Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Review of Saving Mr Banks


Author P. L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, Mary Poppins.


My Musings

A wonderful film full of laughter, tears and wonderful tit bits about the classic family favourite Disney's Mary Poppins. Emma Thomson plays P.L . Travers the writer of Mary Poppins who has resisted Disney's advances to make her book into a film until she needs money so armed with strict stipulations she visits LA to work with the film makers and it is there the fun begins. Thomson plays Travers as very proper, with strict guide lines for anyone she meets. Meeting the laid back American film makers it is a clash of two cultures. What is fascinating is when the film looks back at her childhood and we find out she is not posh English but grew up in Australia. This is where the film gets dark looking at the family struggling with the fathers alcoholism. Travers obviously adored her father who was clearly struggling with the confines of a banking job. You will catch your breath at some moments. Colin Farrell is superb as the father and the connection with Travers as a young girl is heartbreaking. Tom Hanks plays Disney and is also superb. The film is a really joy but not all laughs. It will leave you thinking about it for a long time afterwards and I am sure it will have a lot of deserved awards. And yes they do have Mary Poppins songs through it cleverly interspersed so you can tap your feet along. A Delight!

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The Kings Speech

Friday, 22 November 2013

Review; Divergent by Veronica Roth


She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart.
The No. 1 New York Times bestseller DIVERGENT – a major motion picture in 2014.

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs.

Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. The hardest choices may yet lie ahead….

A debut novel that will leave you breathless.


My Musings

Brilliant but brutal
Written in the first person the reader feels like you are really in the heroine's Tris, head struggling with her personal problems and struggles with what is right and wrong.

Set in a dystopian world divided into factions according to character, Intelligence, Bravery Selflessness etc. Tris is in Abnegation known for selflessness, living a Quaker type life style. but she is frustrated with the way of life and longs to break free.  However when she gets to pick which faction she wishes to join it will mean leaving her family behind.  First she has to take a test as do they all to decide which faction she is best suited but her test is inconclusive meaning she is DIVERGENT. this is frowned on by her world so she is advised to keep it a secret. In the end she picks Dauntless , thinking they are brave and exciting. However she is engulfed in a world of deadly rivalry and bullying. Here she meets the love interest Four, one of the team leaders whom I loved. Roth really lets their relationship build to a point it positively simmers.

The story races on with great secondary characters and piles of brilliant action and thrills. Please be warned it is not short on shock factor. Roth does not pull her punches. so be prepared.
There are ,of course , echoes of Hunger Games but it does not suffer from caparison as Roth has built her own uniquely different world and a very believable and thought provoking one at that.

Can't wait to read 2+3 and see the film.


You might also like


Hunger Games series by Collins
Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas


Blade Runner
Mad Max Series

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa


After his unexpected journey into the land of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to his normal life with his girlfriend Kenzie. But when your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, �normal' simply isn't an option. Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing and on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever. Now, as Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice will decide the fate of them all.

My Musings
The latest in the Iron Fey series I was really looking forward to the ongoing ventures of Ethan Chase as was surprisingly seduced by The Lost Prince. I am very grateful that Kagawa has found a new road to take this series on which enables her to incorporate the old characters while introducing us to new ones. I also was looking forward to reading more about Kierran the son of Ash and Meghan as they were such strong and inspiring characters which leapt off the page.

My feelings are a little mixed because I was really expecting to love Kierran but Kagawa is too clever for that. Ethan continues to fight with the fallout of  his unusual upbringing including having a fairy queen sister. This book centrals on him trying to find Keirran and stop him from doing something stupid to say his summer fairy love Annwyl who is fading fast. This is were I had to take a breath to keep liking Kierran as to be honest Kagawa does make him monumentally selfish and blinkered. He is prepared to sacrifice vast parts of the fairy world and other things which I won't spoil to have her.

