jayes_musings: (Pullo cheers)
[personal profile] jayes_musings
One of the things I want to do this year is keep a log of the books I read and movies I see, along with a brief review of them. I'm a little late starting, but I'll do what I remember.

Now, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] moderate_mod, I have been reading a genre that is, honestly, not my favourite, and if she hadn't taken up the characters in this series as muses, then I would have stayed away, but I had to satisfy my curiosity and so my foray into Regency romance began.

A Rogue's Proposal
Format: Kindle
Author: Stephanie Laurens

The fourth book in her Cynster series and tells the story of the fourth member of the Bar Cynster, a close-knit group of cousins and brothers who are (in)famous rakes in Society, journey into love and marriage. Demon Cynster is determined not to follow his brother and two of his cousins into matrimony and heads to his racing stable in Newmarket to escape interfering mothers and aunts. There he encounters Felicity and is convinced to help solve a race-fixing syndicate that threatens to bring down her guardian. Along the way, they inevitably fall in love.

I'm not a romance novel fan, but this has few of the usual cliches inherent in the genre. While the men are tall, strong, and imposing, they have a strong sense of family and loyalty, the women are just as strong but in other ways...and it is they who do keep their men in line...mostly. The sex scenes, for the most part are hot, although after the second or third one, they do get a bit samey. What I do enjoy about them is the mystery that is woven throughout, which breaks up all the romance, and while some work better than others, this one had one that built nicely and was quite exciting in the end. I would say, out of the four I've read, this is my second favourite after "Scandal's Bride". There were a few historical type errors that I have a quibble over, namely the times it takes a horse carriage to travel between London and Newmarket. It seemed to take Demon just a couple of hours, but in reality it would take 7 hours or so...and without giving his prize horses a rest. Also, another small problem, Demon is an intelligent and astute man, then why does he just not understand that Felicity has no clue of how the Rules of Society dictate courtship as he knows this is all very new to her.

All in all, not a bad, easy bedtime read.


Now as far as movie reviews go, I have a LOT on two portable hard drives that I've been ripping from DVDs, some that I own that are in storage and some that I've got as rentals. These I am slowly working my way through, by drive and in alphabetical order. Some I've seen before, some are favourites, and some I've not seen but I give them a try anyway. There will also be reviews of theatrical releases and of some DVDs that I'm not able to rip.

I'm not sure what movie I started the new year with, so I shall do the two most recent.

Centurion (2010)
Format: Digital
Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Liam Cunningham, Olga Kurylenko

This is one of my favourite films. It is a speculative historical film of what could have happened to the Ninth Legion that vanished from the record. Centurion Quintas Dias (Fassbender) is captured by the Picts and then escapes. He is saved by the Ninth Legion marching north to deal with the Pict leader once and for all. As they continue to march northward, led by their native scout, Etain (Kurylenko), the legion is ambushed, their general, Virilus (West) is captured and only a handful survive. Dias leads these survivors on a mission to rescue Virilus. When that fails he must lead them back to Roman lines while being hunted by a band of Picts led by the treacherous Etain.

Whether or not the Ninth Legion were destroyed, vanished, or ended up serving along the Rhine (according to the most recent theories), this is an enjoyable, gritty, and realistic action film. There is a lot of sword and axe fighting with plenty of blood and limbs flying. The added love story is a little contrived but not too badly, and there is an added betrayal at the end which was a nice twist. There are some faults, a few historical inaccuracies, but none so glaring that they take away from the story, and certainly no worse than other Roman movies. This was released around the time of "The Eagle", which also speculates on the fate of the Ninth, and this is by far the superior movie both in terms of story and acting.


Chariots of Fire (1981)
Format: Digital
Director: Hugh Hudson
Starring: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers

This Oscar winning film tells the story of the British track team at the 1924 Paris Olympics and the determination of two men, Abrahams (Cross) and Liddell (Charleson) to win, the former to silence anti-semetic critics and the latter for God.

I was loaned this DVD from a friend, for some unknown reason, as I've never had an interest in watching it, and all I really knew about it was it had something to do with running and Vangelis' famous theme. So, I've just got around to watching it, and I certainly wouldn't have paid money to see this. That said, it is a typical well made and well acted British period drama; however, I find the repeated public-schoolboy navel-gazing and angsting very tiresome, as were the noble speeches. Yes, this was probably fairly accurate for the time, but I really felt it was just like "Jeeves and Wooster" without the comedy and took itself too seriously.

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February 2015


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