Thursday, 24 August 2017

Film Review: The Reef

My first Deep Blue Terror weekend was a huge success with 7 films watched and 3 books! This weekend I've already looked at four films. Here I share with you my thoughts on another one I looked at.

Starring: Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor, 

Five friends on a sailing trip run into trouble when a coral reef destroys the hull of their boat and it turns over in the water. After gathering what they can they sit on the hull and decide what to do next. Do they stay on the hull and hope that it doesn't sink or drift out to sea before they are rescued, risking death by dehydration? Or do they swim the 10/12 miles to the island they were at the day before and take their chances with any sharks in the water? With a split decision, one stays and four go but who made the right decision?

Jeez what a choice. I'm not a strong swimmer and I have a healthy fear of sharks so swimming that distance would terrify me. Part of me would want to stay with the boat and hope for rescue but if the boat sank with you miles out to sea, that would be scary too? Ugh, no good choice there. The four who swim for it are the main focus of the plot after that as they realise a big shark is following them.

The tension levels in this film are very high and pretty much stay that way from the accident to the very end. Is that something in the water? A shadow? A dolphin? Is the shark cruising about under them ready to bite? It was a pretty tense and nerve-shredding film to watch and I really enjoyed it! The acting was good, the directing was excellent and it is definitely one for shark fans to enjoy.

Game of Thrones Gossip #30 Sandor Clegane

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where all of us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! The topics may talk about a death, an event, a character or be season reviews and so on. Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be oozing and exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you.

Now I'm going to look at the main characters introduced in season two, what our season one characters were doing in season two and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season two posts! 

In season one Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane is the shadowy figure protecting Prince Joffrey, known for his grim demeanor and burned face. The burns were inflicted on him by older brother Gregor for the crime of playing with a discarded toy of his. He is present at Winterfell when Tyrion slaps Joffrey for not giving his regards to Catelyn after Bran's accident, with the Hound warning that Joffrey will remember the insult. After Joffrey confronts Arya and Mycah on the riverbank, it is The Hound who is given the job of tracking and killing Mycah despite him having done nothing wrong. Joffrey claims that Arya and Mycah attacked him with weapons to get sympathy.

Sandor watches in disgust as The Mountain kills Ser Hugh of the Vale in the jousting to celebrate the arrival of Ned as Hand. He is amused when Loras Tyrell uses a mare in heat to help him unseat his brother in the next round which leads to Gregor killing his horse and trying to kill Loras. Sandor steps in to stop Gregor and gets the gratitude of Loras and the crowd which embarrasses him. It is the first time we see him do something to defend someone but it is not the last. It is Sandor that defends Joffrey in the Throne Room when Ned leads his revolt and he is also the one who captures Sansa while Arya escapes. He is also there at Ned's execution. He becomes Kingsguard after Ser Barriston Selmy is fired, though he won't take knight's vows. Later when King Joffrey takes Sansa to view her father's head, Sandor notices that she is going to push him over the edge and kill him, and he is quick to stop her with the excuse of giving her a handkerchief for her bleeding nose, which she gained from Meryn Trant when Joffrey says he cannot his his lady. No doubt Sandor knew her fate if she did it. Perhaps he did not think Joffrey deserved a quick death or perhaps he was acting in his duty as Kingsguard. Either way, he did help Sansa that day.

Sandor starts season two fighting and killing a man in Joffrey's Name Day celebrations and when Ser Dontos is to be killed for being drunk, Sandor agrees with Sansa that it is bad luck to kill someone on your Name Day, saving the man's life. He comes to her assistance again when Tyrion stops Meryn Trant from publicly beating and stripping Sansa on Joffrey's orders, giving her his cloak to cover her up. With Joffrey becoming more hated every day as a ruler, a simple trip to see Myrcella off to Dorne turns into a city wide riot. Sandor's first job is to grab Joffrey and protect him as he fights his way through the crowd, handing him over to other guards so he can fight better. He is the only one other than Tyrion to notice that Sansa is missing and he goes to rescue her, killing her would be rapists. Later she thanks him but he is gruff, prompting Sansa to ask why he is so hateful. He responds by telling her that she will be glad of that when he is all that stands between her and Joffrey.

