Sunday, January 27, 2019

Night Bleeds Jan 2019

Book selection was the  Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. There is no movie version at the time of this post.


Plot: Jet her sister Franny, their brother Vincent and cousin April are members of the Owens family. In the early half of 1960 Franny is invited to stay the summer with their aunt Isabelle for Franny's seventeenth birthday. This causes the already strained relationship between the kids and their parents to become an actual rift. The three siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent happily go to Massachusetts to stay at the family house on Magnolia Street.  They quickly learn that the small town seems to fear their aunt Isabelle. They spend a couple of weeks getting to know the area, learning about their family's history, when their cousin April arrives out of nowhere. Already having spent the summer before there herself, April feels entitled to the house more than Franny and Jet feel she should.  Jet quickly meets Levi, one of the locals and falls deeply in love, while Franny is hung up on her best friend Haylin who is back home. Before long, Vincent is spending his nights between the local bars and at the aunt's next door neighbour's. The next door neighbour who just happens to be a middle aged woman. While all of them know about the family's connection to witchcraft, Franny ever the scientist refuses at first to believe it  until she spends a few evenings working on spells with aunt Isabelle. At the end of the summer, everyone returns home, with Franny getting ready for college. Jet continues to have a semi-secret relationship with Levi, and on the night they had planned to run off together; there is a car accident which kills not just Levi, but their parents as well.  Jet then becomes depressed and rents a hotel room ready to commit suicide. She's saved by a bellboy, and begins a complicated relationship with him. The three siblings learn that cousin April now has a little girl named Regina. When Isabelle dies not too long there after, the Owens family house is left to the three siblings. Franny unable to go to college, breaks up her semi-relationship with Haylin, having to watch as he becomes engaged to someone else. A few years go past, and we learn that Vincent is in a relationship with a man, and intends to break the family curse. He fakes his own death, removing himself from the familyline, and disappears. Franny reunites with Haylin decades later, only to discover he's dying of cancer. The sisters learn that cousin April died from a poisonous spider bite and her now grown daughter Regina, also having died in a fire leaving two granddaughters -Gillian and Sally.  Franny and Jet then take in the two girls.

I have to say right off the bat, I read this in a day and a half. Cried through 90% of it, but I really fell into the story. It ends where pretty much Practical Magic starts, with the aunts taking in the girls.

My one complaint with this is that the timeline doesn't match up. Practical Magic takes place in the mid-1990's with Sally and Gillian in their 30's to 40's, with teenaged kids of their own. This ends in 1998 with the characters of Sally and Gillian roughly 6 years old. That is literally the only negative thing I have to say about this book.

The big theme that seems to reoccur is the idea of being true to yourself and accepting your whole self in order to be happy.  There is literally one scene where aunt Isabelle offers each of the four -Franny, Jet, Vincent and April- a choice of tea. Either the caution tea or the courage tea. It's a form of personality test to see who of them is being true to themselves and who isn't. She uses it to form her final decision on whom she should leave the house to.

The character of cousin April is one of those you find yourself tisking and cheering for at the same time. Possibly, the most realistic with her desperation for acceptance. She's almost the mirror of Vincent.

A lot of the characters in this have trust issues. They can't or won't trust the people they love, or the people they end up needing the most. With the character of Jet, after the death of her true love, she spends years fighting with Levi's father. His trust issues about her family and the Owen's curse keep him from grieving properly, as well as allowing Jet to. It's also the one element that keeps her current lover at arms length.

This is a prequel to Practical Magic, and the bridge for the spin-off  The Probable Future. I'm actually going to end this here, as I can't get any deeper into this novel without giving away every little detail.

If you joined in this month, leave me a comment with a link to your post, and don't forget there's always next month's selection. I'll be back later in the week with the official post for it.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Random movie - Overboard Remake

movie:  Overboard
starring: Anna Faris, Eugenio Derbez
genre: Comedy
year: 2018
format: Crave

plot: After getting into a fight on a yacht, a single mother ends up conning a rich man who has amnesia into thinking he's her husband. Over the course of the next month, she gets him to become the house husband she's needed while she advances her own career.

This is a remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell film.

