Ant-Man

After Marvel’s release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, you can forgive a lot of movie fans that looked at Ant-Man, the movie to kick off Phase Three, as a film that’s easily forgettable or one to be cautious about. Much in the same way as last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the movie turns out to be a surprisingly good one, with Marvel churning out yet another solid, action-packed movie.

You can forgive some fans misconceptions; a film that has been stuck in development for years, to then have its original director and writer walk away from it weeks before production. Not to mention the very idea of a movie about a man who can become the size of an ant making many simply go ‘huh?’

The charming story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a thief who after serving time in jail is simply seeking to become a decent guy to live up to his daughter Cassie’s vision of him, soon finds himself becoming a protégé of sorts to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) as they attempt to break into their own company in order to stop some of their technology getting into the hands of evil genius Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).

The script is very much structured to introduce filmgoers to this universe, but thanks to where it is placed in the Marvel Canon, it’s allowed to spread its wings, with namedrops of the Avengers, the base we saw at the end of Ultron, and the appearance of The Falcon (Anthony Mackie). This in turn, pushes the movie up so it doesn’t just feel like a Phase One movie. Rudd, Douglas and Lily have a great chemistry and on-screen presence together, but its Michael Peña’s Louis that steals the show; literally every scene he is in has audiences eating out the palm of his hand.

Whilst the character of Scott Lang doesn’t completely capture our hearts like Pratt’s Star Lord in Guardians, it goes as far as it needs for the film to be a success. By the end of the film, moviegoers are looking for the next appearance of Ant-Man, and with the two credit scenes (stay right to the end folks), it very much looks like we won’t be waiting long.

A film that’s proof that you don’t need to be the biggest hero on the block to be a success, and also proof that whatever Marvel touches, will never let you down.

Showgirls (1995)

  

Recently most of the main cast of Saved by the Bell reunited on Tonight with Jimmy Fallon. They made a joke saying that Jimmy Fallon going on a date with Nicole Kidman (something that oblivious to Fallon at the time actually happened) is just as absurd as Jessie becoming a stripper. The joke went down hilariously well, due to the fact that Elizabeth Berkley indeed played a stripper soon after SBTB. Who’d have thought that the girl who played straight up, book smart Jessie would go on to star in 1995’s Showgirls?

Elizabeth Berkley is sassy, strong, sensual, sexy, and a million miles from Saved by the Bell. A girl with a past she’s running from, she tries to make it as dancer in Las Vegas and ends up making her way up from strip joint to star. It kinda reminds me of Black Swan in some respect; girls very much bitching and back-stabbing to claw their way to the top and a whole lot of mind games. 

The film doesn’t hold back in its level of nudity -Berkley delivers a performance which is human, real and quite raw, and a lot of the time she hasn’t got a whole lot of clothes on. If this movie was released in cinemas today, you’d get a lot of backlash and probably some serious editing. There’s every taboo going, particularly for that time period -there’s violence, rape, quite vivid sex scenes/lap dances and a heavy lesbian overtone. The film was not received well at the time and is still known for being an awful film. However I quite enjoyed it for what it was; a film that clearly was out of the box, especially for that time period. The chereogrsohy in the movie is slick and Berkley shows she can dance well. But she also shows she can act; from fake innocence to anger to despair, she plays a girl who’s trapped in a world that’s shady and immoral, but she at least is following her own moral path leading her on to one city at a time 

 Cristal Connors: There’s always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you. 


Fast and the Furious 7

  

Usually a 7th installment of a franchise is what you expect; not as good as earlier movies, to the point where it’s time to call it a day. However Fast and the Furious 7 certainly doesn’t fall into that category. Ever since Fast Five the franchise has had a new lease of life, the car sequences becoming more elaborate, and the levels of adrenaline reaching top peak. 

Fast 7’s central theme is of family, and you can see it in more than just one way. The plot opens with the arrival of the film’s bad guy -Jason Statham, playing the big bad brother of Fast 6’s Owen Shaw. He’s out for revenge on Dom (Vin Diesel) and the gang and the death of Han which we saw in the end credits of the previous scene is the start of a game of cat and mouse which takes in Abu Dhabi all the way to the streets of LA, where the series all started. 

