Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This Side of The Grave (Nighthuntress book 5) - Jeanine Frost

Although it hurts me to admit it, these books are getting boring.

Bones and Kat's story-line should have ended way earlier then now. I feel like Frost is really pushing her luck with having book 6 and 7. Book 5 barely made the cut so not sure how the last 2 are going to fly. I really enjoy reading about the characters and their relationships, but it's just dragging on.

This was the weakest installment so far, it could also be cause I read Mencheres and Spade's stories between book 4 and 5. It's good that she's giving the other character's their own books. I'm really looking forward to Vlad's and hoping Ian gets one. Kat & Bones should have ended on a high! I hope it still does. They're my favorite and they deserve the best goddamn it!

The main thing that this series has going for it is Bone's character. In a literary world infested with Christian Greys, Edward Cullens and their infinite variations, it's wonderful to see a supportive male that trusts in his partner and backs her up rather than over playing the damsel in distress vs Alpha male stereotype crap. This series shines in that regard. 

"If you think you can control a woman, you must be single"

Arrow- Pilot

This. Was. Bad.

The premise, a modern day Robin Hood, mixed with the few glimpses of the show that I had seen on TV and it's 8.2 IMDB rating boded well for this series. So I decided to watch the Pilot.


What went wrong? Let's see.. I had 3 main issues with the show:

1. Bad Acting

Oscar Queen has been stuck on island for 5 years after being in a boat crash with his father and some other people. He's the only person who survives. 5 years later, some Asian people save him and he goes back home.
Imagine your brother, son, husband, or even friend had been a boat crash and after 5 years of presuming him dead, he pops up at your doorstep.

How would you react?

Perhaps like this:

oooor maybe like this:

You might even break down and react like this:

This is not how I would expect a 5 year though to be dead reunion:

Sister: I miss you
Oliver: You were with me the whole time

So much bad acting cheese.

Oliver (Arrow) has the same expression on his face the whole time. I don't even know how to describe it. It's like an intense soap opera face, you know when the stare of into the distance. Except he has it all the time. Like this:

Although, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt, since he did just get off an island that he's been stuck on for 5 years. Maybe he forgot how to move his facial muscles. He is the best actor out of the whole sappy lot. Actually, his body guard is not bad either, David Ramsey.

I expect more from a pilot. This is your shot to win people over. Make it count!

2. Horrible CGI Scenes

CGI has become a vital part of the TV world. Especially in fantasy/action genres. I'm not hating on CGI. I'm hating on the way it was used in the Pilot. Urgh! Horribly modified sky and land colors to make an image look like this:

What is this!? I've played video games that had better imagery. Not impressed

3. Unrealistic Script

I don't know if they've ripped the script from the comics but it is so ridiculous. Let's go back to Oliver's story. Before he got stranded on the island, he was a billionaire playboy scumbag that was cheating on his girlfriend, Laurel, with her.. sister. To add salt to the injury, said sister was with him on the boat when shit hit the fan.. and she drowned. 

Now, imagine being Laurel and having to deal with the fact that your sister is a backstabbing bitch whom you couldn't be angry at because she died while fucking your boyfriend. How fucked up would you be?! Now, let's say said scumbag boyfriend comes back to life after 5 years and seeks you out. It's hard to imagine how you would react as those are very specific circumstances, BUT YOU SURE AS HELL DON'T ATTEND HIS HOMECOMING PARTY AND TELL HIM THAT ALL IS FORGIVEN. 

Blekh. It's safe to say that I will NOT be downloading anymore episodes.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Penny Dreadful- Season 1

Penny Dreadful, a dark, supernatural show set in Victorian Britain. Get in! My favorite era mixed with my favorite genre AND references great literary characters?! IS THIS HEAVEN?!

I am obsessed. The last show I was this enthralled by was Heroes in 2007... 8 years ago. Yes, this is a BIG deal for me. I discovered Penny Dreadful 2 weeks ago on a plane from NYC to LA. They were showing the 1st Episode of the 2nd season for free while the first season cost a dollar per episode. I was so intrigued by the description, yet still a cheap ass at heart, that I watched the free episode. And that was it. I couldn't wait to get back home and devour this series. It was love at first glance.

If you haven't yet seen this show, let me introduce you to the wonderful and horrifying world of Penny Dreadful. Hopefully by the end of this post you'd be downloading the first episode.

The Cast

What a cast! Some randomers and has-beens but it works! It works SO well.

Eva Green as Ms. Vanessa Ives (The Dark One)

I don't know who this person is, but Google tells me she's a french model/actress. Google also tells me that she has starred in the 300 sequel, the Sin City sequel and as a Bond Girl (Casino Royale). Nothing spectacular really but she is spectacular. Great acting, perfect for the role. She looks possessed, dark and mysterious. Her performance gives me the chills. Most of the characters in this show resemble literary characters but Vanessa is supposedly a new character and I can't link her to anyone. A troubled young women with a barely suppressed dark side.

Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler (The Gunslinger)

Josh Hartnett!! He exists!! AND HE HAS A BEARD! Who would have thought! I didn't even recognize him. 3 episodes down the line, my boyfriend mentioned that Hartnett was in the show and I'm like really? He hasn't shown up yet. I then realized that he's the main character and went completely unnoticed by yours truly. But Seriously! Josh Hartnett! Who's heard of the guy in the last 8 years! Great performance though. Again, who would have thought! Ethan is an American Gunslinger who's in Britain for unknown reasons with dark secrets of his own. He's also a new character, but I can't get Roland Deschain (Stephen King's Gunslinger) out of my head whenever I see Ethan. The only common thing is the Gunslinging I know, but that's who I link him with. 

Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm Murray (The Explorer)

Can anyone believe that this guy is 71 years old?! Botox does wonders. He looks so good that I would like to look like that when I'm 71! This character resembles Allan Qautermain (1800's novels by H. Ridder Haggard) who featured in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen portrayed by Sean Connery. The plot feels a bit similar too as both characters lead a team of not so humans on a mission. Sir Malcolm is a self centered dick that creeps me out. I don't trust him. 

Harry Treadaway as Dr. Victor Frankenstein (The "Doctor")

Wow. Frankenstein is the best character in the show in terms of plot line and development. Treadaway is virtually a nobody, but I'm pretty sure his performance in this show is going to propel him into the spotlight. I don't know if it's his acting or if he just got lucky with his plot, but this character has the most meaningful interactions with everyone and just feels real. You can see the struggles within him and how he's changing over the course of the season. He also incites such conflicting emotions within me, on one hand he's like an innocent and passionate little boy following his crazy dreams regardless of the consequences and on the other hand, he is a ruthless son of a bitch who would do unspeakable things to accomplish those dreams. Very interesting portrayal of the character. 
Billie Piper as Brona Croft (The Whore)

I don't watch Doctor Who, so the last I've seen of Billie Piper was this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9LjOQVBFmA. It did not bode well for the show, but again! Pleasantly surprised! The directors sure know how to bring an acting career back to life! Brona Croft does not remind me of any other character in particular, she's a dying whore who gets tangled up with Ethan Chandler (literally and figuratively) and serves mostly to complicate the sub-plot in the later episodes. 

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray (The Nympho)

Meet Dorian Gray, loves orgies, smiling creepily and just generally being a weirdo. Another unknown person. Carney's Dorian Gray is a very strange little man who's bored with the world and is constantly seeking out amusement, usually in the form of sexual pleasure. This character has fucked most of the other characters in the show, it's amazing. As far as acting goes, he's ok. All he has to do really is look bored and have sex so can't really judge at the moment. Interesting character though that deserves more screen time then he's gotten so far.

Rory Kinnear as Caliban (Frankenstein's Creature)

Meh, this is my least favorite character. He just mopes around all the time, understandably yes, but it's just so annoying. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch's live performance as Frankenstein's Creature has raised the bar way too high for anyone to come close anytime soon. Sorry Rory, nothing personal. I guess, Caliban's sub-plot has some potential for the second season, hopefully he'll do something other than killing people and being a rain cloud.

The Plot

Well, nothing groundbreaking really. We've got our demonic possessions, vampires, immortals, werewolves, monsters, you know, same old same old. What's great about this show is the evolving relationships between the characters and the character development. It feels like an Epic Novel, every character counts. Everyone is interesting in their own way. It's not just 2 main characters and a host of minor characters who's sole purpose is to feed the main character's plots. No, everyone has their own mini role and story to follow. I love that. I just hope the series will maintain it's momentum and not succumb to the cash cow syndrome and produce crappy filler episodes. *crossesfingers*.

What can I say, I love this show. It's shot in a wonderfully creepy way and I want to get lost in it. It's also made me break my rule of never watching/reading a series that has not been completed yet and now I have to suffer along with the masses while waiting for the next episodes to come out. 

Watch Penny Dreadful, you'll thank me. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

George Orwell- 1984

I'm probably going to be hated on for this, but I really did not enjoy this novel.

1984 is classified as a fiction novel and as far as novels go this was bad. While the plot must have been very interesting back in 1949, the characters fell flat, the writing was extremely boring and the book as a whole felt like a political essay. Whole chapters were dedicated to writing down the teachings of Goldstein, which was pretty much Orwell's musings on politics.

One cannot deny that this book is timeless, it brought us Big Brother (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's an unfortunate reality television series) and most of today's Dystopians are clearly heavily influenced by 1984 (The Handmaid's Tale, The Hunger Games) but it should have been placed in the politics section, not fiction.

Orwell can't do fiction. I'm sorry, but he can't. He's too focused on delivering his message to the world to bother with fictional elements (world building, character progression, etc.)

I would give this book a 5 star rating for the theories it presented and the possibilities it lays out. As a novel it will only get 2 because ultimately it bored me to tears and felt like an obligation that I had to get done with.

I'm done with classics. They are clearly not my thing. If it means I can't discuss books with the "intellectuals" anymore, I can live with that.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

American Horror Story- Murder House

I can't believe I wasted 3 hours of my time watching this show. It was... interesting, for lack of a better word, at first. I mean I was very disturbed by it and I just wanted to quit, but I was sadistically intrigued at the same time. That intrigue was short lived though. Three episodes down the line and I realized I've just been watching random macabre and gory scenes, designed purely for shock value. That was about the time I shut down the show and read the rest of the plot on Wikipedia.

I must admit, that the cinematography in this show is brilliant. It's what pulled me to it in the first couple of episodes. Creepy and disturbing does not even begin to describe the events. So many fucked up things, what the hell is up with that Rubber Suit!? What sick mind thought this up.

My issue with the show is the plot. It is sooo lame. It's the love child of Bold and the Beautiful and Are You Afraid of The Dark (Do you guys remember that? A 90's Adolescent horror TV Series https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-LSxQ24q78) I can see why this show gets a high rating, since as far as horrors go, it serves it's purpose, it's intense, creepy and fucked up. But it's trying tooo hard to be messed up. Too many ideas and "plot twists", ridiculous ones... can't get over the freakin rubber suit. 

Also, why did no one google the house before they moved in? Why does no one google any of the people they run into? If you hear that your house is dubbed "Murder House", you don't go on the tour! You just GOOGLE it. It's the 21st century, you don't action anything before asking Google. 

Creepy but too Ridiculous to count.