‘Nothing’s gone forever, only out of place’ – Mary Poppins Returns, 2018

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone’s got back to the grindstone and isn’t missing Christmas too much! I am back to work myself today, so I went to the cinema to celebrate the end of my holiday! There’s a few movies out at the moment that I want to see, but my mum asked if I would see this with her so we did! Without further ado, here is the sequel to Mary Poppins… Mary Poppins Returns!

Jack and Mary with the new Banks children; Annabel, John and little Georgie – Mary Poppins Returns, Walt Disney Pictures, 2019

As the title suggests, in this sequel Mary Poppins does indeed return to Cherry Tree Lane. In this one, she is played by Emily Blunt (known for other musicals such as Into the Woods, great 1990s movies such as Devil Wears Prada, being married to John Krasinski and being my top pick for the next Invisible Woman). Lin Manuel Miranda plays the new Bert – a lamplighter named Jack, who has just a bad a cockney accent as Dick Van Dyke – it’s how he knows Mary Poppins, he was a child when she first arrived on the scene and was Bert’s apprentice. Michael Banks, now an adult, is still living in his family home (his father has passed it onto him since his death) – but he’s in some financial bother. Long story short, the Banks are on the brink of losing their home. Thankfully, little Georgie catches a Mary Poppins at the end of his kite (yes the ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ kite), and she helps to take over!

An adult Jane and Michael are shocked to see Mary at the door – Mary Poppins Returns, Walt Disney Pictures, 2018

I liked this sequel. I thought that Emily played a good Poppins. She didn’t try to be Andrews, which was good as I don’t think she was ever going to be – there’s just some things that are etched into stone, and one of those is Julie Andrews as Poppins to millions of children’s brains. This Poppins was a bit brasher, tougher – as if coming back has changed her (which I guess it has… literally). They kept the real life and animation, which was great. A bit of me was terrified they’d make it CGI, as they sacked all their animators a few years ago. But it still had the same charm – I just wished there was a bit more of it. Chris O’Dowd as an Irish Setter was actually quite funny, he’s a pretty good actor, and this solidified it for me. Lin Manuel Miranda was a good Bert substitute. To be honest, I liked ALL the characters. The adult Banks children were amazing – the joy of childhood had left them, and they seemed to forget if things they experienced as children were real or not.
At times it was pandering to the old movie – the same story beats happened in the same places, but overall that was to be expected. They wanted people to enjoy this movie.

I think people should see this movie, just for the reminiscing factor.

Have you seen Mary Poppins Returns? What did you think? Did it live up to the original or not? Leave a comment down below!

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The Day Clive Russell Called Me a ‘Diva’ – St. Albans Comic Con, 2018

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? I have had an eventful weekend! Saturday I got a tattoo and yesterday I was at St. Alban’s inaugural Comic Convention! It’s amazing to have a convention on our doorstep, and I was lucky enough to be allowed to take a load of pictures and give you my honest opinion on what I thought of it. Spoiler alert – I loved it! Before I move on, I just want to give a big thank you to Paul, of Creed Conventions, for allowing me in as press, letting me talk to everyone and anyone there, take loads of pictures and being an overall great guy!
Anyway, without further ado – here’s my thoughts (and pictures – feat. some amazing cosplayers!) on St. Alban’s Comic Con!

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St Albans Comic Con! – St Albans Comic Con, Creed Conventions, 2018

All the stall owners were willing to have a chat with me, and let me take photos of their stock for my page. They were so lovely to chat to. I spoke to many of them about cosplaying, their favourite Harry Potter characters and even just how they were. I got given a free sticker of Yuri from Doki Doki Literature Simulator from Kira Hopcroft because she “likes to throw stickers at people.” Everyone’s work was amazing, and I brought myself some badges, phone charms and even a Star Wars top from The Zombie Survival School. The man running, (who’s name I never got, woops!), even let me hold a couple of his replica swords! My friend Luke, who manages Chaos City Comics and I’ve spoken about before (he designed my logo), told him that he shouldn’t let me play with that! I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t trust me or not! I’ll have to find that out myself later!
Everyone was so interested in finding out why I was taking photos and chatting to everyone. They all wanted to know about my blog. For instance, Hertfordshire Libraries was interested in finding out about my blog. They even said that they had seen my stuff around and were looking forward to seeing what I had written today. I’d love to keep in contact with them all – they had some great recommendations on their stall, including My Little Pony and Kick-Ass. They told me which library would be best for me to go to to get the Graphic Novels that I wanted, and it’s only down the road! You can bet that I’ll be there a lot!