It seems that Sandor does not greatly enjoy being Kingsguard to someone like Joffrey and for him the Battle of the Blackwater is enough. It starts with him picking a fight with Bronn before the action gets underway but the men are called to arms before they can fight. He watches in horror as Tyrion unleashes the wildfire on the troops of Stannis Baratheon, knowing what kind of pain the men must be in from his own terrible experience. Sandor warns the leader of the archers what will happen to him if any flaming arrows come near him! He then leads his men out to the beach on Tyrion's orders and begins to fight, but watching the burning men on the beach freezes his brain and he is saved from death from death by Bronn. Seeing the fire everywhere and his men dying, he orders a retreat back into the city.

Tyrion is not impressed to see him back in the city and drinking wine instead of fighting and confronts him with Joffrey. Sandor loses his temper, says 'fuck the King' and leaves the battle to return to the Keep. Sansa finds him waiting in her chamber and he offers to get her out of the city and take her to Winterfell. Sansa believes that Stannis has won the battle and will treat her well but Sandor has less faith in that, saying that she will be surrounded by killers. He is unable to persuade her to leave with him so he heads off on his own. Oh Sansa you should have went with him!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Game of Thrones-The Game of Weddings

OK lets look now at the game of weddings and who could marry who...

Gendry has the looks but his status as a bastard would exclude many noble women from a match with him unless he became King like Robert. Talla Tarly would be too much of a lady for him and Sansa wouldn't marry a bastard. Arya was already his friend and the age gap isn't too extreme. Lyanna Mormont might even like him. However I see Gendry more with either a wildling woman, Meera or even Yara Greyjoy as she said she liked men and women. Can you imagine Gendry and Yara ruling Pike together?!! That would be fun! But Arya would be the logical choice. 

Jon has few options at the moment if you exclude his family like Sansa, Arya and Dany. Maybe he would meet and like Talla and be real brothers with Sam but she does seem young in nature if not so much in years. He would also match well with someone like Yara or Meera, or another wildling like Ygritte.

Tyrion has the fewest options of all. With him having free choice of who to marry, he'd stay away from Sansa, Arya, Talla, Meera and Lyanna because of their ages. A marriage of convenience with Yara could be strategic and mentally they are well suited. She could sleep with the same women that Tyrion picks up. Other than that I can't see who poor Tyrion could be with unless a wildling takes a liking to him.

Dany currently seems to have feelings for two men-Jorah and Jon. The whole Jon and Dany thing is icky with them being aunt and nephew so I don't want that. The (tiny spark of) romantic in me does want to see Dany with Jorah, despite the age gap. She would match quite well also with Gendry and plenty would back a Targaryen-Baratheon dynasty.

I don't think Arya really wants to marry anyone in her line of business. Gendry was her friend so I can't see her with anyone else. She certainly won't be marrying a Frey! Sansa would think Gendry was beneath her and wouldn't marry a bastard or her cousin Robin. She wouldn't marry bannermen or servants or anyone older than her so who is left? Littlefinger? He would give her the power she craves but is she that stupid? (yes, probably!)

Yara could marry a man and still keep the Iron Born tradition of having saltwives for fun. If she did marry I see her with someone who is a warrior, rather than a noble. Gendry or a wildling man would be a good pick.

Cersei and Euron would be made for each other but I can see him having a terrible accident on his wedding night (or before) after Cersei gets all she wants from him! Maybe he would be smart enough to plan for that. You can't think of anyone else really being a match for her can you? Perhaps Cersei would like his evil ways.

Brienne's heart is with Jaime and part of me would like to see them together as part of a redemption for Jaime. But I wouldn't be against seeing her warm to the idea of Tormund! Two totally different but intriguing choices for her.

Sam and Gilly of course. Enough said.

Lyanna Mormont is young to be thinking of a husband but can you imagine what she would do to Robin Arryn??? She'd eat him for breakfast! Ned Umber is close to her in age if she forgives him for his father's treason. 

Pod and Talla Tarly? Both nice and slightly naive!

Ellaria Sand and Daario would be a great combination if she is still alive.

Film Review: Ice Sharks

My first Deep Blue Terror weekend was a huge success with 7 films watched and 3 books! This weekend I've already looked at four films. Here I share with you my thoughts on another one I looked at.

