beren_writes: Manga portraits of Harry and Draco (Default)
Apologies for this not being up yesterday - I'm kind of on hols because Soph is on hols and we've been heading out to do fun things.



Happy Birthday to:

20th: [livejournal.com profile] kaalee, [livejournal.com profile] dramaticpirate, [livejournal.com profile] feltons_world
21st: [personal profile] tootiredtosleep
22nd: [livejournal.com profile] the4ts,[personal profile] the4ts, [livejournal.com profile] myjadedhavok
23rd: [personal profile] perotessad
24th: [personal profile] lirren,[personal profile] jeannie81
25th: [livejournal.com profile] missmarauder2
26th: [personal profile] askani

I hope you all have great birthdays and Many Happy Returns to every one of you.

Conjuring 2

So as I mentioned at the top, Soph and I have been bombing around doing stuff and, yesterday, because it was tipping it down, we went to the cinema to see The Conjuring 2. Now I enjoyed the first movie, except I thought it lost it a bit at the end. This one I enjoyed right up and through the closing credits.


The story is based on the Enfield Poltegeist (with a bit of Amityville thrown in for good measure), which Ed and Lorraine Warren (the main protagonists) really did attend for a little while. Of course in the movie they are the heroes of the piece when in fact the Enfield Poltergeist just kind of went away in real life :).

This film has lots of scares and the evil entity is brilliantly done. It's a 15 so it's not a really gory horror movie, it's just a really good spooky one. Soph and I were hiding behind scarves and things from time to time in the cinema :). The characters are great too and Madison Wolfe is very, very good as Janet Hodgson - this girl being haunted.

I thoroughly recommend this film to horror fans who like a good scare.

Spiralizer!

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mee_eep 's recommendation I now own a spiralizer. It is awesome and I used it in earnest for the first time yesterday. It's brillaint! I gushed about it over on my Tasha's Thinkings blog and posted the recipe I made last night, which was delicious: Spiralizers are Awesome (and Healthy) #TipsTuesdays 32. It's courgetti (zucchini noodles) for me all the way now :)
beren_writes: Coulson in shades - says Son of Cool (AV - Son of Cool)
Soph and I are doing the whole "Ladies that Lunch" thing today :) Should be fun.

Of course it means I won't get much work on the novel done today. I am almost done with the alpha read, just sorting out those little - 'oh, I changed my mind about that' moments and the obvious typos before it goes to my alpha readers. It takes much longer than normal reading because I have to go so slowly so I don't miss things :) Sometimes my brain is too impatient and I have to go back and read bits again.

Next will be the read it outloud stage - the cats are going to love that - NOT! :)

Recording extracts is always fun too, because Ruby and Amber have to come see who I'm talking to and ask me questions. Both of them can make very loud noises when they want to. Don't you just love concerned kitties? :D

Bad Horror Film

I saw a terrible film yesterday - well, okay, not completely terrible, just not gripping (it's better than some I have seen): The Merchant (aka Devil's Deal).


The problem was it didn't make a whole lot of sense and I couldn't really be bothered to watch it because none of the characters grabbed me. Probably would have made more sense if I hadn't been fast forwarding large chunks because I was bored :). The beginning was really promising - low budget, but it looked like it was going to be interesting, unfortunately it went downhill from there. I recognised some of the cast, but I have no idea from where :)

Seen any terrible movies lately? I'd love to share your pain :)
beren_writes: Loki smiling with the words "Sweet and innocent ... honestly" (Avengers - Loki sweet and innocent)
Saw Crimson Peak at the cinema last night and it was amazing. A great gothic horror film - loved it. Check out the link to see my full review. I've done my best to make it spoiler free, but as ever, it depends what you consider a spoiler.

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak - Cinematic Brilliance
beren_writes: Hawkeye - says badass with a bow (AV - Badass with a bow)
Title: Max Max: Fury Road
Rating: 15
Cast:
Tom Hardy ... Max Rockatansky
Charlize Theron ... Imperator Furiosa
Nicholas Hoult ... Nux
Hugh Keays-Byrne ... Immortan Joe
(there are many, many wonderful others, but I'm not going to list them all)
Summary:
When Imperator Furiosa flees the Citadel and Immortan Joe with his wives, seeking the green place in a post apocalyptic wasteland, she accidentally helps free Max, a prisoner of Immortan Joe being used as a universal donor for his War Boy Nux. Running from Immortan Joe and his allies they team up to survive and escape.

So I saw this film on Thursday last week and I really enjoyed it. The characters are awesome, the stunts are amazing and it dragged me right in.

My husband on the other hand was bored out of his skull - and no, he says it has nothing to do with the fact the film should really be called "Furious Furiosa and Mad Max". He felt that the whole film was one long bunch of the same thing and the first time it was spectacular, but two hours of it left him cold.

I on the other hand thought the battles were amazing and all slightly different and that the characters elevated the whole thing to a new level.