I also met some lovely celebrities! During a chat with Amiee Richards, who played Marcella in Game of Thrones, I told her that it was sad that she died as she did. She smiled and shrugged at me before saying “It happens to everyone.”
In my slideshow you’ll see a picture of Clive Russell, who played Blackfish in Game of Thrones and Lord Lovat in Outlander, where he’s staring directly into the camera. Afterwards, I jokingly said to him “You look a little bored, are you alright?” He laughed and shook his head, protesting that he was just making sure he looked bored for the picture. He later called me a “Diva” when I was having my picture taken on the Star Throne. I am taking that as a massive compliment. I wished I had asked him which he liked filming more, Game of Thrones or Outlander, as I’m such a big fan of both. But he told me he hopes to be back next year, so fingers crossed I can remember to ask him then!
Hannah Spearitt, SClub and Primeval fame, and I had a lovely chat too. She was interested in finding out about my life, about why I was there as press taking photos. As I left I said it was nice to finally be able to talk to her and tell her that she’s been a big part of my life for many years. I was probably being an embarrassing fan girl at times, but she told me that it was lovely to be able to talk to and meet me. I hope to see her at another Comic Con soon, hopefully back at St. Albans.

I felt so welcomed and happy to be there. I loved every second of it!

Pictures below!

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A thank you from me, for taking time out of your day to talk to me – (In no particular order)

Dave Gibbons, Lee Bradley, Micheal Pasquale, Kira Hopcroft, Chaos City Comics, Luke Ridge, Sam Rogers, James from Subworks, The Zombie Survival School, CatCreations, Paul Johnson, Sophie West, David Leach, Herts Libraries, Tasha Cosplay UK, Anita Mensah, Clive Russell, Hannah Spearitt, Amiee Richardson, Rock Pop Candy, Creed Conventions… and everyone else who put time, money and effort into making the convention a great success. I hope to see you all next year.

[All photos are my own]

“I don’t want to marry a fool.” “Then you will have to take a husband over thirty, Blanche” – Widowers’ Houses, George Bernard Shaw (1892)

Happy Monday, readers! Welcome back to the library! My first piece of info this week is that my newest short story is out for publication – HERE – It’s called ‘Sleep’, about a woman who has had her child taken away from her due to… well I hope you can figure that out when you read it! It’s not long at all, and won’t take you any time to read! Please check it out!
Anyway, thank you all for letting me have a day off, I had a great birthday weekend, which meant no time to write! We did something a bit different for it this year, and went to see an outdoor play, at a famous author’s house – George Bernard Shaw’s house to be precise! I studied him in my undergrad, so we thought we’d go see something in the outdoor theatre. It was a really lovely evening too, and I didn’t get cold once, which is a shock as I am always cold!

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Shaw when he wrote the play. At this point he was a young man! – George Bernard Shaw, Wikipedia

Shaw’s play begins as romcom (yes they existed in the late 1800s). On a holiday in Germany, on the Rhine, a young doctor, Henry Trench (along with his friend William Cokran), falls in love with Blanche Sartorius – she’s on holiday with her father Mr Sartorius, who feels like holidays are a great way to learn! The play really gets going in Act 2, after Trench realises that his prospective bride’s income derives from her father’s profits as a slum landlord (A slum landlord is a derogatory term for a generally absentee landlord with more than one property, who attempts to maximize profit by minimizing spending on property maintenance – you can min-max anything!).  This play is a debate about socialist ideas vs that of the conservative. Whilst no one in the play says they are socialist, and Henry is still willing to prosper for those who are less fortunate than him – he is very upset about having to do so. In the end it’s all happy families, but Henry and Blanche’s love is tested throughout. She’s a real fierce woman and he can’t take that. Nor can he take that his soon-to-be father-in-law is profiting off of those who are less fortunate than them, and he does not want to take their money. This is awkward as Mr Sartorius has told Blanche that she will have anything she wants, whether she is married or not! Blanche refuses to live off of £700 a year (around £20,000 a year nowadays if my calculations are correct. Sorry if that’s wrong.)

