Game of Thrones Series 7 Episode 5: Eastwatch #review

0

tmp_QjX52L_d1f7a2b4f04c542a_tyrion

 

I’m all caught up. I’ve had a very strange relationship with this show; from watching that very first episode the night after it aired and realising it wasn’t for me, to feeling left out as everyone else could get past the gratuitous sex, insect and gore to find something compelling beneath. Then I was convinced to give it a go by a friend and I binged. I got through the first five seasons in record time.

It’s taken me a little longer to get up to date, since I needed to take a break from it after I felt I was getting desensitised to the gore and horror of the show. Here I am though, up to date and ready to put commentary to the most recent episode.

There is so much crammed into this episode; this series is a Chess game with all its piece being placed in the right positions ready for the final showdown next week.

The final image seen in the last episode was Jamie sinking to the bottom of the lake, having faced off with a dragon. I haven’t seen such a bail out of a character’s fate since the baby in Walking Dead. It really was so frustrating to see him so easily recued. I wanted a little bit of peril damn it.

I’m happy Jamie is safe, don’t get me wrong but it just felt a little anti-climactic after spending a week considering the added anchor of his golden hand and its impact upon his survival.

I loved the “stupid boy” line and it made me chuckle for the very simple reason that it reminded me of Pike in Dad’s Army. So subtle and most likely unintentional, but it still tickled me no end.

Jon Snow’s respect for the dragons was a brilliant scene and it’s clear that before the show ends next year, there will be a strong relationship between himself and Daenerys. Both fan favourite, it would be foolish not to pull on that romantic thread.
“You go Jon Snow.” His moving semi-speech has finally got me seeing what the fuss is about with him. I’ve always put him alongside Hamlet in terms of brat-like characters I have no time for. Now I this new found respect for him, I’m quite curious about going back to the beginning.

While I don’t like the White Walkers, I do like the story arc they’ve provided and how they are bringing the houses together for a common goal. Sam is trying to get people to believe in their existence, but Slughorn won’t have any of it. Sam is fast becoming my favourite character now he’s getting out of Jon Snow’s shadow; he has such a good heart and intentions.

Unfortunately, while I’ve been waiting an age for the reconnection of the Stark children, I’m starting to regret it. Sansa has reverted to the brat I detested and the jealousy between the two sisters threatens to tear them apart as quickly as they were reunited.

The showdown between Jamie and Tyrion was heart-breaking. Having to open the wounds of their father’s death reveals deep seated emotional scars for both men. I have always loved Tyrion, but this honest and emotion declaration when confronted about killing his own father ensures Sam will never replace him.

It is when Tyrion declares there’s something more important than ‘bending the knee,’ you know what is going to take place over the next two episodes. Upon returning to the ship, Gandry is on board and ready to fight. I’m so happy he’s finally made an appearance as people predicted he would by the end of this series.

The final image cements the idea that this show is now about the next generation. The mantel has been past from the legacy actors from stage and screen and let’s just hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

Prediction for the Iron Throne: It’s more of a want than anything, but I would love to see Tyrion on the throne by the end of the show.

Rick and Morty Series 3 Episode 4- Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender #review

0

AKA- Rick does Saw

rick-and-morty-season-3-episode-4-review-vindicators-3-the-return-of-worldender

This standalone episode perhaps suffers from following Pickle Rick, but it’s the weakest of the series so far. The only saving grace is perhaps that, by the end of the episode, I don’t hate Morty quite so much as I normally do.

I must be honest, this is the first episode I’ve zoned out and found myself playing on my phone. Normally I’m glued to the screen watching Rock and Morty’s adventures unfold; in the past, it would have involved softly tapping my then boyfriend’s leg or arm when I found something exceptionally clever or funny. But not with this episode; It was somewhere between “You did Vindicator 2 without us?!” and “I’m a drunk, not a hack.” That I gained some more points on one of my games.