I love Furiosa, I love Max, I love the Wives, I love Nux, I even love Immortan Joe, despotic bastard that he is. They all make this a fantastic film. All of them evolve over the film, even the bad guy, and that is a true achievement. These are not static characters there simply to fill a hole, they react, they grow, they change, and in some cases they break.

I have read many articles on how this is a feminist movie and one or two on how, actually it isn't a feminist movie, and many people have talked about this much better than I can, so all I have to say is this: Mad Max Fury Road has the most brilliant female characters.

There is also no denying how spectacular this film is on a visual level. Be warned, there is very little respite from the amazing stunts and effects. The majority of this movie is a road battle with big rigs, cars, tanks, bikes and anything else of a vehicular nature and it's stunning. Guns, fire, knives, men on bendy poles - it has everything.

That being said, however, I would have liked the end to be a little more climactic. Because most of the film is so big, the end felt just a little bit not big enough. I know, I know, I'm being picky, but I almost missed the most important part of the final battle - I suspect because of the 15 rating actually. It wasn't as gory as it could have been. Most of the film worked really well at a 15, but not that one part. On a rewatch I may feel differently, but not at the moment.

This is a first class, character driven, action movie - not a phrase I thought I would ever use ;). I really enjoyed it and it will be on my pre-order list very shortly. However, I have had to promise that I will never make my husband sit through it again.

Have you seen Mad Max: Fury Road? Did you enjoy it? If you haven't seen it are you going to?
beren_writes: Adam with an Oh puleeze face (al - Oh puleeze!)
Warning first, this post will be full of spoilers, it's not really a review, more just my thoughts having seen the film Lucy. I may do a proper review at a later date.

You have been warned, spoilers below the cut )

I was entertained by the film, mostly, but when it finished I was disappointed. It felt like not very well written fanfic - you know the kind, where the writer has an awesome idea with great characters, but fails horribly at the plot.

So who else has seen the movie? What did you think?
beren_writes: Loki smiling with the words "Sweet and innocent ... honestly" (Avengers - Loki sweet and innocent)
Title: Avengers - Age of Ultron
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark / Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth ... Thor
Mark Ruffalo ... Bruce Banner / Hulk
Chris Evans ... Steve Rogers / Captain America
Scarlett Johansson ... Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Jeremy Renner ... Clint Barton / Hawkeye
James Spader ... Ultron (voice)
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Don Cheadle ... James Rhodes / War Machine
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver
Elizabeth Olsen ... Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Bettany ... Jarvis / Vision
Cobie Smulders ... Maria Hill

Summary (IMDB): When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

First off let me say I really enjoyed the movie. I was entertained the whole way through and it didn't screw up as far as my head canons go, which is always nice :). However, I wasn't blown away. With every MCU movie including and since Avengers, I have walked out of the cinema wanting to walk right back in and watch it again - not so with Age of Ultron. Oh, I have it on pre-order, but I was not overtaken with the desire to see it again immediately.

The rest of the review )
beren_writes: Loki smiling with the words "Sweet and innocent ... honestly" (Avengers - Loki sweet and innocent)
Title: Knights of Badassdom
Cast:
Peter Dinklage ... Hung
Summer Glau ... Gwen
Brett Gipson ... Gunther
Ryan Kwanten ... Joe
Steve Zahn ... Eric
Margarita Levieva ... Beth
Jimmi Simpson ... Ronnie Kwok

Summary:
Joe's girlfriend, Beth, just broke up with him and he gets dragged to a live-action role playing event by his housemates while in a drugged out, drunken stupor. When Eric, one of said housemates, accidentally conjures up a demon from hell the role playing suddenly turns out very real.

Okay, I admit it, I thought this was going to be terrible. Rob and I only turned it on because we had nothing else to watch and Peter Dinklage is in it. HOW WRONG we were - this film is AWESOME.

It's silly and it's corny and it's downright wrong in places, but it is also brilliant.

First thing it has going for it, is the message that it doesn't matter if you're male or female, tall or small, atheist or Jewish, walking or in a wheel chair - you still get to play. This is never thrown in the audience's face, but the cast is very diverse. Frankly there are three badass warriors and one of them is Peter Dinklage and another is Summer Glau, so, yay for diversity.

The plot is ridiculous and yet so entertaining. It also hold together within it's own rules. No gaping holes in this one.

The cast have their comic timing down brilliantly, but this isn't simply a comedy, at one point it's truly heartbreaking and the actors are superb.

The only thing that is not the greatest is the monster at the end. It's not CGI, it's prosthetics and animatronics and, well, it's not what I would call totally there. It'd good, but it's not Jupiter Ascending good, but that, I assume is the difference between a budget in the hundred of millions and whatever they had for this film ;).

The fight scenes are cool, whether they are with foam weapons or real ones and the stunt guys did a great job.

I have LARPed in my time and our games master was never as much of a prick as Ronnie (Jimmi Simpson), but the fun of the whole thing is definitely in the film.

I think the thing I liked most about this movie was I didn't see how it would end at all. That and the characters, who I really became fond of, even the ones who are assholes :).