5687429-MI really liked this play. As it was in three parts, there was ample time to chat about it with my parents and @sebonthesilvermountain who tagged along for the ride! Even though it was based in the late 1800s there are things that still ring true for today! For instance, landlords will still abuse their tenants by refusing to do any work to their properties, and kick them out if they complain.
There were a few lines that still run true to day too – Marrying someone over 30 if you don’t want to marry a fool, everyone has a right to their own opinions even if they upset someone else – small quips like this that I really engaged with.
It was really nice to sit outside, have a picnic and watch something be performed in front of your eyes. The actors did amazingly in the evening warmth – I would have needed sunglasses! I really did feel like I had been transported back in time to the 1800s!

I really think you should all go and see an outdoor play. In the summer they’re beautiful, and they really bring you into the story!
Watch an adaptation HERE – It looked quite good from my brief look at it!

Have you ever seen an outdoor play? What about a George Bernard Shaw play? Would you ever go see one? Leave a comment down below!

‘You are not me… Whoever you are, you are not me.’ – Ghost Virus, 2018

Good morning everyone! I have a special surprise for everyone this morning! My first ever Q+A! This is with renowned crime author Graham Masterton! This is for his new book Ghost Virus, which I cannot tell you to read enough!
Graham trained as a newspaper reporter before beginning his career as an author. His credits as a writer include the bestselling horror novel The Manitou and the Katie Maguire crime series, which became a top-ten bestseller in 2012.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the Q+A, check out the books biography to give you some idea of the book!

The girl had been staring into her mirror all morning before she picked up the small bottle of sulphuric acid and poured it over her forehead.
Samira was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. What could have brought her to this? DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel of Tooting Police suspect it’s suicide. But then a meek husband kills his wife, and the headteacher of the local school throws her pupils out of a window. It’s no longer a random outbreak of horrific crimes. It’s a deadly virus. And it’s spreading. Somehow, ordinary Londoners are being infected with an insatiable lust to murder. All of the killers were wearing second-hand clothes. Could these garments be possessed by some supernatural force?
The death count is multiplying. Now Jerry and Jamila must defeat the ghost virus, before they are all infected…

Read the Q+A below!

MASTERTON

Graham Masterton

Please introduce yourself to my audience
Before I became a novelist I was a newspaper reporter and then the editor of two men’s magazines, Mayfair and Penthouse. While I was editing Penthouse an American edition had just been launched so I was a frequent visitor to New York. It was then that I got to know several American publishers and I was invited to write ‘how-to’ books on sex. These became very popular…some of them are still in print even today, such as How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed. But the market for those books began to falter, and my publishers said they didn’t want any more. In the place of the next sex book, I offered them a horror novel which I had written mostly to amuse myself. It was inspired by the first pregnancy of my late wife Wiescka and a story I had read about Native American spirits in The Buffalo Bill Annual 1955. That book was The Manitou. It sold half a million copies in six months and was filmed Tony Curtis playing the lead role. After that, I continued to write horror novels but also political thrillers, disaster novels, historical sagas and even comic novels.
I was born in Edinburgh, the son of a British Army major and the daughter of a renowned scientist, Thomas Thorne Baker, who invented fluorescent paints and was the first man to send photographs by wireless. I started writing stories when I was about seven years old and have never stopped. When I was about 10 I discovered Edgar Allan Poe and was really enthralled, so I started writing horror stories to entertain my schoolfriends. I have never really stopped!
I lost interest in my English A-level studies when I was at school because I became interested in the American Beat writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. I admired their directness and the way that they were unafraid to say anything or describe anything in all its grisly detail. I became friends with William Burroughs and he and I wrote a novella together, Rules of Duel.
Because of my lack of interest in what my school had to offer (apart from the girls in my class) I was expelled at the age of 17. Luckily I got a job as a trainee reporter and that was where my full-time writing career began.

 What made you write this book?
I have been writing a series of crime thrillers lately, set in Cork, in Ireland, and featuring Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire. I have written nine, and they have been so successful that I neglected to write any new horror novels. My horror readers were growing impatient for something new, so when this idea came up, I decided to give it a go.
The basic idea was inspired by the charity shop where a young woman friend of mine works as manager. I used to wonder if the second-hand clothes that were donated still retained not only the smell of their late owners, but something of their personality.  Perhaps when somebody bought these clothes, the late owners would try to possess them and come back to life. Not only come back to life, but take their revenge on some of the people who had mistreated them when they were alive.