It is perhaps due to the number of new characters that presented themselves and the lack of the rest of the family; I didn’t care about these people. Which is probably why my attention was regained once the Saw element was introduced.

The episode is a true Ode to Morty. We’re given an insight as to what he must do when Rick gets ‘blind drunk’. When question Morty on how many bombs he’s had to disarm: “Too many Rick, too many.” I really started to feel for him.

Just when you think Rick is going to show some appreciation for Morty, we get a labour of love for Noop-Noop; a minor character of the Vindicators who must be a relation of Poopy Butthole!

Overall, a weak episode without any development for the series. Aside from a cameo from Christian Slater and some zingers from Rick, there’s very little that will bring me back to this episode for repeated viewing.

Mental Health- an Introduction

0

download

I’d set up this blog almost three years ago with the intention of writing film reviews. That first year, I discovered how hard it was to keep up with it when I was going the cinema as frequently as I did.
Back in December 2016, after being told by my then-boyfriend I would never make a blog work, I decided to pay for this domain. Six months down the line myself and my best friend Gem have some amazing plans to get ourselves off the ground. We’re both going to review YA novels, there’ll be some tv shows we’ll both cover while some (Rick and Morty) I’ll do solo. I’m still going to review films, but I need to get into a routine with that.

However, I want to do something more. Inspired by the amazing website DenofGeek and their Geek Vs Loneliness series, I want to cover something which impacts upon most people at some point in their lives: mental health. It’s a taboo subject, but that’s not going to stop me. Even if what I say here helps one person, I feel like that’s a job well done.

I suffer from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and vitamin D deficiency. It’s still unclear if any one of these is the root cause and for the moment, we’re going to assume that there isn’t an answer. I’m about to start counselling at the end of the month and I’m nervous.

Why?! Mainly because this has been one incredibly long and arduous battle through NHS. Two years ago, I requested some sort of therapy, yet the one that I’ll be starting in two weeks’ time will be a paid for service with doctors-in-training. I’ve had medical professionals give me wrong medication, medication that increases risk of depression and I have (I kid you not) been told finding myself a good-looking bloke to be my boyfriend would cure all my ails. So, my confidence in medicine at the moment is lacking somewhat.

Part of the problem for me is that I’m not very good at talking about these sorts of things. I keep it bottled up for fear of not being believed. This has, in the past, been reinforced when seeking support, I discovered friends thought I was an attention seeking drama queen.

Well, I’m not. I’m just a little broken.

I might not reveal everything that has gotten me to where I am today; some wounds don’t need to be inspected by anyone other than myself and a medical professional. However, what I will do is share some situations that are common to perhaps us all and through research, point people in the right direction for help.

 

Firstly

I often have students come to me upset, distraught and in some cases depressed. I think it’s my empathetic nature that makes people seek help from me. Each time they do, I suggest the exact same practise I try to do myself:

The 3-point positive.

Identify 3 things from the day that went well. Might seem too easy, or too hard. It depends on your mindset at the time. The most important thing is, you need to keep up with it.

I started it properly around this time last year. It was unbelievable hard and some days my positives would be as simple as ‘I washed my hair.’ However, as I stuck with it, not only was I finding it easier, I would be able to find the positives in things that would normally have me in a downward spiral.

It’s not fool proof, and that’s the key to it. At my strongest, I never thought I’d feel depressed ever again. It led me to my first relationship in five years, when I wasn’t quite ready. Some would argue that you’d never be ready for what I went through with my ex, but that’s beside the point. Because I wasn’t ready I ended up at my worst. While I’d supported him through his depression, I was abandoned and blocked.

I’ve started the positives again over on social media but I will put up a summary on here every now and then. I am also using an IOS app called Lyf. I will review it at another point.

Rick and Morty Series 3 episode 3: Pickle Rick #review

0

AKA: Rick goes to extreme lengths to avoid family counselling

There may have been a lack of off-world adventures, but the episode makes up for that with its high-octane storyline and visual brutality. From the first chuckle when Rick insisted Morty ‘flicks the pickle’ to his entrance into the counsellor’s office I constantly questioned whether Pickle Rick is a challenger to Tiny Rick.