This is not a deep film. It is not a literary classic, but it is wildly entertaining. Not a movie for kids though, mostly because of adult bad behaviour and some gore. I have purchased the blu-ray because Rob and I liked it so much.

Have you seen it? Have you LARPed?
beren_writes: Manga portraits of Harry and Draco (Default)
Title: Jupiter Ascending
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Mila Kunis ... Jupiter Jones
Channing Tatum ... Caine Wise
Sean Bean ... Stinger Apini
Eddie Redmayne ... Balem Abrasax
Douglas Booth ... Titus Abrasax
Tuppence Middleton ... Kalique Abrasax

Summary:
Illegal Russian immigrant Jupiter Jones, works as a cleaner with her mother and Aunt. However, her cousin convinces her to sell her eggs to make some money, only the doctors try to kill her rather than do what they're supposed to. She is saved by Caine West, a genetically engineered soldier and bounty hunter and finds out she is intergalactic royalty and her non-Earth family want her dead.

I really enjoyed this film. I'm not saying it's the best made, best plotted or even best acted film doing the rounds, but it is still highly entertaining. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, even if parts of it are utterly ridiculous.

This is space opera making no excuses for what it is. I have mentally started referring to it as Dune on acid, because that's the vibe I got. Rather than feuding great houses it has one great house who are looking to one up each other, and since they are functionally immortal the only way to do that is assassination with Earth the prize.

We learn in their first scene that the Abrasax 'harvest' planets and Earth is the prize plum, but I'm not going to reveal how or why because that would be a spoiler. This is actually part of the plot that makes perfect sense :).

The rest of the plot has holes you can drive a space freighter through. It felt to me as if they wanted to make the film another half hour long because huge bits of the plot are missing. Since the whole plot it completely obvious from beginning to end I can guess what they are and they might be saving them in hopes of a sequel, but they are definitely lacking. I may muse about them in a different post with spoiler warnings all over.

However, that being said, it really didn't matter a whole lot. It's not exactly a complex plot, so missing bits don't cause much of a problem and it's still an enjoyable romp. This plot is about as deep as a small puddle, but then it never claims to be anything else.

So, on to the characters:

I have seen Jupiter Jones being accused of existing only as a Mary Sue (a character who gets the guy, solves the whole plot and is simply extraordinary in all ways) - she's not. The only thing Mary Sue about her is her name. She's a really likeable, sympathetic character who is strong enough to survive, but is not the be all and end all of kick ass femininity. Mila Kunis is brilliant in the role and brings Jupiter warmth and humanity and courage.

Now if you want a Marty Stu (male equiv of a Mary Sue) let me talk about Caine Wise. He has a tragic back story; he's stacked; he's a human splice in that he has wolf in his DNA; he used to have wings; no one can beat him in battle. Now here we have a totally, one hundred percent, Marty Stu character - but I love him anyway. I have to admit I am slowly coming round to Channing Tatum - his movie choices have mostly turned me off in the past, but with this and Whitehouse Down, I have to say I rather like him. In JA he's kick ass, but vulnerable at times too without wallowing in man pain.

Sean Bean is great too. The two ladies sat next to me in the cinema had only come because Sean Bean was in it :). His character is part bee - I think it's supposed to give him really fast reflexes, but I was very disappointed he didn't actually have a sting. SPOILER (highlight to read) HE DOESN'T DIE!!!! I think the universe may be ending.

Then we have Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton as the slightly deranged Abrasax family - interstellar royalty. They're all very pretty and well turned out and slightly more evil than the next going from Kalique though Titus to Balem. They all pull it off beautifully and in different ways. Kalique is never actually proved not to be on Jupiter's side, although her main motivation seems to be the downfall of her brother Balem. Titus is an evil little shit of a playboy who uses lies and manipulation and Balem is a sociopath of the first order like a good Bond villain.

If I was going for Dune analogies I'd say Balem is the Emperor, Titus is Feyd-Rautha and Kalique is Alia before she went completely nuts. However, the actors do bring nice touches to their roles that make them their own.

The special effects are mostly superb. I was totally convinced by the cyborgs and various animal splices, along with the flying machines, the space craft and just about everything. There were only two things that I thought needed improving:
At one point there is a fight between Wise and a big dinosaur humanoid with wings and there were some long distance shot parts of it that just didn't look real.
Anti-grav roller blades - they looked ridiculous. I could have definitely lived without them :). I suppose they just didn't want him using repulsors or something like that.

There was really only one thing I didn't like and that was that a couple of the fight scenes were simply too long. There was one in particular that is the equivalent of a car chase and I was bored by half way through. It could do with cutting.

I would happily go and watch this again and it will be going on my pre-order list. It's silly, but it's exciting and fun and really easy to watch.