This franchise never tries to pull the wool over its audiences’ eyes in the sense it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It knows that it’s not the most intelligent movie ever or that it’s going to win worldwide awards, but it knows that it can deliver on those adrenaline, action and wow moments. Everything from cars parachuting out of a plane to a car jumping from buildings, this is the biggest the films have been and it’s brilliant. 

Dom and Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) relationship is developing within the film, despite all of their history, Letty’s memory loss is driving a wedge between the pair. Diesel and Rodriguez have a great chemistry together and it’s a welcome break to the action to have a love story admist the story. 

Of course the real heart of this story and the notion of family is bittersweet with the tragic loss of Paul Walker who plays Brian O’Conner in the movies back in Novermber 2013. The film was completed with the help of Walker’s brothers and CGI and through the cast’s interviews you can tell the cast were a real family and that the on screen emotions are real. The movie deals with Walker’s death well and in a tasteful way and it genuinely moves the audience when ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa plays and a montage of Walker’s time in the franchise plays. The screening I was in broke into applause at the end of the film, a true mark of respect. 

Fast and the Furious 7 is an adrenaline fuelled ride, full of fantastic stunts, great action and full of heart and emotion. For Fast fans, it certainly doesn’t disappoint and offers a true send-off for a much loved character and an actor who was truly loved. As Dom states in the film ‘he doesn’t have friends, he has family’, and that’s truly the message of this film. 

Letty: Did you bring the cavalry?

Hobbs: Woman, I am the cavalry

Disney’s Frozen

Annnnnnnnnnndddddddddd we’re back! After a short hiatus, hopefully it’ll be back to business as usual over at OBOB HQ! I still have a small backlog of posts to write up and add, even though they aren’t up to date on relevancy, please humour me in giving them a read! 

  

Onto the first post then! Disney’s Frozen truly captured the imagination and heart of countless children and families when it arrived into cinemas December 2013. This was the first Disney film that seemed to tick every box and since then, they’ve reaped the rewards in terms of sales on merchandise. And the fact that anywhere you go, someone will know the lyrics to ‘Let it Go’ .

Frozen is the story of princesses Ana and Elsa (voiced by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel respectively) who are orphaned after their parents die after their boat capsizes. Although when they were younger the sisters were inseparable, Elsa is able to shoot ice and snow out of her hands and after an accident in which young Ana had a lucky escape, Elsa shuts herself off from the world. When she’s ready to be Queen, a winter storm is caused by Elsa’s nervousness and its up to Ana to reach through to her. 

Every bit of the fog of this film just flows together; the voice cast are great, each putting their own spin on their characters. The score and the music are both brilliantly catchy, you’ll find yourself wanting to listen to the soundtrack again and again. Even though some adults watching the film may recognise the same old Disney traits, the end twist of what true love represents is a lovely moments that can warm most hearts.

This really is a joy of a film, and I’m not doing it justice. There isn’t one sole reason that countless children want to be just like Queen Elsa, or why they demand the dolls, the pyjama’s and the colouring books; it simply is a collection of pieces that fit together to create magic. 

Olaf: Some people are worth melting for. 