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The Ghost Virus cover! It’s thrilling – Ghost Virus, Head of Zeus Publishing, 2018

What made you include the almost supernatural element of the virus?
Apart from the charity shop clothes, I was also inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s famous story The Overcoat, in which an impoverished clerk saves up for a smart new overcoat, only to have it stolen from him on the first day that he wears it. He dies of sickness and disappointment, but a ghostly presence goes around the city taking revenge on his behalf.

Why did you make the murders so gory?
Murders are gory. I am often asked the same question about the murders in my Irish crime novels, but it would be dishonest in my view to try and make murders seem anything except the ghastly grisly tragedies that they really are. I don’t write so-called ‘cosy’ crime like Agatha Christie in which the worst thing that happens is that the bishop gets beaten to death with a badger in the bathroom.

What made you include the cultural references – eg) the Pakistani family and the Pakistani police woman with the honour killing in the first few chapters.
I wanted the story to be up-to-date and relevant to modern times and modern concerns, and of course ethnic diversity and honour killings are still very topical. I also wanted to emphasise the well-deserved promotion of women to positions of responsibility, which I am also doing in my crime novels about Katie Maguire. You might not think that a one-time editor of men’s magazines was a strong supporter of women’s rights, but there was always great sexual equality on the staff of those magazines and we always promoted respect for women’s intelligence, creativity and business acumen.

What did you edit out of this book?
Nothing.

How long did it take you to write this book?
It took about six months. I had to stop halfway through, which was the first time I have ever done that while writing a novel, but I was commissioned to write The Coven, the second in my series of historical crime thrillers featuring Beatrice Scarlet, and I suddenly realise that the deadline was pressing!

What books have influenced you as a writer?
As I mentioned, Edgar Allan Poe influenced me when I was younger. Then tough American writers like Nelson Algren, who wrote The Man With The Golden Arm, and Herman Wouk, who wrote The Caine Mutiny, which is a brilliant example of how during the course of a novel a reader’s sympathies can be turned around 180 degrees. After that, Beat poetry like Pictures of the Gone World by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gasoline by Gregory Corso. I enjoyed Bomber by Len Deighton because of its historical realism. These days I get no time (or inclination) to read other people’s fiction. I’m critical enough of my own. I must say that I think writing poetry is extremely important for any author. It improves your self-discipline, your vocabulary, your sense of rhythm and your ability to be able convey strong emotions in the minimum of words. I have written a lot, and still do, and had quite a number published.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
As a newspaper reporter and a magazine editor I have had to write about anything and everything, so nothing deters me. I have written celebrity interviews, restaurant reviews, humour columns, car test reviews, record reviews, cartoon captions, novelisations of movies…it’s my job, and I was taught by excellent newspapermen and by magazine editors.

What made you get into writing?
I think it may have been partly hereditary. My great-great-grandfather (who was a Polish émigré) was a theatrical impresario, and loved putting on shows. Writing is a way of entertaining people, which I love to do. If I hadn’t become a writer I might have been a comedian. You don’t really ‘get into’ writing. It’s more like a chronic disease than a calling. I just can’t help it.

g m all books

An idea of all of Graham’s amazing books! 

How do you get over writer’s block?
I used to think that ‘writer’s block’ was an apartment building where all these writers sat staring at blank sheets of paper. I have never had writer’s block because you can’t, as a professional journalist. You can’t swanning in to your chief reporter one day and say ‘I can’t write a report on this council meeting because I’ve got writer’s block.’ Obviously some days I might feel more like writing than others, but usually I write every day, even if it’s only two or three pages.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It didn’t. I was used to seeing my name in print because I had a regular pop music page for three years in my local paper, plus other bylines. My writing has obviously changed and developed over the years, as I think readers can see if they compare Ghost Virus to The Manitou, or any of my earlier horror novels. But I believe in Ghost Virus that I have updated myself considerably, and not only produced a supernatural entertainment but a story which will make people think about the way our society is developing and their own feelings of bereavement, if they have lost somebody dear to them. and their own impending death. There’s a headstone waiting for us all!

Thanks so much for your time Graham! I loved asking you all these questions! Please write many more books!