I wasn't overly thrilled with this remake. The original had Hawn's character as the rich person with amnesia, whereas this has a role reversal with Derbez's character in that role. Since the movie has half the cast speaking Spanish, unless you speak it, be prepared to read subtitles for more than half the film.  I like subtitled films, but I like to know ahead of time that's what I'm getting into.

What the remake did well, was the role reversal. Here, you've got a widowed single mother, who is feeling pressure from all sides. She ends up being hired for a job by someone who dismisses her before she's had a chance to even do her job, then refuses to acknowledge the fact she isn't being allowed to actually do her job. He treats her like she isn't important enough to have common dignity, then he himself ends up in her position. Everything that happens to him from the point of their argument onward, is because of his own ego in the beginning.
He throws her overboard from his yacht, then he himself falls overboard. While he's in hospital, his own family refuse to acknowledge him, getting revenge for his past behaviour. While the Faris character cons him into believing she's his wife thus getting revenge for how he treated her, she accidentally teaches him humility.

I know this is suppose to be a romantic comedy, but it's more in line with those Hallmark made for tv movies about finding the good in everyone.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Nosferatu Adventures s13 p16

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 346, chapter 346

Five Hours Ago

The smell of roasted vanilla quickly became sour as the pan began to smoke. The woman in the tight fitting white dress with the oversized cherry pattern screamed as she ran away from the stove. Someone yelled cut into the headset just as Edward closed his eyes in frustration, his shoulders a knot of regret. "It's not that difficult people. Just butter and a few herbs." his words were spoken through clinched teeth as he pinched the bride of his nose. Opening his blue eyes, he cracked his neck slightly as he squinted to see the image before him. The actress they'd hired for the cooking show had disappeared, as had the kitchen set and the studio. In it's place Edward was staring into the depths of a black hole that quickly birthed blobs of green light. He hadn't had a vision in years. Stumbling a half step backwards he pressed the heel of his hand into his eyes telling his assistant that he had a migraine as he left the studio. Before he'd even gotten out of the building, he'd had two more visions at a rapid speed. All had one thing in common, the fact Nosferatu was in each. If he was going to stop any of what he'd just witnessed, he didn't have time to research the outcomes, or even book a flight for that matter. Edward had no choice but to take the risk and trust one of the three variations of the visions. He continued on out of the parking lot, dismissing his car, his pace as quick as his body would allow till he crossed from the cemented back lot of the studio reaching the thin line of trees that marked the edge of the city. Finding himself now on the small bike trail used by the local joggers in summer time, and a few random moose lost in winter, Edward gestured widely as he chanted a nearly forgotten spell. A small portal opened up in front of him as he stepped through finding himself on the other side of a large mirror.

About eight minutes ago...

The Seer leaned over reaching for the canvas bag Seward was holding, his right leg up in the air like he was skating, his cheek brushing against our heroine's boobs, his left hand resting on her hip as he balanced himself.

"Total accident right?" our heroine said with a sigh.

"Totally." The Seer replied straightening up, the smirk on his lips seductive by nature and not on purpose. Our heroine noticed how Finn's temperature rose a half notch as he stood just a little too still.

"Oh my god!" Nosferatu gave a slight smirk of her own. "That's why you weren't shocked by my biting you. He's your boyfriend!" she pointed then from Finn to the Seer.

"It's a snacking thing not a shacking thing." the Seer commented as he ran his fingertips over the canvas bag, the aura from it giving off a heat that seemed to pulsate in a sea foam green; not daring to actually touch the spellbook itself. "Speaking of former shackables, you need to leave before Quincey sees you which will be in about..." he screwed up his nose closing his eyes. "30 seconds." he tried once again to guide the female to the portal but she refused to move.

"You saw him?"

"More like seeing. Not a vision...well okay, I had this vision." he pointed to the floor. "Which is why I showed up here but he's on his way over. Like right ...too late." the Seer let his shoulders slump in defeat as our heroine turned to see a man she hadn't thought of in years. A man she didn't recognize because he had aged 25 years. "Geez babe. No wonder you keep falling for werewolves. That was one of your human boyfriends huh? He's like a yeti with all that..." he gestured then to his face to indicate a beard. " Like an orangutan and the abominable snowman had a baby."

