Singleton + Writer + Book Lover + Moviegoer = Screen Spinster

Welcome to the loneliest blog on the web. I have no words of wisdom to espouse. (why does espouse sound so much like spouse? Is that word trying to rub it into my spinster brain?) Anyway, I don't own a cat. Never will. I don't cook, nor do I sew or knit, but I do spin a yarn (tale) from time to time. I have no domestic talents, I am not a domestic engineer/goddess, nor do I want to be. I'll sometimes post my views on scripts, (mine & yours or theirs) movies, television shows and maybe theatre, along with my own musings usually in the style of a poem. So pull up a rocking chair, sit back as your cherry pie bakes and stay a while if you like.

Friday, January 27, 2012

YA REVIEW: The Death Cure by James Dashner



And here we are at book three of this trilogy. I was fairly content with the last two books in the series, but not blown away by them. I find the story, at times, forced into going a certain way. I had hoped that book three would be the one that would tie it altogether and blow me out of the water. It does not.

The book is fine. Neither bad, nor great. I don't see myself remembering much of it in the future. I enjoyed it while reading it, but I couldn't help thinking I am getting cheated out of something better. I also didn't trust the writer, James Dashner. I kept thinking what kind of trick is he going to pull out of his hat now. Is Thomas even who he says he is? Is anyone? Is anything that happens in this book real? I kept thinking that everything is a trial, and once again, we'll be told something that will mean all that happened was just a test. That doesn't quite happen, but when distrust is there in the first place it makes it hard to truly give myself over to the reading experience.

Thomas has survived the maze and the scorch trials, and has reached his boiling point when he ends up at WICKED, the government agency that has been behind his journey. He refuses to go along anymore with their experiments, and (along with some friends) he escapes to a walled city to find out if he can stop WICKED. Oh, and he's immune to the Flare, but still has to run away from (let's face it) zombies.

I had hoped the ending of this story would give more answers, but instead it left me questioning. I wondered why Teresa, who was a major character in the first two books, is relegated to window dressing here. She isn't given the proper amount of story time. Who is Chancellor Paige? She's mentioned and gets to basically end the story, but why? The ending is open ended, so I'm not sure if a future set of books are planned.

Perhaps, I expected too much, after all, I am not the target audience. Then again, does a target audience mean a story shouldn't live up to its potential?

I think teenage boys will like the story the most.

B-
6.5/10

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Underworld: Awakening. Should have let it sleep


I will put into this review the same amount of time the 4 writers put into the script.

Waste of time. Badly written. Ill conceived. Too much voice over. Save your money.

D+

Sunday, January 15, 2012

If you want to cry, or be inspired to write a moving scene...




Then watch the truck scene in Bridges of Madison County and the funeral scene Steel Magnolias . One is full of truth in words, and the other reveals itself through nothing more than an actor's presence in the moment.

These two scenes get me every time. No matter what.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Writingisms #5


When a criminal is caught make sure he/she doesn't confess when interrogated. Spilling the beans is too easy. Have the audience know the truth, but let the characters wonder a bit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

YA DYSTOPIA: Legend by Marie Lu.


My love affair with YA dystopia continues with LEGEND by Marie Lu. Legend tells the story of two very different people. Day and June. Day, a teenage boy, is the most wanted criminal in the Republic and June, a military prodigy, is chosen to track Day when he is accused of murdering a soldier, June's brother. But what happens is a little more complicated than a revenge tale. Secrets are revealed and all is not what it seems.

The Republic in which they live in was once the USA, but its citizens don't know that. It is a dictatorship where class lines are clearly drawn and fear of a plague keeps the masses down. It's a fun set up, as most dystopian worlds are. We get two clear points of view as each chapter is split between Day and June's experiences. This is the fourth YA book that I've read that has done this kind of structure. It seems to be working.

The world is richly described and the characters are well drawn out. I could see the Lake sector clearly and the squalor of the poor areas just as well as the military bases and where the rich live. Marie Lu has created a believable world and is able to get under the reader's skin. I could imagine the tight reign of the regime and could feel its suffocating hand reaching down on its people. The tension is tight and the conflict pops off the page.

It's Book 1 of a trilogy (a growing trend, or just a trend), and I look forward to finding out if Day and June can survive their world, and how many more casualties are to come.

8/10
A-

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In YA FICTION: CROSSED by Ally Condie


Cassia has left her hometown, and has ventured out into the world in order to find Ky, the boy she loves. But she has to do this in secret and play the games of the Society in order to get what she wants. Crossed is Part 2 in a trilogy and we continue to follow Cassia as she navigates her way through adolescence in a dysopian universe that controls everything. Every dream. Every thought. Every opinion. Every action is monitored in a way that you don't even know if your life is your own.

I liked the first book, Matched, a bit more than this one. It's still well written, but I found to structure not to my liking. The chapters go back and forth between Cassia and Ky's perspective, (which seems to be a new trend among YA novels of late). And because of this, I kind of feel like the plot gets lost. It feels all rather internal at times. But I do think this is a good love story. It feels true because it's complicated and also it's confusing for all involved, which is how young love actually is. That being said, it's still a good read, and I look forward to the final book, as secrets are yet to be revealed.

Oh, and I am a Xander fan. The one Cassia leaves behind to follow her heart.

B
7/10

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

New Year's Eve was spent at the cinema and it was a bit of a struggle to decide what to see. We ended up deciding on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and it was a fairly good decision. The strength of this film is once again on the characters. They are strong and fleshed out and fun to watch. Robert Downey Jr. is a great, albeit odd, Sherlock Holmes, and I can't help but be drawn to him. He's silly and funny, and absolutely brilliant! Jude Law as Watson is also great in his role. He's uptight and conservative and a good foil for Holmes' lunacy. Holmes' plethora of disguises are quite fun to see and at times, completely unnecessary and over the top. Why does he look like the joker when dressed as a woman? Hmmmm.

Now the plot on the other hand was a bit of a mess. I found the first half of the film to be all over the place and lacking a certain focus. The villain, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) was good, but I think he could have been a bit more well defined. Holmes is after Moriarty, who plans on starting a war so that he can profit from it, and pursues him to France then to Germany where they have a showdown. I liked their interactions as they are both quite brilliant men. One on the side of good, the other the side of evil.

If you're a fan of the first one and like the way Downey plays Holmes then I think you'll like this film. If you're not a Holmes fan and don't like Guy Ritchie's hyper-stylized way of directing then this might not be for you.

6.8 out of 10C+ with a strong B+ for the acting and the costumes.