Have you ever read any Graham Masterton? You really should! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Here are some links to buy
Amazon: mybook.to/GhostVirusM
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GWZQYH
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2EGsxTv
iBooks: https://apple.co/2qvxdXs

Follow Graham Masterton
Twitter: @GrahamMasterton
Website: http://www.grahammasterton.co.uk

 

‘Who’s is the mask I’m wearing?’ – The Grinning Man, 2016

Happy Easter, readers! I hope you ate lots of chocolate and didn’t get caught out by too many April Fools Day jokes! I was going to give you a usual review of a game or movie this week – that was until I went to the theatre in London on Saturday night, with my friend Daisy, and I just need to tell you all about it! The journey to see this musical was a weird one – we had booked tickets to Coraline the Opera, didn’t realise it was a matinee and so missed the show (woops!) We then struggled at 4pm to find something to do, until we saw that under 25s can see some shows at some theatres for only £25! So we booked some good seats and went!
Plus, the main character was inspiration for the Joker, so this counts… right? Without further ado – here is The Grinning Man.

Disclaimer – I obviously understand that this is a limited run (there are still tickets on sale), and not everyone can go see it, but I really enjoyed it, so wanted to share. ON WITH THE REVIEW!
Oh and… reviewing something from memory is harder than it looks, so bear with me! First times etc…

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Operating the puppet of Grinpayne – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The Grinning Man is a tragicomic musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel The Man Who Laughs, and is brought to us from the director of War Horse – it uses puppetry in the same way as War Horse, the use of skeletal animals (in this case a wolf, not a horse) and the children within the play.
It unfolds as a crazy fairytale – slightly horrish, slightly whimsical, completely awesome. It’s framed in a huge pair of bared teeth, a bit like Grinpayne’s unfortunate face.

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Dea and Grinpayne – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The music was amazing. The score was equally as eerie as it was intriguing, and I liked that the orchestra was underneath the stage, we could only see “Hans” the conductor and pianist from where we were sat in the audience.
It breaks the fourth wall a lot, “I hate the theatre” “Puppetry’s not as easy as it looks” etc., via it’s clown character, Barkilphedro. He spends most of the time he’s being the comic relief, but other characters do help with that too (mostly David Dirry-Moor, one of the three royal siblings). Other characters are other stereotypes from Victorian England, including, but not limited to; Josiana (sexually liberal Duchess), Angelica (mentally unstable Princess), King Clarence (King Henry VIII-esque character, fat and angry). I found most of it hilarious, the gags kept coming, even when you thought they were going to end they would happen again, like the potion feeding scene.
Even when a blooper happened, they got on with it; Barkilphedro rolls off stage at one point and his hat got stuck on a light. Cue a hand gingerly coming out of the side of stage to try and untangle himself. Whilst the audience, including myself, laughed, the actors on stage kept a very straight face.

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Grinpayne in his crazy state – The Grinning Man, Tom Morris et al., 2016-Present

The actors also get involved in the audience a couple times. They bustle their way through, sitting with people in the audience, making them move all their stuff. It makes the audience feel like they’re actually a part of the freak show. They also make a reference to an audience being there a couple of times whilst on stage. My new claim to fame is Louis Maskell, who plays Grinpayne, stepping on my foot as he went past and leaning down to whisper “Sorry” to me. Very nice of him.

It was honestly the best thing I’ve seen on stage for a long time. I honestly can’t recommend someone go see this more. Under 25s can see this show for only £25, no matter what seat they pick.

Have you seen The Grinning Man? Do you want to go? What else have you seen on stage? I’d love to know! Leave a comment down below! 

 

‘My name is Hercule Poirot and I am probably the greatest detective in the world’ – Murder on the Orient Express, 2017

I know, I know, a day late again. Slap on the wrist and all that! Though I do have an excuse – I was off Sunday night watching Murder on the Orient Express for you all, and would have had no time to write anything before Monday anyway.
It’s fine… we’ll just blame my cinema buddy, Luke!

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Poirot and the murder train! – Murder on the Orient Express, 20th Century Fox, 2017 

The Murder on the Orient Express is a detective novel, by Agatha Christie, featuring the well known detective Hercule Poirot. This case was seemingly the most popular case he ever undertook, in or outside of the United Kingdom, so it’s understandable why Kenneth Branagh (both director and Poirot) decided to do this particular case – honestly, I couldn’t name another big case that Poirot did, which is awful I know.

