Thursday, 26 March 2009

Watchmen

Okay, not really a review, just some thoughts I had after watching. I meant to post this a few days ago, but kind of got sidetracked. :)

I went to see this with my sister, who when the film ended and the lights came up, turned to me and said - that was a load of SH**! So you can guess her opinion of the film. lol I think in part this was because she was heavily influenced by the trailer which seemed to promise something along the lines of the X-Men movies. The trailer is what? two minutes long and contained, I think, virtually all of the action sequences.

So anyone who went wanting an action movie I think would be understandably disappointed. Instead it's around two and a half hours of quite slow story building. I found the first half of the film slow and wish they had cut some of this - though I guess if they'd done that we wouldn't have had the same insight into the characters that we did.

So for me, it was more about 'compare and contrast' between the three characters of - Rorshach (sp?), Dr. Manhatten and The Comedian. And my favourite character had to be Rorshach.

Re. Dr.Manhatten being nude for a lot of the film - didn't bother me, however what did bother me, was the woman who kept on giggling every time he came on screen. To the point where I wanted to go and ask her if she'd never seen a penis before. Okay, it was blue. But please, get over it.

One of the most boring sex scenes ever. Could have been edited out and I wouldn't have missed it.

What I did very much like was how everyone looked so normal and ordinary. The settings were beautifully realized from the ice and snow of the finale, to the scenes set on Mars. Even the ordinary street scenes had an incredible depth. And the soundtrack was brilliant. So whilst I won't be getting the DVD I will almost certainly be picking up the soundtrack.

So in my plan to see at least twelve movies this year at the cinema I'm currently 2/12.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Crack

Yes it will soon be that time of year again when the blogs start buzzing and (nearly) everyone loses their heads.

I've tried to give it up (lie) but I can't. I admit I am a book addict, and that the Black Dagger Brotherhood is my crack.

I have resisted for months but finally succumbed (darn it, had to look that up on dictionary.com) and have checked out Lover Avenged.

I've read the two excerpts, and am somewhat resigned to my fate. I am not sure quite what prompted me to do this, this morning. After reading the comments on Amazon, I went over to read the review on B&N to see that in their review they reveal the book ends on a cliffhanger.

Bummer.

I can already hear the sound of keyboards being furiously typed on shortly after the book's release. I shall reserve judgement. A lot depends on who the cliffhanger drops in it. (I've read that sentence three times and I'm still not completely sure whether it makes sense).

In other news I went to see Cirque de Soleil for the first time on Sunday - Quidam. And was completely blown away. I am not thinking about how much the tickets cost, after all I paid for them quite a while ago, but I definitely want to go and see another of their shows. It was like gasolene for the imagination.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Over at DIK

New author D.B. Reynolds is blogging today and tomorrow about her DIK books, and why alpha females rule.

http://dikladiesrule.blogspot.com/

I was lucky enough to read an early version of her book, Raphael. So pop on over there and get to know her a little better. Fingers crossed I'll be interviewing her in April - my first author interview.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Guardian of Honor by Robin D. Owens


The TBR book for March should be a historical but as I haven't read an historical all year. I'm going with a fantasy (actually April's TBR category) and will try and squeeze an historical in later in the year.

Guardian of Honor was published in February 2005 and although it hasn't been on my TBR pile quite that long, it has been on there for a year or so. It was recommended on one of the yahoo groups and I thought I'd pick it up. I finally got round to reading it when it was chosen as the February book for Kelley Armstrong's book club.

I haven't graded this review, because although I loved the majority of the book there were a couple of things that didn't work for me.

So onto the story.

Alexa Fitzwalter is pulled from our world to Lladrana. Once there she is expected to help the Marshalls defend the land from an invasion of horrific creatures bent on the destruction of the Lladranan people. She can barely understand the language, let alone the politics of the place. Added to that they expect her to take a lover to cement her bond to the land and pretty soon she is feeling over her head. Almost despite herself she comes to care for this land and its people, but when the chance comes for her to return to Earth, will she take it?

First off the niggles.

Alexa for me, was too perfect. She always seemed to be in the right, and everyone else in the wrong. Every other character had a flaw which made them much more well-rounded and interesting. She didn't seem to be able to do any wrong, and although not all the other characters loved her, as the story is written in her point of view, there's the feeling that it's the other characters fault that they don't 'get' her, rather than anything in her own character.

The other thing I struggled with was the talking furry animal / shapechanger - Sinafin. Talking animals are something I shy away from. I think they are hard to do well and the cuter they are, the more off-putting I find them - this is a personal thing, like the ghosts. (Exceptions being Anne Bishop's Kindred and Meljean Brook's hellhound. In both these cases the authors gave the animals their own animal identities.)

Still with me? Apart from those two things. I thought this was incredibly well written. With some genuinely shocking and disturbing imagery. The frinks, a truly digusting animal - maggot-like creatures that come down in the rain and infect the weak-minded - are going to stay with me for a long time.

The characters that people Lladrana are well-written and interesting. The Marshalls - some of the most manipulative characters I've read about in a while - even when they agree to stop manipulating, they carry on, they can't seem to help themselves. Bastien and Luthan the sons of Reynardus were well drawn, they had the closeness of brothers but very different outlooks on life. The society was multi-layered and complex, and I think it would take more than one book to get everything sorted out - the sorcerers, for example, are only briefly introduced here, though it's made clear they will have a larger role to play in the next books.

I particularly like how we come to understand the character of Reynardus just at the end of the story. All the way through he had seemed like a two-dimensional ego-maniac, at the end in his conversation with Bastien we come to understand the choices he's made and why he is the way he is.

I liked that it wasn't immediately obvious who Alexa was going to end up with - Bastien or Luthan. Though it's probably more obvious to Alexa. And when she does finally make a choice it doesn't go smoothly, as he puts it:
"...I handled it badly. The afterward I handled badly. I was my usual superb self in bed."
LOL - my absolutely favourite quote from the book.

I can see why people love the series so much. And I think if the next book in the series was easier to get hold of (they are now out of print and seem to be quite highly priced on Amazon) then I might give it a go. But I'm not sure I could face reading another cute furry animal giving its opinion on everything.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

As a Bibliophile...

I'm finding the Book Depository Live page strangely engrossing.

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/live

And kind of calming, lol, a bit like watching fish.