McBusted Tourplay

IMG_0110.JPG Back in April, one of my good friends asked if I wanted to go see McBusted with her last minute -she’d found seats and couldn’t resist going again (she went on to see them 3 time more.) It took me all about 10 seconds for me to say yes. I’m 23 years old, and while I haven’t been a huge fan of McFly, I was still a fan, and the added factor of having Matt Willis and James Bourne join the band from Busted, who I loved when I was in my early teens convinced me that it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The seats turned out to be extremely good ones; we were only 5 rows from the front and I had one of the best times at a gig. The guys were energetic, fun and put on a brilliant show which left me with a huge smile on my face. When same said friend asked me over the weekend if I wanted to come see the tour film with her, I again couldn’t resist relieving the whole experience again. The movie revisited all the same songs I loved on the evening, offering footage from O2 Arena in London and also their show in the summer at Hyde Park, whilst also providing some candid backstage footage and interviews with all the band. Whilst watching the film, surrounded by dare I say, a lot of people/girls that were younger than me, I suddenly had those same emotions and feelings that I did on that night back in April -an overwhelming feeling of being happy. These 6 guys are incredibly infectious to watch -they may all be in their early 30’s with many in committed relationships or married, but their behaviour is a lot like children. They run round a brilliant set, jump, and sing their way through the McFly and Busted back catalogue, singing fan favourites such as “Year 3000”, “Crashed the Wedding”, “Five Colours in her Hair”, and “Obviously”. They looked like they were having a blast when I saw them live, and this film proved that -I lost count of the amount of times each of them said how blessed they felt to be given this opportunity, and how much fun they were having. This was particularly shown by the Busted boys, who thought they would never get the chance to sing these songs again after the band split up back in 2005. While the show didn’t show much of each members personal life, the film was very much about the band, and truly showed how well they all connect and get on. The chemistry shone on screen and it really plastered a smile on my face to watch their interactions and band rituals, particularly the clap. This involved all the band standing in a semi-circle before going on, following one members lead and clapping once so that it makes one sound. Each take they used in the film, the boys got it in one. For anyone that was or is a fan of McFly, Busted or McBusted, then this is a film for you. Even if you didn’t get to see the tour, you can experience the excitement and the fun that they created every night on-screen, and if you were lucky enough to see it, like me, then relieve it all over again. I promise it’s worth it.

Peaky Blinders Season 1

Peaky Blinders which aired its first season last year was yet another brilliant original British drama from the BBC starring Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill and Helen McCrory. It’s based on the violent Peaky Blinders gang that ran out of Birmingham in the 1920’s that were famous for slashing their victims with knives in their caps. Cillian Murphy leads the cast as Thomas ‘Tommy’ Shelby, the head of the Shelby family and the Blinders gang. Murphy just has such an enigmatic face and is just fantastic in this role. As a war veteran, the effects are still very much there, and it comes across with his cold, detached nature. He’s also a man of not so many words, and Murphy lets his face do all the talking for him. Calm and collected, he faces a lot of twists and turns within the betting business the family run and also within the family unit itself.

The overall series arc involves Tommy coming across military guns, choosing to keep them rather than get rid; it brings Inspector Campbell to Birmingham and their door, played by the brilliant Sam Neill. The inspector goes through quite a transformation across the first series, from the bible quoting man who says he’s going to clean up the streets and make everything better, to a man who uses brothel houses (whilst mistreating and having rough sex with the whores there too) and ultimately loathing himself for not being man enough for the woman he loves. That woman is the centre of a tricky love triangle/power play between Campbell and Tommy Shelby. Grace, played by Annabelle Wallis begins work as a barmaid in the Garrison, a pub the family has as its stomping ground, and soon strikes an unlikely friendship with Tommy. That friendship soon turns into romance until Tommy finds out the truth in the final episode: Grace is in fact an undercover cop, feeding information to Campbell. Despite this, she begins to have feels for Tommy, believing him to be a good man, deep down inside. Tommy allows himself to feel; to fall in love with Grace only to find out her betrayal. Campbell’s rejection from Grace in favour of Shelby leads him down a dark path and he is quite the sour loser in the final two episodes.

His ultimate plan to try and kill off Tommy within a turf gang war between the Blinders and Billy Kimber, ultimately backfires and fails. The priceless moment comes from a best copper telling Campbell that ultimately it’s his own fault. The final moments of the series are that of celebration for the family, for surviving within the legal betting industry and of shock for the audience. Grace resolves to leave during the episode, leaving Tommy time to think about whether he can forgive her. As he writes a letter to her telling her he does, Campbell walks into the train station, aims a gun at her and shoots. The series cuts to black and we’re still left unaware of what the outcome was. Did Campbell shoot Grace, or choose to turn the gun on himself, leaving her with the guilt of his death?