The answer to that is a resounding yes. In a carefully constructed homage to the Action Movie, Pickle Rick escapes counselling and finds himself on an adventure of epic proportions. You would think that being a pickle might have its limitations, but not for Rick. By the time the second act is truly underway, Rick has pimped out his pickle and is facing off with a villainous group with send ups to film like Die Hard, Leon and even Deep Blue Sea (The shark one, not the Tom Hiddleston’s baring arse with Rachel Weiz one).

It was quite refreshing seeing Rick on his solo adventure, showing the resilience and vulnerability of the character. While his banter with Morty is funny, I certainly enjoined the respite of Morty’s negativity. Rick was able to crack on with his plans, without the moral voice of Morty holding him back.

I did, at one point, think we wouldn’t see Beth, Summer and Morty beyond the pre-title sequence. There was so much time dedicated to Rick early on, it would be forgiven if you forget about the others. However, we do get some time with them and as the session with Susan Sarandon progresses, we see how much Beth respects her father and wishes she felt the same in this emotional time. Her denial of her father’s avoidance is brilliant.

Again, another episode that deals with incredibly complex issues, including mental health. When Rick breaks down the door to be with his family, he has an insightful conversation with the counselor. It that moment, Rick is a lot of us; man of Science and fearful of emotions.

pickle-rick-and-morty-615x341

Questions/Predictions

  • Jaguar will make another appearance this series
  • I’m starting to think the divorce is about us seeing less of Jerry. Perhaps Chris Parnell has other work commitments that require his time to be freed up.
  • More wishful thinking than anything; Beth needs to go off-world with Rick. When Summer and Morty go spend time with Jerry.

Suits Series 7 episode 4 #review

0

Suits-season4

I’m struggling with Suits this series. What was once a sparky, fast paced and cut-throat show has become a little too dark and negative. It’s a high-pressure environment and there’s always been power plays, but at least our main boys were having fun.
Something seems off in the early stages of series 7. It feels a little Walking Dead with its morose, downer storylines. Not only is the storyline; yet another clashing firm pissed off with Harvey, but so is the ‘case of the week.’ There’s no respite from the angst and conflict. Harvey’s angry and grieving the loss of Jessica, Louis is neurotic and vicious, and even Donna is feeling the pressure and taking it out on everyone else.

Episode 4 continues to pitch Pearce and Spectre against an opposing firm that I can’t remember the name of, nor do I care. I know it’s going to come to a head in time for the midseason hiatus. Alex’s move has caused issues on all fronts but today, its Alex’s old firm that are receiving insider information and using it against Harvey et al.

Harvey shits the bed and goes crawling to mummy. After a chat with Jessica, she declares: “You don’t come to me because you need me anymore, you do it because you miss me.” Damn it, I miss her. I truly do. I just hope these hop in, hop outs stop. The show doesn’t work without her and it certainly doesn’t work with having cameos every other week to show us what we’re missing. Showrunners, treat it like a breakup, and give us a clean and permanent exit. Give Jessica her own god damn show: you know we’ll all watch.

Come on Mike, would you really have any of these conversations about a case out in public when it’s a Chinese wall stopping you from handling it yourself. There’s going to be fallout from this, I guarantee it. How many times are you going to betray the man who risked everything for you?! I’ve never liked Mike, but he’s really stepping on my last nerve right now. I would have thought last series would humble him, but he’s still self-righteous and demanding.

Alex, played by West Wing and Psych’s Dule Hill, and Louis have some nice bonding moments and its quite endearing that when the heat is on, Louis doesn’t hesitate to remind him that he’s part of the family now. I just hope this is something the show intend to develop rather than fake out within the next few episodes. Louis needs a friend that respects him. In terms of Louis himself, he’s still in an angry sulk over his failed relationship. It scares me to think people like that do succeed in their jobs.

