into English a few times. It meant that I was pulled out of the film. Okay, so it’s not like its a complicated plot, but it does show that those scenes don’t add anything either. It also meant that the subtitles had to be on for everything and not just the bits we needed translating. For me, parring down Leo’s family and using that screen time to work on Leo’s relationship with Kate would not have harmed at all. In fact, I really needed more Leo and Kate. Their chemistry was brilliant and you really could see Kate’s feelings changing, but the falling in love part felt like a LOT of scenes went missing.
Overboard is worth a watch, but the most you’ll get out of it is a hankering to watch the original.
“Let’s face it, this is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.”
Release: 8 May 2008 Rating: 12 Length: 2Hr 6min About: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him to force him to build a devastating weapon. Instead, he builds an armored suit and upends his captors. Returning to America, Stark refines the suit and uses it to combat crime and terrorism.
I was VERY hungover when I first ever watched this film. I missed a lot as I dipped in and out of sleep. Up until watching it to review the film for this new series, I considered it a rather disjointed mess of a film that I never wanted to see again. It didn’t help that each time I’ve watched it since has been because its been found on TV mid film. I actually wasn’t looking forward to this watch and I’ve put it off all month.
While my poisoned brain did not appreciate the way this film opened, I loved it this viewing. Being thrown into the action can seem a little disorientating and certainly not something done often in cinema, but it’s a device used in many tv shows to great effect. Here it gives you a snap shot of who Tony Stark is, before finding out how he got himself into the situation.
It’s an economically told origin story. When I compare this to others, it would have been easy for the first 40 minutes to be stretched to the full 2 hours, leaving the remainder of the plot to a sequel movie. I’m so glad that didn’t happen.
The relationship between Stark and Yinsen is something I slept through the first time, and it’s the strength of the movie. It gives Stark his motivation to become ‘Iron Man’ and change the mission statement of Stark Industries. It’s sincere and emotive; I only wish there was a look back to him at some point. Perhaps there is and I missed it; this rewatch will answer that.
What a good bad guy. It’s the one thing I don’t think Marvel gets quite right in subsequent movies. No long-winded explanation as to why, no sob story to make him an anti-hero. Just pure greed. The moment in which Jeff Bridge’s Obadiah renders Stark vulnerable is really chilling and the most sinister scene of the whole franchise.
It really bugs me that Yinsen lists off all the languages that The Ten Rings speak and the one they don’t, is English. Surly if your main aim is to hold a demographic to ransom, you learn to communicate with them. However, I do like the fact that the film gives us Yinsen to translate and eliminate the need for subtitles.
Not sure if it’s because I’m so used to his replacement, but I’m not a fan of Terrence Howard. He doesn’t seem to gel with the rest of the cast and his scenes with RDJnr fall a little flat for me.
While the CGI of the suit and its construction is some of the best in the franchise, I found the CGI during the ultimate showdown a little old and ropy.
Watching it now, it makes me realise that the franchise started on such a high. It set a tone and standard that I fear I am going to watch slowly degrade as I go through my re-watch.
There’s not enough Happy Hogan. I’m sure directing was time consuming and explains Jon Favreau’s presence being reduced to nothing more than a cameo, but I’m certainly looking forward to him having more screen time in later films.
I’m glad I gave the film a second chance. I’ve really been missing out with not giving this installment my full attention. Perhaps I would have been Team Stark outright when it came to Civil War had I really, properly, watched Stark’s humbling journey.
Next week in Phase One of the MCU rewatch is 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which sees Edward Norton taking up the mantel of the Toxic Avenger.
Now I’m no longer teaching and am on the road to officially being my father’s carer, I am hoping to up my game with my blog. There’s no goal in terms of followers or awards, I just want to be more organised and help more books to succeed. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is show my gratitude for the books I receive and reflect on what I’ve achieved over the previous month. Hopefully, this will be the first of many Wrap Up posts in which I share with you my purchases, book post and Net Galley gains before implementing a TBR I hope to stick to. As always, comment and follow. Love Han x
The Books I Got
Slay on Tour by Kim Curran (Usborne book post)
Hotel Flamingo by Alex Milway (Piccadilly Press book post)
Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge (Hot Key book post)
The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (Zaffre book post)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald by J. K. Rowling (Sphere/ Little Brown. Bought)
Evermore by Sara Holland (Harper Teen. Bought)
DC Icons Batman: Night Walker by Marie Lu (Random House YA. Replacement purchase)
Doctor Who: The Good Doctor by Juno Dawson (BBC books. Bought)
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly (Piccadilly Press book post)
Monsters in the Mirror by A J Hartly (UCLAN publishing book post)
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (Hodder Children’s Press. From Wildest Dreams Book Box subscription)
Dark Blade by Steve Feasey (Bloomsbury YA book post)
Slayer by Keirsten White (Simon & Schuster Children’s UK. Net Galley)
Twisted by Steve Cavanagh (Orion Press. Net Galley)
The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children’s Books. Net Galley)
Ever Alice by HJ Ramsay (Red Rogue Press. Net Galley)
Aries 181 by Tiana Warner (Rogue Cannon Publishing E-Copy)
The Books I Read
Slay on Tour by Kim Curran
Hotel Flamingo by Alex Milway
Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
Slayer by Kiersten White
The Anomaly by Michael Rutger
Dr Ninth by Adam Hargreaves
Dr Tenth by Adam Hargreaves
Dr Eleventh by Adam Hargreaves
Dr Twelfth by Adam Hargreaves
Enchantee by Gita Trelease
Twisted by Steve Cavanagh
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
The Go-Away Bird by Julia Donaldson
Ever Alice by H.J Ramsay
So as it stands, I’m 14 books (18%) into my Goodread’s 80 book 2019 reading challenge. It also puts me a staggering 8 books ahead of schedule. I would love to keep this up, but I am also aware that 5 of my books are 5 minute reads.
The Books to Read in February
Monsters in the Mirror by A J Hartly
Dark Blade by Steve Feasey
Aries 181 by Tiana Warner
Time Traveller’s Guide to Modern Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.