Have you seen Juptier Ascending? What did you think?
beren_writes: Coulson in shades - says Son of Cool (AV - Son of Cool)
Title: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Rating: 15
Cast:
Taron Egerton ... Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin
Colin Firth ... Harry Hart / Galahad
Samuel L. Jackson ... Valentine
Mark Strong ... Merlin
Sophie Cookson ... Roxy
Sofia Boutella ... Gazelle
Summary:
When a Kingsman is killed, there is a vacancy in the organisation. Each member is allowed to put forward one candidate. Harry Hart, code name Galahad, puts forward Eggsy, a mouthy, intelligent young man from a London council estate who is also the son of the man who once saved Harry's life.

I'm not going to beat around the bush, this is an absolutely awesome film. I loved it from beginning to end. I already pre-ordered it and there isn't even a release date yet.

Word of warning, it definitely, one hundred percent earns it's 15 rating, for language and violence and mentions of sex, although there are no actual sex scenes that are more than a tease. This is not a trying to be a 12A and didn't quite make it film, this is an almost made it to 18 rating film. People die in various and bloody ways, a lot.

That being said, my parents enjoyed it and my mother doesn't usually hold with films that throw around the F word. Clearly Colin Firth has a get out of jail free card in anything he's in :). I blame Pride and Prejudice.

So what did I love about this film?

It's funny in places, without being silly. Real, laugh out loud funny.

It's clever. The plot has been well thought out. Yes the tech is impossible, but it's a spy film, they make it sound real even though the underlying science isn't there. I'm pretty sure you can't poison someone and then activate the poison by remote control, but who cares, no one ever told Bond he couldn't use his gadgets.

The characters are awesome.

Let's start with the good guys.

Eggsy is belligerent without being an annoying idiot. He learns, he tries, he even fails in places and he is brilliant. Taron Egerton is fantastic. He goes from baseball capped chav to suited gentleman without losing any of his charm. As Harry Hart says 'If you're prepared to adapt, you can transform.' and that doesn't mean that toffs are simply better, it means there are better ways of going about things than stealing cars and doing drugs. Eggsy becomes more without losing who he essentially is and when confronted about his life choices he takes Harry down a peg or two.

Talking of Harry, Colin Firth is magnificent. He kicks butt so beautifully, with grace, poise and panache. He is a super spy and yet he is vulnerable and human as well. I loved every moment he was on screen.

Then we have Merlin, played by Mark Strong. I'm used to seeing Mark in the lead action role and Merlin is the techie, but, boy is he awesome. He might be the man behind the computers, but he's also kick arse.

There are many more, but finally I shall talk about Roxy. She is the girl among the men, the only female candidate for the open Kingsman position with a chance. She's strong, clever and yet still human. She had very real fears she has to overcome to challenge for her place and it takes support from other characters to help her do it, just like real life most of the time, and she does it. Of course she's the only one who doesn't take the piss out of Eggsy because he didn't go to Oxford or Cambridge, but then she's the only other candidate anyone is supposed to root for. I think she could have done with more action sequences, but I suppose you can only have so many in one film and Sophie Cookson did a great job with what she was given. She has an important role in the plot and she fulfils it well.

Now, on to the bad guys.

Samuel L. Jackson is simply brilliant, as always. His lisp is genius because it gives him something different from when he is Fury and he makes an excellent bad guy. The fact that the film differentiates between killing people from afar and killing people personally using him, is perfect. I won't mention how, because of spoilers, but I love Valentine as a bad guy. It shows you can be batshit insane and still be squeamish.

Then we have Gazelle. A disabled character who has turned her disability into her weapon, and wow can she kick arse. She is ruthless and lethal and the perfect foil for Valentine. She is completely loyal to him and yet still perfectly aware of his weaknesses. She's also practical. I'm not sure I've ever seen a bad guy ask "Are you sure we're out of range?" when testing a weapon in quite the same way. Sofia Boutella does a superb job of being an intelligent, efficient and very, very dangerous hench-person.

I also really enjoyed the tone of this film. It is serious and yet, in places, does not take itself seriously. Going in I did not realise it was directed by Matthew Vaugh (Kick-Ass, X-Men FC) if I had it would not have taken me so by surprise. From the way the film has been advertised, I wasn't expecting it to be quite so hard hitting. It was better than I expected. I expected to enjoy it, but not as much as I did. I wanted to see it again as soon as I walked out. I also have fanfic feelings, which is an incredibly good sign.

As Harry would say:
Manners maketh man.

This is a polite film that drops the f-bomb all over the place and kills lots of people. I love it.



Edit: Forgot to add, don't be too hasty to leave, there is an in-credit's scene at the end.
beren_writes: Coulson in shades - says Son of Cool (AV - Son of Cool)
Title: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Rating: 15
Cast:
Phoebe Fox ... Eve Parkins
Helen McCrory ... Jean Hogg
Amelia Pidgeon ... Joyce
Jude Wright ... Tom
Oaklee Pendergast ... Edward
Jeremy Irvine ... Harry Burnstow
Adrian Rawlins ... Dr. Rhodes
Leanne Best ... The Woman In Black
Summary:
40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House, a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive, awakening the house's darkest inhabitant.