I did also like the progression of Rachel’s character and her attempts to balance her career and personal life. She’s always been a role model for many people starting out in law. Her commitment and loyalty is something to be commended. It’s such a shame that I do predict the actress will be bowing out before the close of the season. While I am sad about saying goodbye to Rachel, I do think it will add a much-needed depth and shake-up to the show.

We close the show with most things wrapped up. Mike’s case is still open and I think we should expect to see it being a prominent feature over the series.

suits-380

Predictions

  • Harvey’s going to be pissed that Mike went behind his back, however in the end he’ll support Mike and help him with the pro bono.
  • This might lead to Alex threatening to leave the firm, or the client going back to their original company.
  • Long term- Rachel and Mike’s wedding will not go ahead.
  • There will be a few more dates with the Dr before she pinpoints his feelings for Donna.
  • I think something is going to happen to Rachel. I even want to go so far as to predict Rachel will die before the end of the series.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe written by Lauren James

0

51i0HeGHynL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

Release date: 7.9.2017
Buy it here
Goodreads
Description:
Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth with a single passenger on board. A boy called J. Their only communication is via email and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love. But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…

 

“I got so lucky. In what could have been the worst, most isolating time of my life, I’ve found the greatest friendship.”

As someone who loved The Martian (both the book and the film, but mainly the book) and loathed the Jennifer Lawrence led film Passengers, I did start this book with a little trepidation. Was Romy going to be a teen angsty version of Chris Pratt’s Jim?

No, no she was not. Instead she was a highly relatable person (not teen, not female. She is a character that spans ages and genders.) who is thrown into an isolated situation that she did not chose, had no training for and is doing the best she can,

Here’s were James truly gets me. There are two things that tend to disengage me as a reader; integrated fan fiction and emails to progress the plot. However, where other writers sometimes fail James uses both with precision and skill. Not only do I know I need to read them, I want to read them. The emails don’t feel like an invasion of privacy but an exploration of a blossoming friendship. It helps that Romy refers to them as part of her own inner dialogue.

I find the building relationship between Romy and J believable. The exploration of death, grief and guilt is impeccable and heart-breaking. You will want to lift Romy out from the pages and give her a hug; you’ll want to tell her she’s not alone.

There’s a sucker-punch, Alien-esque final act that puts Romy right up there with my favourite role model; Ripley. And while it takes a leaf out of some sci-fi tropes, it does not feel contrived. It also made me recall one of my favourite horrors; Urban Legend. In my head, I’m screaming “Natalie”! There’s a nostalgia to this novel that makes it strangely refreshing.

Despite the story being set in space, James addresses many problems we all face today. It’s the perfect landscape to explore the dangers of online dating, for example. In modern society people are finding it harder to meet a potential partner in an organic way. Our fear of being alone, leads us to this online forum that requires us to take a leap of faith.

Whether Lauren James intended to or not it feels like I’ve found one of the best modern allegories I’ve had the pleasure of devouring in a long time. When I return to school in September, this is the book I intend to recommend to each student in my classes with the hopes they do learn that sometimes there are sometimes worse things than being alone.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is available for pre-order and will be released 7th September 2017

 

Buffy Chat

0

buffy

What is your first memory of the show?

Han:
The first two episodes, Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest, aired as a mini movie 30th December 1997. As we only had one TV and my father wouldn’t have allowed me to watch it, despite it being my birthday, I recorded it and watched The Three Musketeers instead.

It wasn’t until the day that the third episode was about to air that I’d remembered about the show. Everyone was in work as I sat down at 4pm, pitch black outside, to watch something that would have an impact upon who I was. From that point onward, I think I only ever missed one episode as they aired Thursday evenings, 6.45 on BBC2.