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your (straight up story. Yes, the ex-yeti is real.)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Random movie - Get Out

movie: Get Out
starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener
genre: Thriller, Drama,
year: 2017
format: Crave

plot: After dating for a few months, Chris agrees to meet his girlfriend Rose's parents. He finds it a bit nerve racking given her entire neighbourhood is white, and he's not. They arrive just as her parents are having their annual BBQ, and Chris feels less comfortable with each passing moment, that is until he sees another young black adult. When their conversation becomes extremely awkward, Chris begins to suspect something isn't right in the neighbourhood and relays his fears to his best friend over the phone. While trying to quit smoking, he allows his girlfriend's mother to hypnotize him. This only adds to his already growing paranoia. As the weekend is about to end and Chris prepares to return home, he finds himself the victim of a kidnapping by Rose's family members and quickly learns he's not the only one. In fact, the entire neighbourhood is not just in on it, but have been doing it for the last few years. Stealing the identities of the young people Rose has been baiting in.

I know this is an award winning film, but I've got to admit, I didn't really care for it. No, let me rephrase that, I loved it the first time around when it was the Skeleton Key.  This film is just a remake of the Skeleton Key but with science instead of Hoodoo and just enough of the Stepford Wives thrown in for good measure.

It's a social statement to what's happening in society sadly, but as a movie, it's just not original. Given the topic, it should have you as the viewer, feeling queasy with a slight touch of claustrophobia; but it just falls a little short. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Coffee talk Jan 12th 2019

Spudguns!, it's a moderately cold and snow covered day where I am, hope your outdoors is treating you nicer where you are. Spiffy good.  I just wanted to run in for a moment and blabble.

The last two and a half months, I've basically done nothing but binge watch Crave and play video games on facebook.  I can say 100% that I liked half of what I watched. I'm still iffy on one show. I sat through the entire series of True Blood, and I still don't know if it was any good?  When it first came on tv, I saw the first couple of episodes, and just couldn't get past the third episode. I thought it was terrible. I really didn't care for the two leads, and I've never been a fan of anything that has to do with the US civil war. So that whole underlining story plot just turned me off. But, after a decade of people making references to things and me going "I don't know who that is." or "Where's that from now?" and them looking at me like I'd grown another  limb telling me it was from True Blood; and me shrugging cause I'd never watched it;  I thought why not? It was all there, all 7 seasons and 80 episodes on Crave. So I sat down and watched it. I have to say, I spent the first two seasons rolling my eyes asking myself out loud why was I still watching it?  It got slightly better around the end of season three. But, I still don't know if I totally liked it?

Dexter, on the other hand, I was consumed by. When I read the synopsis for the show saying it was about a serial killer, I had all sorts of negative remarks. Mostly, "why would anyone want to glorify that?" Then I found myself thinking, if it were a story about a vampire or a werewolf, that would be okay from a moral stand point. So, I dove in and was hooked. If it had been a story about a vampire or werewolf, it honestly wouldn't have been as interesting.

I find it ironic, that both these shows were based on book series.

Changing the channel for a second here, and I want to mention the show Charmed. If you've been following me for any amount of time, you know that I'm a big fan of the original show. So when I found out there was going to be a remake-spinoff, I was excited. I actually get Charmed on 'W' here in Canada. Hard to think that in just a decade, television and society in general has changed so much, that the way the topics are handled is so different. That's great for society in general, having become more open. As much as the original show's Book of Shadows, was a main character all it's own, I'm loving the fact the new BoS is designed to be more like a real one. I didn't think I was going to, but I do. Where as the original show was based on Wicca, this one is based more on Santeria. As far as some of  the topics/themes go, that was one of the -pardon the puns- charms of the original show that isn't needed for the spinoff. With society being more open, some of the hidden metaphors are not needing to be hidden. Such as the pilot episode of the original Charmed having the character of the warlock being the abusive boyfriend/serial killer. The fantastical situations and characters that were metaphors in the original can mostly now be openly talked about.

And I've been binge watching movies the last week too on Crave. I may or may not get around to doing reviews for them all, but I have to admit, it's been nice to just watch movies again without having to think about it. When you do reviews for any length of time, you stop seeing the movie and just the points or flaws. It's been nice to just empty my brains a bit and just watch stuff for the sake of the tv being there.