So, saw this last night and I have to say it's a good film, but unfortunately, unlike the original, it's not a great film. To be honest I was somewhat disappointed, I was really, really hoping for great.

This, however, has nothing to do with the cast, who are superb. For a small cast, the majority of whom are children, they did a fantastic job. Phoebe Fox is great as Eve, who is the main protagonist, and you do feel her pain and her fear. I won't put in spoilers, but there is a part where she is alone towards the end and she really shines. The fact that the three main leads are all female (I'm including TWIB in that) is also awesome.


Click to read the rest )

Have you seen it? What did you think? If not, have you seen the first one? What do you look for in a good ghost story?

beren_writes: Hawkeye - says badass with a bow (AV - Badass with a bow)
Book Review: The Labyrinth of Time by T.W.Fendley


Read this book last night and I couldn't put it down. I was sitting up until 1:35am to finish it. Click the link above or the image below to see my full review.

beren_writes: Coulson in shades - says Son of Cool (AV - Son of Cool)
When you see this, make a post in your journal or in a community. It can be anything: a crosspost something you've posted on Tumblr, a few words about the last thing you read/watched, or just a "Hi, how is everyone?" Then go read your f-list and leave at least one comment.

So Rob and I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel on Sky last night and I'm still not sure if I really enjoyed it or not.




There were bits I thought were amazing and other parts I found deeply unsatisfying. Like the end for instance. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil anyone, but I found it too fast. I wanted more detail about what actually happened. Other sections were simply brilliant - like the whole bit with the monastery, which I also won't elaborate on.

The cast of this film is simply breathtaking. Blink and you might miss several famous names. Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as is Tony Revolori as Zero and I have absolutely no complaint about any of the the acting. Willem Dafoe is superb as well and I could go on.

However, I was still left feeling a bit meh, at the end. It was very annoying because most of the rest was awesome. Y'know when you read a great book or great fanfic and then right at the end you get a whole info dump because it seems the writer couldn't be bothered to elaborate on the roundup - it felt like that. I'd still recommend the film wholeheartedly, I just didn't like the end. I suspect some people absolutely loved the end and possibly I am just being greedy :)
beren_writes: Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter - says my kind of lincoln (ALVH - my kind of lincoln)
Title: Dracula Untold
Rating: 15
Cast:
Luke Evans ... Vlad
Sarah Gadon ... Mirena
Dominic Cooper ... Mehmed
Art Parkinson ... Ingeras
Charles Dance ... Master Vampire
Summary:
Vlad, as the prince of his people must maintain peace with the feared Turks, but when the Sultan demands 1000 boys for his army and Vlad's son, he can no longer pay the tribute. Instead he goes to the monster living in the mountains and makes a bargain to give him the strength to defeat his enemy.

I really enjoyed this film. It could have done with some more female characters who actually had lines, but it was still entertaining and had a good story line.

There are no surprises as far as how the plot goes because we all know this is about Vlad becoming Dracula so he has to make certain choices and go a certain way, but I really liked how they did it. It was exciting even though we all knew where it was heading. This is not a film with grey areas and the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, in this case good guys are Vlad's people and bad guys are the Turks are bad. Charles Dance might be the monster in the mountains, but he's more of chaotic neutral as far as the plot goes.

One of the things I really enjoyed was how Vlad is the hero all the way through. It doesn't matter that he's a monster, he is still the hero and it is awesome. Luke Evans does a great job in the part. He's sexy and tormented and wild around the edges; just what you want of Dracula.

Then you have the rest of the cast. Sarah Gadon is vital as Mirena, Vlad's wife. Her passion for Vlad and her need to protect her son come through so clearly. She is strong and a force to be reckoned with without ever picking up a weapon. Dominic Cooper is delightfully nasty as Mehmed, ruthless in his demand for Vlad's people and son. He is a character designed to be hated and Cooper makes you want to stab him between the eyes the moment you first meet him. Then we had Ingeras, Vlad's son played by Art Parkinson who is brilliant. He is a loyal son and brave, but still a child - a great balance.

And, of course, we have Charles Dance as the Master Vampire. He is delightfully evil and yet the lesser of two when it comes to the Turks. The scene where he and Vlad meet properly for the first time is so beautifully filmed. I do hope they make the sequel the whole film points to, because I would love to see more of him.

The rest of the cast is like spot the actor and then you have to work out if you saw them in Midsomer Murders or Game of Thrones :). I exaggerate, but this is a cast you will recognise from all over the place and they stand up well.

The film is only 92 mins long and I think this is perfect. It has action and enough character building that it's satisfying and any longer and parts would have dragged. There are plot points I have not seen used before in Dracula and it was a refreshing take on his legend. This is by no means a perfect movie, but it is good. I hope they make a sequel because I think that will be even more interesting and I will definitely be adding this to my collection as soon as it turns up on Blu-ray.
beren_writes: Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter - says my kind of lincoln (ALVH - my kind of lincoln)
Right, so back to reviewing the vampire movies I own. Sorry for the delay, been kind of busy with the writing lately.

