Archive for Romance

Flu (film)

Posted in Entertainment, foreign films, Korean films, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2015 by urbannight

Flu is a Korean disaster film that is very good.  Like a lot of Korean disaster films, there is a lot of humor in them.  Although the serious parts are very serious indeed.

The more I like a movie the less I have to say about it.  The less I care about spoilers.

The writing is good.

The acting is excellent.

The drama is intense.

You should watch this.  Everyone should watch this.  It is like the American film from a few years ago, Outbreak, only much better.

I group of illegals are transported into South Korea via a shipping container.  One has a cough as they take off.  They arrive in Korea with only one survivor.  He gets away but a lethal and very fast acting flu starts to spread through the city.  The city is quarantined.  Things go from bad to worse after that.

CDC people from the US come in and some politico types and they try to take over and eventually want to solve the problem by bombing the city to make sure the flu doesn’t get out of the city.    The Korean president has some difficulty wresting control back from the American’s who think they have the right to tell every other country what to do.

Well, that does sound about accurate.

Go watch it.  Go watch it now.  It is on Netflix at the moment.

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS, yep, I like books.

Posted in Books, Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2013 by urbannight

I read almost every day.  But I do not spend ALL my free time reading.  I watch t.v. and stitch.  I spend a lot of time on computer games.  I cook sometimes.  And I go to movies.   Which means the number of books I’ve read in the First 18 days of 2013 seems amazing.  Some were re-reads.  So they went quickly.  And I often have more than one book going on at a time.  So I might read one book at lunch, one book at home, and one book in the bathroom.  I like a good long soak in the tub.

So here is what I’ve read in no particular order.

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The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle. Historical  Romance.  Part of a series that I have not otherwise read.  Pleasant read.  Half-English/Half-Indian woman, some slight supernaturalish elements, not too complex.   I liked it.

The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens.  Historical Romance.  The back of the book gives little away but it is very good if a bit to straight forward as well.  I quite liked it.

Guards! Guards! Terry Pratchett.  Reread.  Fantasy Humorist.  I ALWAYS recommend Terry Pratchett.  Introduces the Guards books.  A young, idealistic new copper who happens to be a six-foot tall dwarf.  A dragon.  A very rich virgin.  Colorful characters and very petty people who cause bad things to happen.

Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks.  Historical Romance.  Entertaining.  Amusing.  I normally don’t recommend romance novels to anyone other than people who only read romances.  But this was interesting enough to say sure, why not, give it a try.

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James. Historical Romance.  Cute.  Simple.  Clear Cut.  A charming little read.

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett.  Second Guards book.  The Watch is getting bigger with the addition of Trolls, Dwarves, and even a werewolf.  Oh, lets not forget the talking doggy.  It doesn’t pay to spend too much time sleeping around the Unseen University.  Ambient magic can do strange things to animals around there.

Corbin’s Fancy by Linda Lael Miller.  Historical Romance.  Okay book.  The Corbin family had a bunch of interesting titles in this series but they are all really simple and straight forward stories.  Obvious with no surprises along the way.  Linda Lael Miller’s books seem to get less and less interesting as she continues to write.  She comes up with really interesting characters but boring plots.

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett.  Another Guards book.  The feminist movement hits the dwarven population, starting with one female dwarf who really doesn’t fit in, ends up in the watch, and starts wearing skirts and make up.  Of course other things happen, and a mystery is solved, and amusement is had.

Apocalypse to Go by Katharine Kerr.  Book four in a supernatural mystery series.  The main characters have gotten engaged in order to keep Nola O’Grady’s very religious family happy.  Ari, her Israeli boyfriend/bodyguard wants to get married.  Each book seems to move them a little closer to that eventuality.  Nola is technically in charge and that bothers him as he is used to being in control.  On top of it, he still isn’t totally comfortable with her psychic abilities.  They solve crimes across alternative universes.  The entire series is a good read.  Go now and buy it.

Jingo by Terry Pratchett.  Also another Guards book and also a reread.  How often does a Watch Commander get to start a war and arrest two armies?