Okay, I'll be back later in the week with one of the serials.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cinema Files s1 p15

Cinema Files
page 15, chapter 15

Rancid Romance

Vincent was standing in the doorway of the cafe when we pulled up to the mini mall. He was once again wearing dark jeans that were like a second skin, the silver plated belt buckle in the shape of a 'V', and a grey long sleeve shirt with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows. His skin ripe olives, his deep brown eyes sparkling as he smirked at us. His short dark hair seemed to be just a touch greyer. Closing the door to the cafe, Vincent brought the tray of coffees as he followed us into the video store. "It's about time."

"What was that?" Detective Ryan Whitechapel asked a half step behind him.

"Nothing. Minding my own business." Vincent replied handing him one of the coffees in the same movement that he grabbed me by the waist leading me into the far left corner of the store, into the far far little room that had the dramas and the crime dvds. "So?" he was still smirking.

"So back." I reached for one of the coffee cups but Vincent pulled the tray out of my reach.

"No no no. No treat till you tell me how his tricks were?"

"You're worse than a teenaged girl."

"Possibly." he tilted his head to the side. "As happy as I am to see you with him... look at you  you're just careful. You've been alone too long and the last thing you need right now is to fall in love. It's called rebounding for a reason."

"Mons. Girl, I see the cops are here. You getting arrested there?" Blake's voice was loud as he shouted over the sound of the small bell, announcing his arrival. He giggled at the idea or out of nervousness, hard to say as he closed the door behind him. "Where are ya?" he unzipped his jacket tossing it onto the counter before noticing Ryan was standing a few feet behind him in the doorway to the room on the far right. Ryan had been wandering through the musicals and kids section. "What's he doin' here? His name was not in the email thing rights." Blake commented then as he leaned his elbows behind himself on the counter, staring down Detective Whitechapel. "I gots the text rights here. His name is not on the invitation. See, it's got Vincent right, your wee little puppet man, then it's got that Rudolph character that may or may not be the murder; which I'm leaning towards may. But I still have to prove it. And then there's me. My name. Where on here does it say Detective Whitechapel? Where does it say his name? If he's not parts of tha' group text, it must mean he's just not parts of the group. Mons. How did he know if he didn't get the text? Didn't get the call on the bat phone?"

"Wow you are so jealous." Vincent said walking up to the edge of the counter handing Blake one of the coffees.

"Me? Why would I be jealous? Jealous of him?" he gestured towards Ryan. "What with his perfect hair and sparkly eyes?" Blake then ran his hand through his own short hair feeling a slight bit insecure. "I got nothin' to be jealous for. Can we just get on with this now?"  his voice became pinched. "What no danish for this coffee?" his attention was then taken by the door jingling once again, as Rudolph walked in. "Good now the gangs t'all present and account'ed for. Let's get this over wit'." Blake nodded slurping the contents of his cup noisily. "S'uppose tis' is all about the case she's been working on. With us. Behind your back." Blake gestured once again to himself then Ryan.

"I'm late by the looks of it." Rudolph remarked as he crossed the length of the shop to lean on the edge of the counter. "You didn't come home last night." he spoke softly to me as I walked back into the main part of the store, having finally gotten a coffee from Vincent. Rudolph's beautiful grey eyes looking up at me from under his lashes, as he licked his lips both arms crossed on the counter top, staring at me for a long pause.

"This is all off the record." Whitechapel said suddenly crossing to close the gap between himself and Rudolph. "I will arrest you for interfering with an investigation if any of what we talk about today ends up in the paper."    Rudolph sighed nodding towards him.

Tune in again for another installment of the Cinema Files starring your (straight up story. Yes, I know I'm over a week late once again.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Jan 2nd 2019

Spudguns!, we all made it to 2019.

This would be the official announcement for Night Bleeds for this month.  The book selection is Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman.  Due on the last Sunday of the month which in this case is the 27th of January.

So, to join in, you need to have a blog. Read the book, blog about your thoughts, and if by chance you are inspired to cook or bake or craft (paint, journal, plant a garden etc) because of it, let me. If enough people join in, I'll have a Round-Up a day or two later.

The blog post must be current - in this case January 2019- and must link back to either this post, the general Night Bleeds page, or on the day, my own post.

And as usual, if you are in the Thunder Bay area, and would like to join in on the physical book club let me know.

Happy reading.