Title: Blade (1998)
Rating: 18
Cast:
Wesley Snipes ... Blade
Stephen Dorff ... Deacon Frost
Kris Kristofferson ... Whistler
N'Bushe Wright ... Karen
Summary: After his mother is bitten by a vampire just before his birth, Blade is born half human, half vampire. With the help of Whistler, he hunts vampires and protects humans from their blood lust.

Blade is a superb movie. I remember seeing it in the cinema and loving it and I've watched it many times since. It was one of the first DVDs my husband and I ever bought and had to be imported from the US.

I love the fact that vampire society is as tiered as human society. That they have their gentry and their commoners, only theirs are born vampires and turned vampires. The fact that Blade is a complete badass, but is still flawed is great.

This is definitely the grittiest of the three movies. It tries to be more real, or at least as real as a vampire movie can be. The realities of vampire infection and the cure are almost scientific, where as in the later movies they are less so.

The cast is great. Wesley Snipes is an arrogant arsehole as Blade, but with a core of heroism that makes him likeable. Stephen Dorff is brilliant as Deacon Frost with his plan to take over the world. He's evil and yet he's going after some of the vampires too and you have to sympathise with his reasons. Kris Kristofferson is awesome as Whistler and takes no shit from anyone. Then there is N'Bushe Wright as Karen, a competent woman willing to try and save herself as well as relying on Blade.

A great start to the trilogy.


Title: Blade II
Rating: 18
Cast:
Wesley Snipes ... Blade
Kris Kristofferson ... Whistler
Ron Perlman ... Reinhardt
Leonor Varela ... Nyssa
Norman Reedus ... Scud
Thomas Kretschmann ... Damaskinos
Luke Goss ... Nomak
Summary: When a new kind of vampire starts attacking vampires as well as humans, turning them into same kind of monsters, the vampire community turn to their greatest enemy for help: Blade.

This and Trinity are my two favourite Blade movies. I love them because they are that little bit more fantastic.

Luke Goss is brilliant as Nomak; vindictive, focused and ruthless.

I also love the idea that there is something that vampires might fear, just like the humans fear them. It's beautifully done.

The blood pack; the group of vampires set up to hunt Blade down who now have to work with him are awesome. One of them is Ron Perlman for a start, so they have to gain points just for that. They have an interesting dynamic and give yet another view of vampire society.

The way this film also blurs the lines of all vampires are bad also appeals to me.

This is a fast paced, well written and plotted film that is exciting to watch.

Title: Blade Trinity
Rating: 15
Cast:
Wesley Snipes ... Blade
Kris Kristofferson ... Whistler
Dominic Purcell ... Drake
Jessica Biel ... Abigail Whistler
Ryan Reynolds ... Hannibal King
Parker Posey ... Danica Talos
Summary: The vampire nation is looking for a new leader and they dig up the original himself: Drake. He is an evolutionary step above them in the same way they are to humans. Blade joins with a team of hunters called the Nightstalkers to counter this threat.

Now this is the eye candy film of the three, I admit it. There are bare chests and muscles and very attractive young women all over the place. The rating is also down from 18 to 15, so it shows that the emphasis has shifted, but I still love it.

The Nightstalkers are awesome, especially Abi and Hannibal, Danica is brilliantly psychotic and Drake is just completely rutheless.

This film is action packed and non-stop, but don't turn your brain on too much :). The plot holds together, but this isn't a make you think kind of film; it's pure entertainment. There are wise cracks, fight scenes and oiled muscles and it entertains me every time. That's not to say there isn't science in it, but the science is even more handwavy than the other two, so very little brain power is required.

This is the one out of the three that makes me want to write fanfic because I want to explore the characters more. The other two simply entertained me; with this one I want more.

I have no idea if there will ever be number four, but I am quite happy with the three. Although I would take more semi-naked Ryan Reynolds if it's on offer :D.

Have you seen the Blade films? Which is your favourite and why?
beren_writes: Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter - says my kind of lincoln (ALVH - my kind of lincoln)
Title: The Little Vampire (2000)
Rating: U
Cast:
Jonathan Lipnicki ... Tony Thompson
Richard E. Grant ... Frederick Sackville-Bagg
Jim Carter ... Rookery
Alice Krige ... Freda Sackville-Bagg
Pamela Gidley ... Dottie Thompson
Tommy Hinkley ... Bob Thompson
Anna Popplewell ... Anna Sackville-Bagg
Dean Cook ... Gregory Sackville-Bagg
Rollo Weeks ... Rudolph Sackville-Bagg
Summary: After moving to Scotland, Tony, a lonely young boy obsessed with vampires starts having dreams. Then he meets an actually vampire and they become best friends.

Now this isn't one of my all time favourite vampire movies or anything, but it is one hell of a feel good film. I happened to catch in on TV yesterday and it really is adorable.

You'll recognise Tony (Johnathan Lipnicki) from Stuart Little, which gives you a hint as to the level and tone of this film. It has vampires, but they're kind of cuddly vampires. There are even vampire cows and they are awesome.