Gem:
Seeing the advert and yelling to my parents that I wanted to watch it. My parents told me that it looked shit and that I wasn’t watching it because Vampires were stupid. However, I pestered and pestered them until they let me watch it. I loved every episode and always looked forward to the next. My dad always said he wouldn’t watch it again, so I was either allowed to watch it while he was out or I was made to record it and watch it later.

What caused you to watch it?

H: I think I was looking for something, a fandom, that was my own. It was being played in the slot that belonged to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I also recognised Anthony Stewart Head from the Gold Blend adverts.

G: The advert! It looked exciting and unlike anything I’d ever seen before and I was already in love with vampires from watching the Lost Boys. Me and my bestfriend from school, Sarah Jayne, were *obsessed* with Lost Boys!

Who was your favourite characters throughout the 7 season run?

H: Giles was my ultimate favourite character. I had been crushing on Alexander Siddig’s Doctor Julian Bashir for 4 years at this point and I think Giles was a natural progression for that affection. Both were, as Jenny aptly puts, sexy fuddy duddies. There was an air of intelligence about Giles that I found attractive. I wear this crush with pride now, but 12 year old me was a little shy in admitting this. Just as I would 4 years later when I realised I watched Harry Potter in the cinema so many times was for Alan Rickman.

Seth Green in all of his ginger greatness appeared as a regular in season 2. Add in a little werewolf problem and Oz was cemented as another automatic favourite for me. Won’t deny that I didn’t like how the character finally evolved when it came time for the Seth Green to leave the show, but there were some amazing moments.

While initially, Allyson Hannigan’s Willow was my favourite female character, but I never really got over her betrayal of Oz and therefore my favourite female would have to be Faith. She was a badass anti-hero with a rocking bod that I envied.

G: Buffy because she’s kickass. Enough said!

Xander because he is the most lovely man and protector. He never fails to support everyone despite not being full of super human powers.

Spike because his character develops the most over the series. I really rooted for him and Buffy. And he was hot! Duh! He is funny, sexy and downright evil at times, yet also massively grows and supports Buffy.

Do you have a favourite episode?

H: Band Candy

G: The Musical episode: Once More with Feeling

Which season has the best episodes?

H: Season 3 I feel is the strongest. Not only does it have Seth Green as a series regular, Giles loosens up a little (arguably too lose when it comes to Band Candy) and shows his softer, fatherly side but this is the series that has the best and longest run of excellent episodes (Anne, Dead Man’s Party, Band Candy, Bad Eggs)

G: Season 6. Mainly because of Dark Willow. While I don’t like the trigger for Willow’s decent to the dark side, I love the development of her addiction to magic that leads to her big bad persona. I also really enjoy the relationship between Spike and Buffy and how it progresses and they are my favourite couple on the show. Finally Dawn is less Dawnlike; that is all I will say on the matter.

If you could recommend one episode to someone who has never watched it before, what would you go with?

H: Band Candy or Halloween.

G: Innocence. It has all my favourite characters in it, including Spike, Drucilla and Angelus. It also includes Buffy having to be strong despite her feelings. (Gemma laughed when I asked if people new to the show would be lost. Yes, yes they would… but they should watch them in order.

Which episode was your least favourite?

H: Where the Wild Things Are. It’s just a non episode for me. I’ve seen it about four times over the years, but I couldn’t tell you what happened past Buffy and Riley getting it on during a party. (Gem – I also hate this episode.)

G: Beer Bad. The acting is so cringe. Xander is the only one I like in that episode.

Were you happy with the final season/episode?

H: At the time, no. I felt like it had ‘jumped the shark’ for want of a better phrase. I had abandoned the show not long after season 6 started when it was doing its original airing and I struggled through the episodes I’d left unwatched when I did a rewatch in uni.
However, I recently went to a 20th Anniversary celebration of Buffy and alongside Once More with Feeling, they played the finally episode. I was a little bit miffed. Why that episode?
Then it played, in a room of fans. I saw it in a new light and I was very happy with where all the characters ended up.