Starring: Jenna Parker, Edward DeRuiter, Kaiwi Lyman Mersereau 

An Arctic research station is studying the effects of climate change when they realise the ice is melting faster than ever expected, bringing sharks to the area who are killing local hunters. These sharks are smart and soon decide to target the station itself, intent on isolating it from help-and sinking it.

This is an ok film to watch but not one I'd go back to again. It starts with the latest hunter being eaten by sharks-please note animal lovers that dogs die in this film-and people from the research station go looking for him. They encounter the sharks just five miles from the station and hastily return there but the sharks are quick in following. What follows is a couple of dumb plans to get them out of trouble which make the situation worse. As the station is about to sink, options are limited and the sharks circle.

The issues I had with this film centre on the two MCs David and Tracy, a married couple. David is dragged into the water by a shark and is in there with all of them while Tracy runs around setting up lines to drag him out and weapons and stuff. But are the sharks eating him? No of course not coz we can't have our hero being killed can we? Throughout the whole film you know that these two are going to survive because the other team members are the ones who do all the dangerous crap out in the open to try and save the flooding station. I lost count of how many times Michael went out to do repairs or find something they needed to save them and David and Tracy just stayed nice and safe. Gah!

Like I said ok to watch, decent enough plot, acting was mostly ok but I just got annoyed at the lack of tension in it over who was going to survive.   

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at to spotlight and discuss books we're excited about but haven't read, which may not even be released yet. 

Ryan Martin decides to take his wife, Alexa, and his five-year-old daughter, Lucia, to a lake house in Pennsylvania for a vacation. Before they can reach their destination, the family is stopped by a group of teenage troublemakers led by the fearsome Caden Clark. The confrontation ends in tragedy.

Two years later, Ryan and Alexa visit Caden and his family in hopes of exacting their revenge. At the Clarks' house, however, they discover a sinister a secret... 

I usually like these revenge horror/thrillers and this authors books in general look good. I featured one last week as well. This was released on August 3rd so I plan to grab it quickly!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Book Review: One Minute To Ten by Dan Hodges

10 PM, on the 7 May. The exit poll predicting the result of the 2015 General Election is announced. 
In that instant three lives are changed for ever. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were three very different men, from very different backgrounds. But they shared one ambition. To lead their country. In pursuit of their dream they were forced to make sacrifices. Of their principles. Of those they loved. Of themselves.

And right up until the final moment the exit poll was released each man clung to the hope those sacrifices had not been in vain. Then the clock struck ten. In One Minute to Ten, Dan Hodges brings to life the most dramatic general election campaign in living memory, and tells the untold story of the three men who contested it. And in doing so reveals the price paid by those who risk everything in their quest for the ultimate political prize...

My Review: 
I am a big fan of political non fiction, especially behind the scenes of a government in chaos or an election night or political upheaval like Brexit. I enjoy seeing who was fighting with who, policy disagreements etc as I find that interesting. This book said it was a behind the scenes with the three party leaders on Election Night 2015 so I just had to read it.

The phrase 'false advertising' comes to mind after picking this book up. The blurb says 'Dan Hodges brings to life the most dramatic general election campaign in living memory, and tells the untold story of the three men who contested it.' That sounds like a behind the scenes with these three men on election night, right? Answer this then. Where in that blurb does it say that this is actually more like a made up parody of what the author thinks the men might have been thinking? That is pretty much what we get here.

We start with three introductions of David, Ed and Nick as kids. David is playing cricket at Eton, Nick is on a European family holiday and Ed is at his father's feet. I don't really know what we were meant to take from this other than Nick liking travelling in Europe. We jump next to getting in the heads of the men on election night, which again is obviously made up. We have David sitting there thinking about IDS's bedroom tax as if it was Ian's idea and Dave didn't agree with it...which is utter crap! Ministers ideas will not become policy unless Cabinet approved!

