Rillington Place – Ethel

Rillington Place

Episode 1 – Ethel

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After 9 years apart, John Reginald Christie and his estranged wife Ethel reunite and move into 10 Rillington Place. As war breaks out, the fractures in their relationship reappear beneath the thin veneer of married respectability.


I watched this for three reasons, the preview looked good, I’m interested in true crime, and I’ve seen both Tim Roth and Samantha Morton put in some very very good performances in the past.

The first of three episodes is seen through the eyes of Christie’s wife, Ethel, and as a result you see little of what Christie himself is up to, only a portrait of an unhappy marriage as seen through the eyes of a passive woman who almost meekly goes back to a husband who she finds in jail and who cheats on her and abuses her.

The era and the environment are very well recreated in this BBC drama, and both Tim Roth as John Reginald Christie and Samantha Morton as Ethel put in wonderful performances, but the lack of action and the slow pace ultimately drag this down. I was tempted after watching this opening episode to forget about watching the rest, but checking IMDB I see that the following episodes are seen from different characters’ perspectives, so I will give them a go and hope it gets better.

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Filthy Rich

Filthy Rich

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03b001fb44df178321fd4b304755fd82.jpgThree illegitimate children discover they each have a claim to the fortune of one of NZ’s wealthiest men, John Truebridge. With so much money on the line, John’s legitimate family will do anything to stop these new, unexpected heirs!


I stumbled across this series quite by accident, and this is one fall I’m glad I had; the characters are interesting and compelling, and their loyalties shift with every episode until you don’t know who’s working with who, what they’re after, or who you should be rooting for.

In keeping with the nature of this series, which has more surprises than I can count, the ending is shocking and completely unexpected, with actions and revelations I did not see coming. I don’t know if there is going to be a second series, but I really hope there will be because I want to know what’s next for the characters.

If you haven’t seen this yet, and you like a good drama, then make sure you check it out; I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

Rocky Horror – Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

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For those of you who don’t know the plot to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, here it is

A straitlaced, square couple, seeking shelter from a storm, find themselves in the castle of a transsexual alien mad scientist intent on creating a buff bodybuilder.


This has been called a lot of things since it was announced, a remake, an homage, a re-invention, so I’m not really sure what it should be called; all I can tell you is that the plot is the same, the characters from the original are all there, and the setting is the same. There are minor differences but in essence it’s the same film with a different cast and better production values (although that’s debatable at times)

I’m a huge fan of the original with Tim Curry and Richard O’Brien, so I was a little dubious before I watched this; I’m not going to say it’s terrible, as some fans have been doing – they have their right to that opinion – but it does suffer by comparison, and I very much doubt that RHPS would have become the classic it is if this had been the first version.

The songs, for the most part, remain as they were in the original, and that is to the good since they are a large part of what made it so popular, but they don’t seem to be sung with the same enthusiasm and enjoyment as was the case with Tim Curry et al. The only exception to this is Victoria Justice (I confess I may be a little biased here because I think she’s gorgeous) who does seem to enjoy herself to the extreme and to have a lot of fun with the role, which coupled with her being a very good singer makes her the best in this as far as I’m concerned.

I think the biggest misfire for me is Adam Lambert, it isn’t that he’s bad, not at all, it’s just that from what I’ve seen a big thing is made of his being a part of the show but he’s barely in it – he plays Eddie, who *spoiler* is killed shortly after arriving on screen.

Other problems for me are; Tim Curry as the criminologist, I’m pleased that he had a part in this but, and I don’t like to say this, the stroke he had in 2012 means he isn’t able to bring the role to life as he once would have; the overall appearance, the sets and the costumes and the overall production are all decent, but they look too clean, the original had a dirtiness (I’m not sure that’s quite the right word for it) that made everything appear used and lived in, whereas in this version it all looks brand new and therefore a little false.

Overall, I think people who have never seen the original are going to like this more than those who are already fans of RHPS, nonetheless, if you approach this with the right attitude, it’s a fun evening’s entertainment, and you still get to enjoy singing along to the songs.

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In case you need an extra reason for watching this here’s Victoria Justice and Ryan McCartan in their underwear.

 

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

A Song Of Fire And Ice Book One

George R R Martin

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c9lzmv4d3mgzpnyntz7s.jpg‘When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground’Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

From the fertile south, where heat breeds conspiracy, to the vast and savage eastern lands, all the way to the frozen north, kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men . . . all will play the Game of Thrones.


This book is fantastic; I honestly don’t think there’s any other way to describe it. This is an incredibly complex story, only the first part of it in fact because it’s a 7 book series, with some of the best and most realised characters in fiction as far as I’m concerned.

The story is told from the perspective of multiple characters, and they are all given equal ‘screen’ time, with every chapter showing events as seen through the eyes of someone different. Because of this, you occasionally see the same incident from different angles, and the result is that no-one is painted as entirely black or white, and the more you read the more you learn about the characters, and the more you want to learn.

I like some characters – Tyrion and Ayra being my favourites – more than others, but they’re all really well written, as are the situations they get involved in, which are set in vastly different locations.

Some scenes may disturb readers because of the violence they describe but this is hard fantasy, and the type of world described is one that used to exist, which helps to make this book so good.

 

Raised by Wolves

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The Garry family are an unconventional family; Della raises her six children (five daughters and one son) in a small house with the help of their grandfather, who has split from their grandmother, where they are home-schooled and taught the art of fending for themselves in the big bad world. Among the lessons they are taught is the art of furnishing a house from car-boot sales.


I stumbled across this series by accident after seeing a one-off and absolutely loved it. There’s so many great characters in it, and they’re all great in different ways; the writing is spot on and does a wonderful job of mixing funny dialogue, physical comedy and sight gags. This won’t be to everyone’s taste, some of the comedy is a little cringe-inducing, based as it is on the almost overpowering hormones of the eldest daughter, but I still laugh at it even as I cringe.

I love comedies, but it’s rare that I actually laugh out loud at something, this makes me do that often, though. I can’t wait for the next series.

A fun adventure

Tonight I watched the first episode of Sky’s new series, Hooten and the Lady, and I’ve got to say I’m glad I did because it was great.

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Lady Alexandra travels to the Amazon on behalf of the British museum in search of the camp of Victorian explorer Percy Fawcett, along the way she encounters an American adventurer, Hooten, when they are both captured by  a tribe of locals. After a trial by combat they have to join forces and make a run for it, eventually finding their way to Fawcett’s camp, where they discover a map to El Dorado.

I won’t give away anything more, suffice to say they encounter adventure and danger and get to know each other a little better.


I really enjoyed this opening episode; there was some nice scenery, beautiful relics, decent characters and good chemistry, all in all it was as much as you could want from the first episode of a new series.

The acting from the two leads, is decent but not great, I don’t expect them to win any awards for it, but they do have good chemistry, which I hope will develop further as the series continues. The writing is on the same level, not award-winning but more than acceptable.

Where this gained some solid points with me is in the location scenes, and in the artifacts, which looked genuine enough in the relatively quick glimpses the audience were given.

Not quite so good is the slightly derivative nature of the characters; there is a mix of Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted games; I even saw a scene that was very reminiscent of one from Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

Overall I’m going to have to give this starstarstarstar2 because despite its flaws it is very enjoyable and I’m looking forward to watching the next episode.