G: Absolutely. Except for the fact that Dawn had the last line. I liked the fact that they mentioned a Hellmouth in Cleveland, which gave hope for a spinoff. I was devastated about Anya, as she had become one of my favourite characters. I loved the fact that Spike had such a victorious ending, he had become my favourite character and I truly sobbed my eyes out.

How has Buffy influenced your viewing habits?

H: It helped me get into Canadian sci-fi show Lost Girl. It did almost replicate the first series and there are cross overs of themes.

G: It’s made me feel like any other show is inferior. It takes a lot to excite me and I often find myself re-watching Buffy than getting into a new show. It set a canon for what I expect from vampire shows. It actually stopped me watching things like True Blood. I do love Vampire Diaries, but in my mind nothing is going to compare. Buffy is a phenomenal character. No-one else can compare.

What are your favourite Buffy quotes?

H: Oz: We should figure out what kinda deal this is. I mean, is it a-a gathering, a shindig or a hootenanny?

Cordelia: What’s the difference?

Oz: Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig, dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it’s chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny.

G:

  1. “What is your childhood trauma?” Cordelia (who I love, but who only comes into her own in Angel.”

2.“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live.”

3.“You just come to pump me for information?

What else would I want to pump you for? I really just said that, didn’t I?”

 

Who is your least favourite character?

H: Helfreck. Because I’d seen her in Grey’s Anatomy first and she was so uber happy that she pissed me off, and it was through association of Grey’s that she just irritated me and the uber happy seeped through. The ultimate type casting.

G: In my first watch, Riley. I despised him. I felt he was weak, and too controlled by Maggie Walsh. It’s taken about 7 rewatches for me to not hate him, now I realise how much he strives to support Buffy but I still root for Buffy to be with Spike. Therefore my least favourite character would probably be Kendra. I hate her voice, her attitude, her whole persona. In all honesty, I’m so glad Dru despatched her and we got Faith. (The actress however, is a legend. I love her in TVD and PLL and Witches of East End; I swear she is an actual vampire as she never seems to age!)

 

Who is your favourite big bad?

H: The Mayor. Mainly because it wasn’t about Buffy as such, he had his own agenda. He had his own set of morals. They were just a little out of whack. And hell, anyone that could be a dad to Faith is good in my books.

G: Angelus. He tested the whole Scooby Gang. Buffy had to literally give up her love to save humanity. I don’t think she ever recovered from that. As much as I am totally team Buffy and Spike, I know that first loves are everlasting.

 

Who is your favourite regular character?

H: Ethan Rayne. First of all, he was the man from The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Second, he gave us an insight to Giles. Finally, he gave us two of the funniest episodes of the entire series: Halloween and Band Candy.

G: Drucilla. She’s a total nut job, I love her style and her devotion to both Spike and Angelus. She’s also way more hard core than whiney Darla.

Galaxy Quest

0

galaxy quest

Background
It was May half term holiday of 1999. I’d had a crush on this lad in the year above who I’d met in September that academic year. He’d asked me out for that holiday and we were meant to go and see Kevin and Perry Go Large (something that, to this day, I’ve yet to see). Being in the year above, he was already 15 and the plan was for him to buy my ticket.

He didn’t show. I tried to get in anyway, along with my supportive friends. No luck and we were shamefully turned away. However, I suggested Galaxy Quest as an alternative (and my secret preference as I’d never seen the Harry Enfield Show). They laughed and we went to the park instead.

During the summer of the same year my aunt had taken me to Windsor. The hotel had Galaxy Quest on the TV; for a fee. Not a chance. I was starting to feel like I was not destined to see this film.

Then, the best thing happened; my brother bought it on VHS. It was at the height of my cinematic education from my brother; Leon, Spinal Tap, the Alien franchise and Sixth Sense had all been screened.

We watched this with something else. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. I do have a sneaking suspicion it was End of Days, but I am clutching at straws.