The Key by Lynsay Sands.  Historical Romance.  You have to marry someone the king picks out, in order to save your mother, but you can control what happens next by wearing a chastity belt and keeping the key hidden.  Especially when your husband refuses to bath and only lets his people have one new plaid a year in order to save money and keeps a slovenly home.  While there is nothing terribly complex in this novel, and I wish there was, it is very funny and worth reading on humor value alone.

The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett.  A very good book of Mr. Pratchett’s.  Again, a Guards book.  Yep, I pulled them all from the shelf and started rereading through them.

Okay, I’m getting really sleepy now.

Threadbare

Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath.  Historical Romance.  Middle book of a set of three. Only one I read.  I liked it.  It was good.  Made we want to go and read the first and third ones now.

Threadbare by Monica Ferris. Mystery  Monica Ferris is a great mystery writer and this series is about a woman who owns a needlework shop.  At the end of every book is a pattern in one form of needle craft or another.  This is a good book and well worth the read but there is only one thing bothering me about it.  She spends too much time plugging designers and mentioning specific patterns.  Sometimes this worked in the past books because it had a bearing on the story and the solution to the crime.  Now it is getting tedious.  It felt like to many product placements in a movie.

Thud by Terry Pratchett.  Okay, yet another Guards book.  Reread.  Highly enjoyable.  Somewhat darker.  I highly recommend it.

Snuff by Terry Pratchett.  The latest guards book out in paperback.  I finished it a couple days ago.  Really good.  Go now and buy a copy.  But you have to make sure you have read all the ones I’ve already mentioned for it to really make sense.  Or Thud at the very least.  And Jingo or else Willikins won’t make as much sense.

I have also read three romance novels on the Kindle.  Really fast, really short, and really simple romance novels that I won’t bother to name, even if they were good enough.  They were more like novellas.

The last is Time Traders by Andre Norton.  I didn’t realize she wrote science fiction.  I always thought of her as a fantasy novelist.  This was a very early book of hers.  There is some awkwardness in her writing that I’m not used to seeing because I was more familiar with some of her later work.  Even with this early work, you can never go wrong reading Norton.

That is 19 books completed since the start of the year.  I did not count any in progress books.  Just ones I’ve finished.  19 books in 18 days with a few days where I didn’t read and I never had any solid days of reading.  This is why I keep books.  I have to reread books.  Otherwise I can’t afford my reading habit.

Now I will put these away and reorganize my book shelves, finding a few other books to pull for rereading purposes.

A train wreck of a movie.

Posted in Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by urbannight

Do Not Watch This Movie. I give it an F.

I wanted to watch something before going to bed.  So while I’m puttering around, my roommate starts a Netflix movie.  Holiday in Handcuffs.  Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez play the lead characters.

Hart breaks up with her boyfriend and loses her job just before Christmas.  To save face with her family, she kidnaps Lopez at gunpoint and takes him up to the family’s isolated Christmas cabin.  She tells a rather weak story to her mom and dad so they don’t believe Lopez when he tries to say he was kidnapped.

I can’t watch it.  It’s really bad.  Every moment that is supposed to be funny is just sad and pathetic.  Sometimes embarrassing and downright painful.  The acting comes off as stiff and wooden from everyone except Lopez.

It is like watching a train wreck.  Only a train wreck would be better.  It would be more interesting.

It’s really sad when a disaster with a high likelihood of fatalities is preferable to a movie.

Hollywood Hypocrisy

Posted in Entertainment, Life with tags , , , , , , on June 13, 2012 by urbannight

I normally have nothing to say about Hollywood types.  Only rarely will I feel the need to share my thoughts on Hollywood drama.  But a headline I saw last night really annoyed me.

Mary Kate, at age 25, is dating the 42 year old Olivier Sarkozy.  People seem to be upset by this.  The headline says she has a father-complex and that is why she is dating someone 17 years older than her.

This has me confused.  A great number of Hollywood women, models, and music types in their 20’s have married other industry types in their 50’s.  No one comments on it.  No one thinks it unusual.

But Mary Kate, who has had a few issues and troubled times, must have psychological issues about her father if she is dating someone in his 40’s.  This logic fails me.

Here is a link to a photo gallery of over 40 ‘May-December Romances’ from NYDailyNews.  Some seem to be just dates (Alec Baldwin) and may not be an actual relationship.  Many are longer relationships and marriages (Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Whittstock).  Some you get the idea what they are really about [Doug Hutchison and Courtney Stodden (does she really look like a country star???)