The second series of Peaky Blinders is currently airing on BBC2 on Thursday nights and it’s 2 episodes in. I’ve yet to start watching it but I’m excited to see where this series goes, particularly with the brand new addition of Tom Hardy joining the cast. One final note about this series is just how brilliant Helen McCrory is in her role as Aunt Polly, the matriarch and real heart of the Shelby family. The boys all include her in decisions and she rules the roost with a strength within her that’s brilliant, a real strong woman within this TV series.

Peaky Blinders on the surface is a drama about criminals and gangs; these characters are all anti-heroes because you shouldn’t root for them, but you do. In various interviews I’ve read, creator Steven Knight has this series mapped out to the start of the Second World War, and I know I for one would love to see this series continue for a few more runs. Cillian Murphy is fantastic in the lead role, and with strong ensemble cast surrounding him, this is a knockout of a BBC drama.

 

Grace: You think I’m a whore?

Tommy: Everyone’s a whore, Grace. We just sell different parts of ourselves. (Peaky Blinders, Season 1, Episode 3)

Orphan Black Season 1 and Season 2

BBC America launched this new sci-if drama last year and after finishing airing its second season back in the beginning of the summer, Orphan Black is locked as a firm fan favourite and a show that showcases the talent of a fantastic young actress.

Orphan Black tells the story of Sarah Manning, a street wise young woman who hasn’t quite found her way in the world, moving from place to place and scam to scam. One evening while waiting for a train, a young woman jumps in front of a train and kills herself right in front of her. If that wasn’t crazy enough, the young woman looks just like Sarah -as if she could be her twin. Freaked out and not sure what to do, she steals the identity of the young woman, Beth Childs a police officer who also comes with a charming partner Paul, played by Dylan Bruce (who is extremely attractive).

As Sarah digs further into Beth’s life, she discovers other women like her that have the exact same face. Sarah discovers that the reason all the women have the same face is because they are in fact clones. Sarah gradually meets her “sisters” a family unit created from science; first she meets Alison, a soccer mom who lives in the suburbs with her husband and adopted children; next she meets Cosima, a science geek who helps crack the science behind the clones and thus becomes a interest to Dyad, a group that after some exposition is discovered to be partly behind the experiments. Not all the clones however have the same agenda, and some are more self-aware of their situation than others. Sarah discovers that a killer is on the loose, targeting the clones and that the killer just so happens to also have the same face. Helena is slightly unhinged, and doesn’t have a lot of self love on account of being raised by a religious cult that believes the clones are abominations of God. Finally as the first season comes to a close, we also meet Rachel, a woman quite high up in the Dyad group, and a completely self-aware clone. She wants to experiment on all the clones, crack the secret of their DNA and also replicate the cloning further, and will use any means necessary.

As the season entered its second season, I couldn’t get enough of this show. After two great opening episodes, the series drags a little leading up to the middle, and then really hits its stride in the second half. At points you do have to pinch yourself whilst watching this and realise that all the clone characters are played by the same actress – Tatiana Maslany. The Canadian actress pulls off so many different accents, mannerisms, and material, she is such a huge talent and the fact she has not been properly recognised for her work with an Emmy nomination is a crime.

As well as Maslany steering the show, Orphan Black has a host of brilliant supporting characters that interact with one or more of the clones including Felix, Sarah’s adopted brother, who is with her every step of the way as she discovers more about the clone conspiracy. Jordan Gavaris plays him brilliantly; full of humour and honesty, Dylan Bruce’s Paul, who Sarah forms an unlikely friendship/bond with after she discovers Paul was Beth’s monitor, a person paid to watch their assigned clone and monitor their lives, but without knowledge of why. After Paul discovers the truth, he is put into a compromising position, acting as double agent for Sarah to gain further information. Alison’s husband Donny played by Kristian Bruun also provides many of the shows’ black comedy sketches, and has a great connection with Maslany. Maria Doyle Kennedy also features as Mrs S/Siobhan who raised both Sarah and Felix when they were children and acts as a carer to Kira, Sarah’s biological child.