All we know in this film is that someone has died, and there are twelve suspects; The Professor, Butler, Count (and Countess, but she’s ruled out early on), Assistant, Governess, Missionary, Widow, Salesman, Maid, Princess and Doctor. While watching I legitimately had no idea how any of them did it, and I spent all the movie like that (I haven’t read the book though, so it makes sense why they all did).

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Our suspects, all 13 of them – Murder on the Orient Express, 20th Century Fox, 2017

All in all, I really liked Murder on the Orient Express. It was interesting to watch such prolific actors portray the 1930s – the outfits, accents and the whole thing just felt early 1900s, and I loved it. I wanted all their dresses, that’s for sure.
Before I start my critique, which sounds like I hated the movie for all it’s worth, I really didn’t. I’m really glad I went to see it. I promise I did like it! 
It may have had a really slow start, which both Luke and I agreed on; it didn’t need to show me that Poirot was the best detective in the world, everyone knows that – literally everyone. I felt like at least three of the characters didn’t need to be there – sorry Professor, Salesman and Missionary (and perhaps even the Count). They had no story to them, they were there for absolutely nothing and I think Branagh missed a trick by making them integrated into other characters. It may seem fine for a book, but it made the screen messy. I was actually disappointed with some of the acting. It was almost like Branagh being in the movie and directing it meant that he missed some of the wooden and static words. At parts it felt like he even said “No, no, no. Do it MORE wooden.” There were parts where Daisy Ridley (the Governess) barely showed anything, it was like she was forced to.
My last issue was some of the shocking CGI. It’s 2017, and yet there were times where the background looked stunning, but the train looked like someone had cut it out of cardboard and stuck it onto the foreground – it was so 2D it hurt.

I don’t know if I would have paid to see this in an IMAX or at a big cinema, but I am glad I went to see it. I love adaptations, as you guys know, and this wasn’t a bad one. Bar my critiques, I would really suggest you guys see it, even if you wait till it comes out on DVD or onto your subscription service.

Catch the trailer below!

 

 

[Header Image: Murder on the Orient Express, 20th Century Fox, 2017]

‘My daughters are trained for battle, sir, not the kitchen’ – Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, 2016

I apologise for missing a day! I’ve been pretty hectic with work and preparing for my MA which starts Thursday (eep! Scary times!) and I completely lost track of days. I was sure that it was Sunday, not Monday, until I just looked at the calendar. Oops! Anyway – onto the review!

At university I did English Literature, so I was obviously going to come across Jane Austen. While I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice there I read it at school for my GCSEs and at college for my A-Levels. I remember sitting in a Waterstones when I was in my teens and seeing this parody. I just knew I had to read it. And there I sat for hours, reading (and not buying, I know naughty naughty) Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. 

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The Bennett sisters, with their martial art skills! – Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Lionsgate, 2016

My favourite thing about Pride and Prejudice (and thus Pride, Prejudice and Zombies) is that it is set in Hertfordshire. Because of this I half know where things are, being Hertfordshire bred myself. What makes me laugh about this adaptation, however, is the idea of zombies running around our countryside.
In Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, London is where the zombie apocalypse has been quarantined. Or so they thought. The film begins with Mr Darcy, travelling to a stately home in Hertfordshire, as he has been told there has been a zombie sighting nearby. He carries carrion flies with him, which are how he detects zombies living among humans. In this adaptation becoming a zombie is not instant. After being bitten one can live among humans for some time, even if they know they are to be changing into the undead sometime soon. Carrion flies have a unique ability, Darcy tells the people in the house, they can detect undead flesh before it has changed.

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Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley watching their respective (future) ladies – Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Lionsgate, 2016

While this movie got some rather bad reviews (scoring barely even 50% on Rotten Tomatoes), probably by those who don’t believe in changing the classic or creative-license, I really like this movie. There’s something about it that captivates me – it’s cast is amazing and very much like the characters in the book and adaptation. I really enjoy the idea of people getting on with their lives, in the 19th century no less, and occasionally beating up zombies.

One of my favourite things was how useless Mr. (sorry, Parson) Collins is. He’s the Bennett’s cousin, but unlike them was not trained in the martial arts of China. He merely lets the women kill and stands there looking pretty gormless. I don’t think religion will save him here!

Did you watch Pride, Prejudice and Zombies? Did you like it? Were you angry it was adapted to include zombies? Leave a comment down below! 