This is the kind of movie you curl up with on a Sunday afternoon with cookies and milk and just enjoy.

Alice Krige and Richard E. Grant as vampires are a god send and they are simply wonderful. I love them in most things and this is no exception. They are the perfect choice for slightly creepy, but really, actually good underneath vampire types :).

The child actors in this are also well chosen and talented. I love Rudolph (Rollo Weeks) especially and he has such a completely awesome costume too. If I had been watching this as a child I so would have wanted his outfit - as it is, I want Alive Krige's. ;)

The plot hold together, which is not always a given with children's films; the characters are entertaining and the cast is good. The bad guy is bad, the good guys are good and everything works out in the end. It's difficult to fault the film for what it is.

This is a great vampire film for children and adults who want a heart warming tale with a few fangs thrown in. It's worth it just for the vampire cows, really it is :).
beren_writes: Coulson in shades - says Son of Cool (AV - Son of Cool)
Title: Guardians of the Galaxy
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Chris Pratt ... Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana ... Gamora
Dave Bautista ... Drax
Vin Diesel ... Groot (voice)
Bradley Cooper ... Rocket (voice)
Lee Pace ... Ronan
Michael Rooker ... Yondu Udonta
Karen Gillan ... Nebula
Summary: Peter Quill is abducted from Earth just after his mother dies. All grown up he retrieves an orb for a high paying client only to find himself being chased down by the lackies of Ronan, a warlord with an eye to destroying planets.

Let's just get the squee out of the way first - I loved this film, it was awesome. It's a romp of an adventure and oh, so, so ,so funny. I was laughing so hard at points I cried.

Okay, now I can be rational and tell you why I enjoyed it.

Click for the rest of the review (I've done my best not to add in spoilers) )
beren_writes: Yu and Shin holding hands (CB - Awww anim)
Title: About Time
Rating: 12A
Cast:
Domhnall Gleeson ... Tim
Rachel McAdams ... Mary
Bill Nighy ... Dad
Lydia Wilson ... Kit Kat
Lindsay Duncan ... Mum
Richard Cordery ... Uncle D
Summary: Tim has a great life and at 21 it takes something of an unusual turn when his dad reveals that all the men in the family can travel in time. Some have used it to become rich, but Tim just really wants a girlfriend.

This is one of those films that I saw advertised when it first came out in the cinema and I kind of wanted to see it, but never got around to it. I wish I had, because I finally saw it last night on Sky Movies and it is brilliant. It is so good that as soon as it was over, Rob and I looked at each other and I scampered to the PC to order the blu-ray.

If you love films like Four Weddings and Love Actually you will adore this movie. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry; it is simply wonderful.

Yes it has a sci-fi element; Tim and his Dad can travel in time, but it's all about the people. They can only go back into their own timeline so they can't right historical wrongs or anything like that, just fix little issues with their own lives.

I love this film because it has a happy family finding more happiness, even if there is some strife along the way and the bit that will make you ball your eyes out. All the characters are wonderful. They're not perfect and in some ways most of them are a little batty, but that's what makes the film so wonderful.

Domhnall Gleeson as Tim is brilliant. He knows himself and he's kind and funny and keeps putting his foot in it. Sometimes he goes back and changes it and sometimes he doesn't which makes the film unpredictable as well as fun. Bill Nighy as Tim's dad is awesome and the only other person in the know. They have the most wonderful father son relationship as they grow closer and closer.

Mary, Kit-kat, Mum and Uncle D are also superb as are all the supporting cast. There's not one character in this movie I wanted to remove and, trust me, that's saying something. There's usually at least one.

It has gentle British humour, romance, love, angst and the way the story limits the time travel is brilliant and perfect. I cannot express how much I enjoyed this film. Everyone should watch it.
beren_writes: Loki in Jotun form with the word LOKI down the side (Avengers - Loki)
Title: On Being Ghosts (The Anonymous Chronicles Book 1)
Author: Matt Rood
Links: Amazon UK | US
Summary from Amazon: Anon is a ghost who has been voted as the Residential Assistant living in a decaying mansion filled with ghosts. His job is to check up on all the inhabitants of the home, as well as to handle any haunting when the living show up. However when the darkness of what lingers in the basement starts to take shape, Anon must choose between taking himself or the other ghosts to salvation.

This book is golden. I could not put it down, in fact I just spent two hours reading it when I should have been doing other things. I started it this morning when I was exercising and managed to put it down then, but when I sat down to have my lunch I made the mistake of picking it up again. After that I had no chance.

Firstly the book could do with some editing. There are occasional typos, missed words or duplicated words - all the signs that it needed one more going over, but, frankly, I didn't care. The protagonist is so engaging and the plot so enthralling that I just kept reading and reading and reading.

So few books can grab me and refuse to let go. I am a very picky reader and this one entertained me completely. It's sometimes light-hearted, sometimes heart-warming and other times almost perfunctory and it's all captivating.