The second season only built on a strong first season, bringing more characters into play and opening up the conspiracy further. The major reveal at the end of season 2 saw Sarah learning that not only is their female clones, but also male clones, owned by the military. The face the male clones all bear is that of a character we had seen throughout season 2 – Mark, who had worked for the religious cult that had captured Helena and tried to impregnate her in a bizarre cattle like experiment.
It’s fair to say this season of Orphan Black has seen some tense moments, some twists and turns and also some shocks. And it’s also fair to say that the last few minutes of the season was certainly a game-changer, a huge reveal that leaves many possibilities for season 3. That reveal at the end of the finale, regarding the male clones of Project Castor opens up so many questions for next season – how many other clones from Project Castor are out there, are others self aware, because it seems Mark is not. How will Mark and Gracie play into next season? What’s happening to Helena and why do the military want her? What will Rachel’s next move be? And more importantly what will Sarah do now with this new information.

Whatever will happen, I know it’ll be a long wait for season three.
Felix: You are a bloody wrecking ball. You are an exploding cigar. Do you know that? (Orphan Black 2.03 ‘ Mingling Its Own Nature with it’)

Robin Hood (BBC Drama Series 2006-2009)

The BBC adaptation of the legend of the dweller in Sherwood Forrest who robs from the rich to give to the poor aired for three seasons from 2006-2009, and I’ve looked back on this series with not a lot of fondness. When I watched this program, I doggedly kept with it in hope that my gripes would subside, which they sadly never did. However, I decided to go back to this series after finding all three seasons on Netflix to give it another go. Did my feelings change towards the series?

The answer? Yes…and no.

Watching some of it back I don’t think it’s all bad but there are definitely some weak points to it. To give some background, the first episode starts us off with Robin (Jonas Armstrong) returning from the Holy Land with his manservant, turned best friend and confidante Much (Sam Troughton). He finds that the people located around the village of Locksley which are rightfully his lands are being subjected to increased taxes and hardships by the new Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne – his right hand man (Richard Armitage). The series doesn’t take long to fulfil the legend and by the end of the first episode, Robin has made his feelings clear and escapes to live in the forest.

From this point on the drama series develops different strands, establishing its characters and generally trying to bring the legend of Robin Hood to life. It works to an extent; the gang that Robin builds up in the forest grow on you and my favourites still remain Allan A Dale (Joe Armstrong) and Will Scarlett (Harry Lloyd). I often found the other characters annoyed me, particularly Much – he constantly whined and it sounded like he’d always be itching to say ‘I told you so’.

As well as following Robin and his band of men, there’s also the love interest of Maid Marion, played by Lucy Griffiths who played her with compassion and also acted as a good sparring partner for Robin. The creators thankfully didn’t create her to be meek – she stood up for herself, her family and her opinion, but also showed her emotions. Marion was physical as well, introduced in the first season as masquerading as the Nightwatchman, a fellow outlaw but not necessarily working in correlation with Robin. The series also showed us the elaborate schemes of the Sheriff and Gisbourne as they try and trap Robin, each and every week. This is where the show’s secret weapon is well and truly revealed – Keith Allen is witty, exaggerated, and hilarious bringing a much needed energy to the show.

The first series certainly develops the characters, but it isn’t until the second series that the show actually starts to be entertaining. Whilst watching the second series I remembered just how much I enjoyed the show, and I was surprised how much I remembered. The show is fleshed out, has an overall story arc, and not just random adventures every week and Robin and his men aren’t captured every single week (just every two or so).

Richard Armitage becomes an integral part of the show, and a great sparring partner for Allen’s Sheriff. Under the surface there’s something always bubbling, with just a hint of creepy in his performance, particularly with his behaviour towards Marion who he still loves, despite the fact she ditched him at the altar at the end of Season 1. With her help, she unlocks some humanity and goodness; even though he is slightly desperate, he is ferociously loyal to her, covering for her when he finally finds out she was the Nightwatchman.