[Header Image: Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, Lionsgate, 2016]

‘Maybe we’ll all get to watch her slam her head into a five tonne slab of granite’ – Outlander Season 1 and 2

Firstly, let me apologise for being a day late with the post! My only excuse is that I have been so tired from binge watching Outlander – I just HAD to get it finished.
Yes, folks, you heard me correctly. I have been learning all about the Jacobite revolution! I have learnt a surprising amount about the Jacobites, and I actually wished it was taught in schools.
Now I can’t do this post without spoilers, so SPOILER ALERT!

 

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Claire and Frank Randall on their 2nd honeymoon to Scotland. – Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present

Outlander is a British-American adaptation of a series with the same name, based around a woman named Claire from the 1940’s who mysteriously travels back in time through the stone circle at Craigh na Dun. She’s on a 2nd honeymoon with her husband, Frank, getting to know him again after being separated during WWII. Travelling back in time obviously takes a huge toll on Claire, who has no idea where she is nor fits in at all – her clothes, her accent, her mannerisms all give away her 20th century-ness. Good thing that none of the men from the 18th century have any idea about that! They just think she’s a very weird woman.

 

 

 

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Claire and Jamie, plus their ring (which I love!) They’re almost like star crossed lovers – Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present

Claire is forced to marry Jamie, to save herself from being handed over to the evil Black Jack Randall, a man who is an ancestor of Frank Randall, Claire’s 20th century husband. The only downside to her new marriage? She falls head over heels in love with Jamie. Which makes me happy, because I am ‘Team Jamie’!

 

Claire is tried as a witch, and Jamie (in an attempt to save her life) he tries to put her through the stones again. But she doesn’t go, because she loves Jamie more than she ever loved Frank. Their love spawns not one but two children, one whom unfortunately dies (as do lots of 18th century children) and one who is born in the 20th century, which sounds very confusing – you’ll just have to watch the 29 episodes and find out what on earth I’m on about!

Catch the trailer for Season 3 down below! – 

 

Have you seen Outlander? What did you think? Feel sorry for Frank or are you team Jamie 100%? Looking forward to the 10/11th of September for Season 3? Leave a comment down below! 

(Header Image: Outlander, Starz/Amazon Prime, 2014-Present)

 

‘There are things within us that need to be unleashed’ – Penny Dreadful, Issue 1

First and foremost, I apologise for this post coming out two days after I had planned! The Library was closed on Monday, and naughty me hadn’t got the comics she wanted before the weekend! But I shan’t grovel – let’s just get on with it shall we?

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The ‘Cover Gallery’ for #1 of Penny Dreadful in single form. As you can see, Vanessa (Eva Green) is a vital part of the plot – Penny Dreadful, Titan Comics, 2016

Penny Dreadful was a show created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, a man who had previously written Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Skyfall. I loved this show when it was on the television, and religiously tuned in each and every week.

However, when it ended it fell completely flat. Like a pancake. Did anyone else see that awful ending? It’s the biggest shame they cancelled it. Especially because, at university, I studied the Victorian period – it’s my favourite time period. My favourite book is actually A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, so when I saw Dorian was a character in it, I was very excited. His character progression, as with the rest, was amazing right until the end.

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Mina (wearing white) and Vanessa. That whole angel in white, devil in black thing! – Penny Dreadful, Titan Comics, 2016

I was a little disappointed I’ll be honest. The comic book just seems like a complete copy from the show. Obviously the characters are going to look alike, but the I felt like they could have done much more with it than they did. The story line for this issue was all about Mina – a minor character, Malcolm’s daughter, from the story of Dracula. In the original story Dracula’s demise, he entraps Mina into his clutches. Much is the true here, but I just couldn’t care less about her story line. Perhaps this is because it was all rounded off in season 1, all those years ago, and so I’ve had closure?

I quite liked the art style, though it might seem to some as a tad dark. But I liked how much like the characters actually looked like their acting counterparts. The darkness fitted the overall mystic of the comic as well as it’s dark nature.

All in all, I suggest it more for people who have yet to see the series and want some preliminary research before the show. Or, I guess, those that just really miss seeing it on our screens.

Have you read Penny Dreadful? Have you seen it? What’s your opinion on either? Are you like me and love Victorian literature? Leave your comment down below! 

(Header Image: Penny Dreadful, Titan Comics, 2016)