It gets worse. We next get a chapter on the previous Labour leadership contest and whether Ed Balls had enough votes to be number two in the party to David Miliband. What follows is a supposed phone call between Gordon Brown and some unnamed guy backing Ed Balls for number two and being asked to then support Ed Miliband for leader. This is the exchange.

man-He's asking me to back Ed. But I'm already backing Ed
GB-No not Ed. Ed!
And at last he understood. This wasn't about Ed. It was about Ed. But it still didn't make any sense. He was backing Ed. Gordon was backing Ed. They were all backing Ed. They'd been backing Ed from the beginning. Not Ed. Ed.

What kind of utter rubbish is that? The next thing we get is a bunch of them waiting to meet Bill Clinton as he has The Thing and Tony Blair wants to have The Thing but he doesn't have The Thing. Jeez this was grating on my last nerve by now. The grammar was dreadful as was the sentence structure, made up of short abrupt sentences. The content was made up waffle that kept trying to be funny and falling flat. It was badly conceived and badly written and what annoyed me the most is that the people involved in publishing it were not honest about the content. This was marketed to sound like a serious political book about the election when in fact it was just a poor parody with no facts to it. I would never have wasted my money on this had I known what it was. 

Read May 2017.

1 star. 

Film Review: The Shallows

My first Deep Blue Terror weekend was a huge success with 7 films watched so far and 3 books! Here I share with you my thoughts on another one I looked at.

A woman attacked by a shark while surfing is stranded on a rock far away from the beach...and the tide is coming in.

Starring Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen 

Nancy has found the Mexican beach that her mother loved so much when pregnant with her and she joins two local men surfing. Just after they quit for the day, Nancy is attacked by a shark and takes refuge on a rock jutting from the water. But the tide is coming in, she is losing blood and strength and the shark refuses to go away.

I liked this one. The beach and sea are stunning and it is the kind of place you would love to hang out for a day. We get a short intro to Nancy's anger over her mother's death making her give up her medical career, bringing her into conflict with her father. But mainly we get straight into Nancy deciding to go surfing and joining two local men in the water. As the men leave the water, Nancy is still out there and is attacked by a shark. They don't hear her cries for help, leaving her stranded on a rock jutting out of the water from a coral reef. With an injury to treat, she has to face a night stuck out in the water with the shark hiding in the gloom.

What follows is a fight to survive and find a way to get to the beach without being eaten. Can she attract the attention of the drunk man on the beach? Will her two surfer friends return the next day? Can she treat her wound and stop it bleeding? Can she risk swimming for the beach? How can she attract the attention of a passing ship? Nancy is determined to survive and uses the few things around her to help her in a few plans to outwit the shark.

The film is pretty tense and for the most part Nancy is on her own with an injured seagull for company. I liked the way she was constantly trying to think of a way to get out of this mess and the number of close calls she has with the shark. It is well worth a watch.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!   

This Week-Ten Books/Plays that were required reading when I was at school. The first eight were ones I was forced to read for my classes, the others were books that my friends classes had to read.

1) Arthur Miller-Death of a Salesman 
Ugh! I had to read this two years in a row for my English class and it was so dull and boring! I didn't care why nobody went to his funeral or why he fell out with his son!

2) DH Lawrence-Sons and Lovers 
I firmly believe that this may have been the dullest book I've ever read. Having to then sit and analyse every conversation for hidden meaning was a new form of torture! The obsessive love that woman had for her son was stomach churning!

3) William Shakespeare-Hamlet 
Every other class was doing Macbeth but ours did Hamlet. Although it was a struggle to understand what he was saying with all ye olde language, I actually did quite like the story.

4) George Orwell-Animal Farm 
I hate animal cruelty of any kind so I didn't enjoy large sections of this one. I know the reason we looked at it was the communism aspect but as a story, I didn't enjoy it much!

5) George Bernard Shaw-Pygmalion 
I never understood the point in studying this one. I didn't care much about a girl getting taught society manners. I've never been interested in watching the musical either.

6) William McIlvanney-Laidlaw 
I thought reading a book about a Glasgow police detective might be interesting but this was a dull book with a dreadful MC!

7) Katherine Paterson-The Great Gilly Hopkins 
We had to read this in first or second year and I hated it. I just found it dull and boring. Could there not have been vampires or zombies or something... 

8) Robert C O'Brien-Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
I liked a few bits in the book but others seemed to really drag on. It was suggested we read the sequels but I decided not to care...