When I re-watched Season 2, I was surprised by how much I could remember, and could see why I stuck with the show week after week, despite its ludicrous storylines and how Robin and his gang still remained all intact, and Marion not found out. However, as I settled down to watch the season 2 finale I still felt the same emotions as I did the first time – severe disappointment and anger.

The storyline itself was slightly far-fetched in its nature – Gisbourne and the Sheriff hatch a plan to kill the King and travel to the Holy Island to assassinate him, along with a unwilling Marion who they’ve essentially kidnapped after she discovers their plan. Robin and the gang quickly decipher their plan and chase after them. It takes both parties no time at all to get half way across the world and without much hassle, they eventually convince the King of the truth and manage to foil the Sheriff’s plan but not without a casualty along the way. Marion discovers Gisbourne bearing down on the King, ready to kill him and gets in his way trying to talk him down. After professing her love for Robin and revealing her true feelings towards him, it sends him over the edge and he stabs her. Gisbourne is distraught at what he’s done, flees and Robin says a tearful goodbye to Marion as she dies in his arms.

The show killing off Maid Marion, the true love of the shows lead character, which is so rooted in the tale of Robin Hood sent me into a rage when I first saw it, and I must say I still don’t agree with the decision. For me, the show lost its way there and then; it seemed such a senseless character death, particularly because of how much the character was invested in the show.  At the time, I wondered how the show would pick up after such a important death, and even though the show did continue it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Robin returns to England, blood thirsty for revenge on Gisbourne, on a one-track suicide mission to avenge Marion. Gisbourne it seems has also been affected by Marion’s death, even more angry and depressed and his relationship with the Sheriff massively suffering. The once father/son type partnership they had, the Sheriff slowly influencing and corrupting Gisbourne has vanished as Guy blames the Sheriff for the death of the woman he loved.

The show also introduces two new characters Friar Tuck (played by David Harewood pre Homeland) and a new female lead –Kate (Joanne Froggart). She’s plucky, physical and even more go-getting than Marion, determined to ‘do the right thing’ all the time and more than often shouting her opinion.  It’s not long before she’s looking admirably at Robin, her leader and friend and by the time we get to episode 9 the two of them have quite real feelings for one another; considering Robin was so in love with Marion the speed and swiftness of a new love interest is ridiculous and quite frankly rude. To add insult to injury, during the season’s 6th episode he also kisses another woman, who turns out to be Isabella, Gisbourne’s sister (Lara Pulver). Pulver is a great addition to the cast, and is more slick and manipulative than Gisbourne, who takes a back seat in this series and by the end is actually somewhat of a hero.  We also have the introduction of Toby Stephens as Prince John, but only for a few short episodes – a shame really as he brings a delightful energy to the show.

Gisbourne is still relatively tortured regarding Marion’s death even though he is the one that killed her, whereas Robin seems to have all but forgotten about it. The softer side of Gisbourne and the guilt that he continues to feel are unfortunately not explored or developed. In a moment when Robin and Gisbourne are fighting, Guy says “I’ll never ask for your forgiveness, because I can’t forgive myself”. This would have been a brilliant opportunity for exploration but it unfortunately only scratches the surface of Gisbourne’s guilt.  Despite Robin’s character being so destructive in the opening episode of the 3rd season, through the rest of the season he seems very blasé, and back to his typical arrogant self. The writers also tend to produce problems and issues and resolve them just as quickly, not letting it naturally develop and build, as if it’s thrown in as an afterthought.

The final straw for me was the bizarre twist they invented for the last arc of the season – that Gisbourne and Robin are actually intertwined and related by a half-brother, causing them to join forces to go on a hunt for this half-brother, who turns out to be yet another troublemaker with not that many morals. The season 3 finale the second time round was entertaining and quite action packed, with Keith Allen returning once more to try and defeat Robin and his gang. I’d forgotten just how many people they’d killed off in the episode – Allan was the first to bite the dust, a character I was massively sad to see go. He had such a charming quality about him, and a great wit, and Joe Armstrong played him so well. Next to go was Guy, followed by Isabella and the Sheriff and finally they go and poison Robin – the actual main character of the show! Jonas Armstrong had announced just before the season began airing that he was leaving the show after this season, and even though there was a potential plan to carry on the show basing it around Archer (the half-brother), realistically the show couldn’t have carried on.