I loved this movie more than I thought I would. Tim “the tool man” Taylor alongside the dude from Men in Black being weirder, funnier and more present and Ripley! Not looking as scary as 8 year old me remembered. Finally, my favourite guy, pre Harry Potter and Dogma crush; Hans Gruber and Sheriff of Nottingham himself; Alan Rickman. (Yes! Crush. Between Rickman, Siddig and Head… I was firmly pigeonholed in school as the girl with the thing for ‘older guys’)

Galaxy Quest was Star Trek, but better. Then my dad got a hold of the video and watched it repeatedly like a 2 year old discovering Fireman Sam or TMNT. Galaxy Quest lost its appeal for a little while. However, despite the tarnish, I always wished I’d seen it in the cinema.

January 2016, I checked my phone at lunchtime to many people checking if I was okay having heard the news; Alan Rickman had died. After I had cried and nursed my broken heart, I put on Galaxy Quest. Not Dogma, not Die Hard which was the film that kept me company on Friday nights when most people my age were entering clubs, pubs and bars.

My two previous attempts to see this movie in the cinema failed, so I was determined this weekend; it didn’t matter if anyone could go with me. In fact I wanted to go alone. I’d put so much stock into this movie that it was personal.

It has its flaws, I won’t pretend otherwise, but it still holds up more than some of the Star Treks and with more charm and grace too.

 

The Good
The cast is flawless. I could bleat on for hours about each one, so I’m going to restrict myself to three; Sam Rockwell, Tony Shalob and Sigourney Weaver.

Sam, Sam, Sam. During my first watch, he creeped me out. I didn’t know if it was the ‘tache or his manner, but I just wanted him off the film. However, a decade later he’s by far my favourite character. Rockwell represents the Red Shirt trope with refreshing ease. Trying to avoid death Rockwell brings us some of the film’s funniest lines. His development from  Red Shirt to comic relief is like he’s on a journey to Oz; he had it all along.

Tony’s Fred is weed, personified. It went over my head as a teen, but now being educated on the films of Rogan, Franco et al; Fred is a grade A stoner. While the character has only ever been surpassed by Fran Kranz from Cabin in the Woods, I truly love this almost meta approach to the characteristics of a stoner.

Fred’s oblivious responses to impending chaos is priceless, his teamwork approach is genius and there is the nice touch that I’d missed without seeing it on the big screen; he even takes a bag of munchies with him on the away mission.

Sigourney Weaver. My hero. Something I’d not fully acknowledged until recently but for me she is the strong female lead society claim we have always been missing. There’s the obvious (Alien), the funny (Ghostbusters) and there’s the powerful (Dave, Working Girl).

She often plays someone who is strong, confident and useful so it’s refreshing to play against her typecasting; blonde, ornamental and bleeding sexuality. It’s interesting that even in Alien, stripped of all her clothes, it’s hard to see it as gratuitous; the environment is too sterile and the action has purpose.

And boy, does she have fun in GQ. She holds her own, ensures she does her stupid job. She acknowledges it’s pointless, but if she’s got to do it she’ll do it well. At no point does it feel contrived. Won’t lie, I would have liked to have seen another female character other than Missy Pyle’s Jane Doe, which leads me to…

 

The Bad
While there is no doubt Sigourney Weaver represents a strong female character, there is a lack of a wider female presence. Yes, we have the ever-amazing Missy Pyle however, at no point do Jane and Gwen interact.

In a film that is overtly meta, it really is a shame that it didn’t highlight the plight of female characters in Star Trek of Old and the successful progression we have seen; from Uhura to Janeway. I’d have liked to have seen the lone female in Justin Long’s crew have a few more lines for a start.

The Nifty
The aliens on the planet with the spheres. They are perfect; the scene is brilliant and executed flawlessly. From Guy’s warnings and ominous predictions to Gwen’s fawning and Alex’s misdirection; it’s orchestrated to a beautiful, breath taking, rib tickling tune.