For me the sacrifice was too great and Kagawa has made Kierran a very dark and isolated character. His father Ash in the previous books was a dark and a hardened soldier but there was an endearing quality to him and the contrast banter with Puck and grimalden made him more human. I felt I wanted to go backwards from Kierran but thinking about it wish so many books this is quite clever as not all the characters can be likable can they? It definitely is keeping the iron fey fans on their toes especially by the end!! So yes I did really enjoy the book and it has left a lot of story lines to be tied up including Ethan's lovely girlfriend who has cancer and Anwyll who is fading fast. Will they be saved, what will be the fate of Kierran and Ethan. We will have to wait and see

The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Fey Series

The Iron Fey saga follows half-human, half-faery Meghan Chase as she fights to claim her magical birthright.

Meghan’s journey begins in the mortal world, when her half-brother Ethan is kidnapped. The mission to rescue the innocent child draws Meghan into the Nevernever—the magical world—where the never-before-seen Iron fey are raining destruction upon traditional faeries. Meghan’s quest is fraught with unimagined dangers, unpredictable powers…and an utterly forbidden love.

Now little Ethan is all grown up—and a new breed of fey has come for him. Bound by blood to a world he despises, Ethan plunges into the Nevernever searching for answers: who are the ghostly assassins hunting him? Who controls them? And why are exiled and half-breed faeries vanishing from the mortal world?

With a vulnerable human girl to protect and an enigmatic faery ally he could never have imagined, Ethan embarks on his own Fey saga. Along the way he will encounter kin, comrades and deadly new enemies. He will discover his formidable strengths, and his deepest weaknesses—and he will fight for his life against the Forgotten.


The Iron King Book 1

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny-one she could
never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

The Iron Daughter Book 2

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan s own fey powers have been cut off. She s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

My Musings

I was totally enthralled with the Iron Fey Series. Kagawa builds very visual conflicting worlds which really draw you in. The main character Meghan continues to fight her destiny throughout, her loyalties and her loves. We are introduced to a myriad of colourful characters in this darkly forbidding series, it is never one dimensional or self indulgant. I loved every minute of it and was thrilled when Kagawa started a new vein in The Iron Prince and Iron Traitor. What really lifts the series above is the witty and funny dialoghue between Puck and Ash, Meghans rivals in love and the hilarious Grimalkin, the talking and rather cheeky cat. If you love dark fairy stories with extra bite this is definately for you.

If you like this you might like
Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Thor The Dark Wold


Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

My Musings

I went to Thor The Dark World with high anticipation as it was hammering the US box office and I really enjoyed Thor 1 on DVD and wished I 'd gone to the cinema to see it. Well it was certainly entertaining and had a bit of panto about it although I could help being irritated at all the obvious weakness from the director , more on that later.

It started well with the evil super villain Malekith played by Christopher Eccleston wanting to destroy, well everything in sight. Switch to London and Natalie Portman, playing Jane the drippy heroine, sorry romantic interest happens to absorb the 'power source' that has unleashed Malekith , Did I mention this was a bit panto!
Enter Thor rescue taking  Jane back to Asgard. Malekith follows and I will skip forward to Thor and Loki joining forces to save Asagard (don't want to spoil)
These two are the best about the films, love their chemistry and all the best lines go to them.
I am a BIG fan of Tom Hiddleston and breathed a Big sigh of relief at one point.... my lips are sealed.

The action is great especially in Asgard but London scenes are silly and irritating. the climatic scene at the end is a mess and far too jumpy and fragmented. Totally losing the viewer attention and fails to build up momentum. The biggest clanger for me was the costumes of Malekith's army who look like they had raided an old DR Who episode from the 1970's. Think cheap looking white masks and black leotards. As they chased Jane around London they really looked like they couldn't be bothered. They weren't chasing they were trotting....although not as silly as Stellan Staarsgard walking around in his knickers for a cheap laugh or the faux English people.
BUT all these are small things as on the whole thoroughly enjoyed this totally escapist movie.

Don't forget to stay for the now, must do , scene after the credits role.