The goodbye and the ending is quite clichéd, but all in all it was nice to have Lucy Griffiths return one last time as Marion, although quickly frankly I would’ve whacked him for his behaviour during that last season. The gang wander off into the forest, quite lost without its leader, a lasting image and a final one for the show.

This show had the making of a great autumn slot in the absence of Doctor Who, a slot that Merlin progressed in from strength to strength. Instead, the show had several pitfalls that it couldn’t recover from, including some foolish choices from its writers and characters that did not connect. However after I finished, I certainly took away the fact that I did enjoy this show, despite its annoying qualities, and it allowed me to discover little acting gems such as Richard Armitage, Lucy Griffiths (who’s about to appear in the new US show Constantine) and Joe Armstrong. I’ll leave this review with a few standout episodes from the series as a whole – if you wish to try out the show, I suggest you go try one of these episodes first.

 

Stand Out Episodes:

1.1.‘Will you Tolerate This?’

1.12 ‘The Return of the King’

1.13 ‘A Clue: No’

2.8 ‘Get Carter’

2.10 ‘Walkabout’

2.12 ‘A Good Day to Die’

2.13 ‘We Are Robin Hood’

3.6 ‘Do You Love Me?’

3.9 ‘A Dangerous Deal’
Robin: People of Nottingham, these men have committed no crime worth more than a spell in the stocks. Will you tolerate this injustice? I for one, will not! (Robin Hood 1.1 ‘Will You Tolerate This?’)

Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman

Whilst on holiday, and after finishing the other book I’d packed, I took advantage of the library that was provided on board the cruise ship I was on and found a book by Jonathan Kellerman, an author whose series I’d read quite a lot of before. Intrigued by this 2013 publication, I quickly became engrossed finishing the book in 4 days.

Kellerman’s crime novels follow the story of child psychologist Alex Delaware, an enigmatic, intelligent, thoughtful and quite a sympathetic character that you warm to instantly. He consults for the LAPD, helping Detective Milo Sturgis friend and professional partner who is also a great character full of wit and likability. I hadn’t read the series in a while, but this book brought back good memories of the series, meaning I’ll probably start them again at some point.

The plot revolves around bones that were found in a backyard of a house, which develops into a tale of Hollywood lovers gone wrong and a string of deception and creepy murders. It’s a good read, and got me hooked right away. Perfect for a summer holiday read.

“They’ve already gone to the lab, maybe you’ll get lucky.”
He said, “That’s my middle name.”
“Lucky?”
“Maybe.”
p258

Ant and Dec – The Autobiography

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have been in the entertainment industry for 25 years, starting their partnership on the children’s TV show Byker Grove and developing themselves into pop stars and finally entertainment presenters and national treasures. Their autobiography came out in 2009 and it’s only now that I picked up these cheeky Geordie duos’s book.

The book did take me the best part of 6 months to finish, as it remained on my shelf, only getting picked up if I was going on journeys; having said that, I really enjoyed this book. I’m a huge fan of the Geordie duo, ever since their days on SM:TV Live with Cat Deeley which was my Saturday Morning kids program of choice. I thoroughly believe they deserve all the success they have had and the love of the nation. The book itself offered a great insight into the duo and their friendship, particularly as the way it was written allowed for dual authorship – each having their own voice represented by different fonts. The book covered everything from their early days on Byker Grove, the success they had and continue to have on prime time TV, their personal lives and also plenty of brilliant anecdotes, remaining throughout the book their cheeky fun-filled selves.

It’s fair to say the book made me love them even more. Despite the fact the book took me a long time to complete, I would recommend this book to fans of the two, or just for a good autobiography.

“Throughout it all, we’ve always had one constant that’s kept us sane – each other. In two decades, we’ve never spent more than two weeks apart.”(Dec) p355