The aliens! They’re cute, they’re adorable and you’d want to hug them. Except under that cutesy Ewok-like exterior lies a ferocious bastard. Out come the teeth and violence. It’s a trick some other films could have done with.

Heartbreak

1

I'm on the way to a wedding. I'm going stag and that was always the plan. Just as I will be when I attend my brother's wedding in two weeks time.

It's strange how, in a really romantic setting, I've snapped out of my need for my ex.

Quite a few people met him. Back before I knew there were other women in his life. Back when he was the romantic, charming man hell bent on giving me everything I'd actually grown out of needing or thinking I would ever get. He said he loved me first, he said he'd be my boyfriend… only to take it back 24 hours later. He was seeing two other women and couldn't give them up.

He'd told me he was out of a 7 year relationship. It had been over for 6 months but they were still 'together' on Fącẻbøøk. That should have been my warning sign-

No, sorry… my first warning sign should have been the fact that he was known to me for 3 weeks as 'Jack'.

Turns out he was still with her when he matched with me. I'm still unclear as to whether they were still together when I went on our first date… but I know that he cancelled our first proper date to fuck someone else- he told me while drunk one evening in an attempt to be 'honest'. It makes me sick to be an accomplice in cheating. But by the time he told me, I "loved" him.

Anyway… 8 or so months of sociopathic abuse; culminating in me chasing him across Soho because after telling me he was 'in love' with a girl whom he'd had a crush on 10 years ago, took her to my sacred place on his birthday had the audacity to tell me my feelings for him were a crush; I told him that his mother would be ashamed of him! He ran off and me, being me, wanted to apologise. It didn't matter how much he'd hurt me, how many times I'd cleaned up after one of his other women (including having to ignore condoms and their wrappers), or how true what I said was; I felt guilty.

I'm sorry to those of you who think I'm stronger. Who think I'm smarter than to put up with 9 months of this shit and give up the possibility of having children to be with him.

I was scared. I was conned.

My heart is broken. But so it my soul. I changed everything fundamental about myself to be with him. I've done that before. However, this time not only was I made to believe it wasn't enough; I was TOLD it wasn't enough.

WBN 2013

0

Spine- Dark Blue
Key:
Own WBN
Own non WBN
WBN I gave out
Read
Notes

The Reader
Last Night Another Soldier
The Knife of Letting Go
Casino Royale
The Island
Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal?
Me Before You
Damage
The Script Scripture
Noughts and Crosses
Little Face
Red Dust
N# 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Treasure Island
Girl with the Pearl Earring
The White Queen
The Road Home
A Little History of the World
The Eyre Affair
The Dark Judges
It was the first, and I believe only, year that they released a comic as part of WBN.

WBN 2012

0

Spine- Green
Key:
Own WBN
Own non WBN
Read
Notes

How I Live Now
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic
The Remains of the Day
Room
The Damned United
Misery
I did have two copies of this book, but to get over someone last summer I burnt it in effigy. I hate Stephen King with a passion and the guy in question had raved about King. Misery might be good, but it will be on the bottom of my list of books to read.

The Book Thief
Good Omens
The Vanishing of Esme Lennox
Rebecca
Time Traveler’s Wife
Notes From a Small Island
Sleepyhead
The Alchemist
The Player of the Games
Someone Like You
Harlequin
A Tale of Two Cities
Small Island
Pride and Prejudice
The Road
The Take
I Capture the Castle
Let the Right Ones In 

WBN 2011

0

Spine- Dark Blue
Key:
Own WBN
Own non WBN
Read
Notes

Life of Pi
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime
Love in the Time of Cholera
A Fine Balance
Stuart, A Life Backwards
I did own this as both WBN and non WBN, but I gave them out and never got them back.

Case Histories
Fingersmith
Rachel’s Holiday
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Killing Floor
Cloud Atlas
The World’s Wife
Agent Zigzag
Beloved
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
A Life Like Other People’s
Dissolution
Northern Lights
Toast
One Day