No one is crying “Daddy Issues” at them.

Strictly Ballroom, A Color Extravaganza

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by urbannight

This is one of my favorite movies despite it being a bit of a RomCom. It hits you right away with vibrant, over the top, colors. The costuming it a bit over the top. But competitive dance costumes are. This just pushes it a little bit farther. Personalities are also a bit over the top, extreme, and unrealistic. Yet the actors pull it off as if there was nothing exaggerated about them at all. The fact that the female dancers all seem to be wearing performance night make-up as everyday makeup points at the deliberateness of this.

Young Scott Hastings wants to dance his own steps. The President of the Australian Dancing Federating wants to keep the entirety of the ballroom dance world under his thumb. At least on the National level. In reference to new steps he says, “If you don’t know them, you can’t teach them.” If he controls how people are teaching, he keeps control to himself and out of the hands of people who do stuff he himself can’t do.

This movie is a two-pronged coming of age story. Scott’s path is learning to be true to himself. His rebelliousness came from not knowing exactly who that was and fighting against the authority figures who were trying to mold him the way they wanted him. He starts to find himself when he walks home and is challenged by Fran’s father to show him his Pasodoble. Fran’s grandmother is the one to point the way when she shows him that he needs to feel the beat with his heart and not in his feet. The unexplained message here is that life, like dancing, must be felt in the heart,

Fran’s story is an ugly duckling story. The plain or homely girl that grows more attractive as she learns self-confidence. From the very beginning, she seems to have a good grasp on who she is but she seems to have no confidence in her nor does she seem to recognize her own value.

Throughout the movie, Scott repeatedly says he doesn’t care about winning the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix. He just wants to be able to dance his way. So the movie ends with them dancing their way and we never find out who wins.

That "Let me show you how it is really done" moment.

While Paul Mercurio, who played Scott Hastings, is a very attractive young man, I would argue that the hottest man in this movie is actually Antonio Vargas who played Rico, Fran’s Spanish/Gypsy father. He was also a contributing choreographer to the movie and brought with him his expertise and experience Latin Dance as he is an internationally renown flamenco artist.

NaNoWriMo year two.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by urbannight

Several months ago I decided to write a fictionalized novel on the life of Raedwald of East Anglia. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for over a year. Only I still had holes in my research as November approached.

So I started to chart out a fantasy, mystery, romance crossover novel with a main plot and a totally different sub-plot that overlapped with the mail story. I still want to do this, but I just couldn’t really get my brain into it.

On Halloween I decided to write another story I’ve been wanting to work on. I want to bring the evil back to vampires. I’m getting tired of this white washing and sanitizing of all the monsters. At the same time, I want the vampire to be the main character and to win the girl.

I remember watching Bela Lugosi as Dracula and thinking that Mina would be better off with him. Her fiancé/husband or whatever, looked like a football player but was annoying and ineffectual. I didn’t like him at all.

So I want to write a romantic horror novel in which the vampire corrupts the girl, makes her his bride, wins the day, and they live happily ever after in their blood drenched castle somewhere.

One small problem, I hated the way the story was going. The research into Spiritualism and Spiritism movements and the dates when several novels were published meant that the back story I wanted simply would not work out properly. My attempts to work around this just made the story worse. So two days ago I shelved it.

And yesterday I get a great idea for a comedy of manners. Involving a vampire. Because, for some reason, I got hooked on it. I really want a bad guy as good guy who really isn’t ‘good’. It is also still so close to Halloween and I don’t want it to end yet.  It was going MUCH better. And still is.

Only I noticed that I mistyped on my notes:  comedy of errors. This gave me another idea. One that creates another layer to this same story. One that will not require adding anything to what I already wrote. So it will be a comedy of errors on top of a comedy of manners on top of a supernatural romance novel.

And it seems to be going VERY well now.

It may seem silly. It may seem trite. It may seem like I am pandering to the masses. But what is wrong with that? I can write something fun that targets a large portion of the readers out there. It may be utter crap but at least it’s something that I can get farther than a couple pages without starting to hate it.