Thursday, June 28, 2012

Movie Time! Rock of Ages

Wow, Kathy saw a musical? Who would have thought?
Yes, I saw Rock of Ages, and like a few other reviews I found it lacking. This is not to say I didn't enjoy the film, but it's definitely not a movie I'll rush out to see again. Why? Well, for a few reason, two of which are Tom Cruise's nipples. The man doesn't wear a shirt the entire movie. It's really quite appalling. I have nothing personal against the man, but he needs to wear shirts more often, or at least cover his chest with something.
And speaking of Tom Cruise, while the singing was good the acting was sub-par at best. No one really went above and beyond in their roles. I got the feeling that the actors like their characters but didn't really have a connection to them, and because of this I didn't care about them either. The main character Drew (Diego Boneta) has potential but he really wasn't given enough opportunity to shine. Same with Sherri (Julianne Hough).
Another issue with Rock of Ages is the plot. There doesn't seem to be one main storyline; rather there are quite a lot of side stories and sub-plots that masquerade at actual plot. The end result is a woven tapestry that, instead of being a comfortable blanket, is a confusing miss-mash of colours and designs. Some threads change colours half way through while others just become loose and disappear all together.
While this review might seem like I hated the film there were some parts of it I liked. The music was good and it was quite easy to sing along with the characters, and the dancing made me move and groove in my seat. And occasionally there were shining moments and the actors had a chance to do some, you know, acting.
But mostly this was a fun way to pass some time and listen to good music.
What did everyone else think about this movie? Am I being too harsh or am I spot on. Let me know in the comments.


Themes: Tom Cruise, Diego Boneta, Julianna Hough, Rock of Ages, movie review, musical, Adam Shankman, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Monday, June 11, 2012

Soulless (book review)

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger

“To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favourite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire. She glared at the vampire”

That, my friends, is why I read this book.
It, in short, is awesome. I have never read such a witty and engaging novel in all my years. Far from being over the top and pretentious despite being set in Victorian England, this book relishes the absurdities of social etiquette, such as having a specific gown for carriage riding and another for walking in the park. While reading this book I often got the notion that I was enjoying a tea party with friends; we follow the social rules but know nothing of why they exist. Alexia Tarabotti is like this. She follows (most of) the social norms but you get the feeling that she’s secretly laughing at them. Multiple times she reminds people to be mindful of her feminine sensibilities but later she will question why women aren’t allowed to hold high powered jobs.
She also has no soul, which makes for quite a few social faux pas, on both her end as well as the vampires who try to attack her. Whenever Alexia touches a supernatural creature such as a vampire or werewolf (and there are a lot of these walking around England) they revert back to their mortal selves.
Alexia is a bundle of contradictions, but in a good way. Plus, she is sassy and polite at the same time. What’s not to love? The other characters are great as well. Lord Maccon is the fierce yet emotional werewolf who challenges Alexia at every corner, Lord Akeldama is the dramatic vampire who loves pretty things (hats, shoes, men), and Professor Lyall is just trying to stay sane. Add in Alexia’s fashion-challenged friend Miss Hisselpenny and a spate of vampires appearing as if out of nowhere and you have one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
I love this world that Carriger has created. Polite vampires and rude werewolves are just the tip of the iceberg in this alternate universe. Soulless is a mix of genres: steampunk, romance, comedy, supernatural, plus more that I cannot think of at the moment. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone here. What’s even better is that this is only book one of the series ‘The Parasol Protectorate’
I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Well done, Carriger.

If you've read this book before please let me know what you thought in the comments. You can follow Gail Carriger at  or at

Themes: Parasole Protectorate, Gail Carriger, supernatural, steam punk, steampunk, romance, comedy, Lord Maccon, Lord Akeldama, Professor Lyall, werewolves, vampires, Alexia Tarabotti, Ivy Hisselpenny, hats, Victorian era