Most of the characters are ghosts and they're not really good guys or bad guys they just are and they mostly like it that way. The book is a journey for Anon, or RA as he is known in the mansion and we see him develop over the story. We take the journey with him and it is a wonderful ride.

Nothing is over explained. Some questions are asked that aren't quite answered even, but, that's the whole point. Anon doesn't have the whole picture so neither do we. It's a story about people who happen to be ghosts and everything that means. Their boundaries and limitations, their sorrows and their joys and, in places, it is amazingly exciting too.

This is a great book; a little rough around the edges in places, but still, a great book. I so, so, so want to read the sequel (since it's book 1, I assume there is going to be another one). Since it only just came out I assume I'm going to have to be patient for the next one.
beren_writes: Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter - says my kind of lincoln (ALVH - my kind of lincoln)
Title: The Breed (2001)
Rating: 18
Cast:
Adrian Paul ... Aaron Gray
Bokeem Woodbine ... Stephen Grant
Bai Ling ... Lucy Westenra
Péter Halász ... Cross
Summary: In the near future vampires (the breed) have revealed themselves to humans, although the totalitarian government keeps most of humanity still ignorant of their presence. When his partner is killed by a vampire, cop Stephen Grant is teamed up with one of the breed, to track down the rogue. Stephen must overcome culture shock and all those pitted against him to bring the murderer to justice.

One thing I really like about The Breed is that the cast is racially diverse. Yay for the casting agent.

Click to see rest of the review )

Have you seen The Breed? Did you like it? Have you seen any other vampire films set in a totalitarian state of the future?
beren_writes: Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter - says my kind of lincoln (ALVH - my kind of lincoln)
Title: Vampire Hunter D (1985)
Rating: 15
Summary: In the far future the world is ruled by vampires and mutants. When a young girl is bitten by a vampire lord she seeks the help of a mysterious vampire hunter called D.

This is one of the first anime I ever saw along with Akira and Urotsukidōji - Legen of the Overfiend. It is the one I liked best and hence have sitting on my DVD shelf.

Click to see review of Vampire Hunter D )
Title: Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust (2000)
Rating: (18)
Summary: When the daughter of a rich man is kidnapped by a vampire count, D is hired to bring her back or destroy her if she has become a vampire. However, he has not been hired alone and is up against another set of bounty hunters who are as likely to kill him as the vampires.

I really enjoy this film as well and the first thing to say about it is how much better the animation is than the first. The first is good, but you can see how the technology has advanced between one and the other.

Click to see the rest of the review of Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust )

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My Books

  • The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman

  • Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • Cat's Creation by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • Cat's Confidence by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • The Haward Mysteries

  • Sacrifice of an Angel by Tasha & Sophie Duncan

  • Stockings by Tasha and Sophie Duncan

  • Vampires: The New Age

  • The Beginning by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • Advent by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • The Soul Reader Series

  • Forgotten Soul by Tasha D-Drake

  • Forbidden Soul by Tasha D-Drake

  • Fortunate Soul by Tasha D-Drake

  • The Dark Reflections Series

  • Me, Myself and I (Dark Relfections #1) by Tasha D-Drake


  • Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections #2) by Tasha D-Drake

  • My Stand Alone Short Stories/ Novelettes/ Novellas

  • Face of the Dead by Tasha D-Drake

  • Chip Off the Old Block? by Tasha D-Drake

  • Three Bullets by Tasha D-Drake

  • When Darkness Beckons by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

  • Out of the Frying Pan by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • The Trade by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • TParting the Veil by Sophie Duncan and Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • My Anthologies

  • Myriad Imaginings by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

  • Half of Everything by Natasha Duncan-Drake

  • Book of Darkness by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

  • Beyond Our Horizon by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

  • Supernature by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

  • Romantica by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

  • Bright Young Things by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan

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  • Assassin's Blood by Natasha Duncan-Drake

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The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman The Haward Mysteries Vampires: The New Age The Soul Reader Series
Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake Cat's Creation by Natasha Duncan-Drake Cat's Confidence by Natasha Duncan-Drake Sacrifice of an Angel by Tasha & Sophie Duncan Stockings by Tasha and Sophie Duncan The Beginning by Natasha Duncan-Drake Advent by Natasha Duncan-Drake Forgotten Soul by Tasha D-Drake Forbidden Soul by Tasha D-Drake Fortunate Soul by Tasha D-Drake
Dark Reflections My Stand Alone Short Stories/ Novelettes/ Novellas My Anthologies
Me, Myself and I (Dark Relfections #1) by Tasha D-Drake Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections #2) by Tasha D-Drake Face of the Dead by Tasha D-Drake Chip Off the Old Block? by Tasha D-Drake Parting the Veil by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan Out of the Frying Pan by Natasha Duncan-Drake The Trade by Natasha Duncan-Drake Myriad Imaginings by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan Half of Everything by Natasha Duncan-Drake Assassin's Blood by Natasha Duncan-Drake