9) Harper Lee-To Kill a Mocking Bird 
My best friend's class were reading this one so I got it out of the library to read. Yes it was well written and it was a social issue that is important, but as a story I didn't like it, especially the ending.

10) JD Salinger-The Catcher in the Rye 
My other friend's class was reading this but the only reason I was interested is because I'm a big Beatles fan and this is the book John Lennon's killer read before and after the murder. I wish I hadn't bothered as I hated the MC.

To be honest, being forced to read these books in school left me with a healthy dislike of the so called classics and I don't enjoy these kinds of books even now!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Game of Thrones Review: Season 7 Episode 6

Welcome to my Game of Thrones reviews posts which are an episode by episode guide of season 7. The entire post will be nothing but spoilers so don't read it if you intend to watch it! The format will be done as a house by house analysis, not a minute by minute report. 

Arya confronts Sansa about the message she sent Robb asking him to bend the knee to her beloved Joffrey. Sansa is angry at the accusation that she was doing Cersei's work and tells Arya that she has no idea what she has suffered through. Sansa is concerned about what Arya will do with it and Arya realises that Sansa fears losing the support of the Northern Lords, some of whom have already questioned her marriage to Ramsay Bolton. Sansa turns to Littlefinger, wondering where Arya found this letter but he doubts her sister will betray her. Sansa doesn't trust the Northmen anyway but Littlefinger reminds her that Brienne is sworn to keep both sisters safe and may be useful. Sansa however, chooses to send Brienne to the meeting at King's Landing with Cersei, fearing she might be taken hostage again if she goes. Sansa finds the faces when she searches Arya's room for the note and is freaked out by how creepy Arya is when they talk about it. Arya points out that to become Sansa, she just needs her face. She then gives Sansa Littlefinger's dagger.

Brienne is far from happy with her instructions to go to King's Landing, declaring it is not safe. Sansa misunderstands and says that Jaime is unlikely to let anything happen to her as they are friends. An irritated Brienne says she is not worried for herself, but doesn't want to leave Sansa alone with Littlefinger. Sansa says she has plenty Northmen to protect her and Brienne asks if she is certain that Littlefinger hasn't already secured their service. She wants to leave Pod but Sansa tells her to get going and Brienne reluctantly agrees.

Dany and Tyrion wait for news and she berates the men she knows for playing the hero and ending up dead. Tyrion points out that all the men mentioned in the conversation have fallen in love with her and she is sure that Jon has not. They start discussing the upcoming meeting with Cersei and what traps she will want to set and Dany wonders if they should be setting any for her. Tyrion is critical of Dany killing the Tarlys and she gets angry when he says he promised Jaime he would stop her doing anything rash. She questions his loyalty, his planning and turns cold over the subject of who will rule after her if she has no children. When the plea for help comes by raven, Tyrion begs her not to risk herself for any of them but she ignores him and leaves on Drogon, taking the other two dragons with her.


The Fellowship march north with a few men extra as cannonfodder/backup. Gendry becomes alarmed by Tormund's plans for keeping warm without women, and he challenges the Brotherhood about selling him to a witch to be killed. The Hound is not impressed by his whining. Jon tries to give Longclaw back to Jorah but he says it was given to Jon and Jorah himself lost all right to it when he brought shame on House Mormont. Tormund tells The Hound of his desire for Brienne, and The Hound realises who he is talking about. Beric tells Jon that Ned sent him after The Mountain and that all they can do after being brought back is keep fighting. When a blizzard hits the men as they see the mountain from the Hound's vision, they are suddenly ambushed by a dead bear and during the fight, Thoros is maimed defending The Hound from the fiery bear. 

This however, is just the beginning for the men. They see an advance party of the Army of the Dead and fight the White Walker and his creatures, winning the brawl and taking one alive. Jon spots the rest of the army approaching and sends Gendry back to Eastwatch to get a message to Dany for help. The men run for the refuge of a rock formation in the middle of a frozen lake, and after losing a wave of creatures to the icy waters, a standoff begins. Thoros dies during the cold night and the lake freezes again. Beric wonders if he and Jon should try to kill the Night King and end the battle before it starts. The Hound throws a large rock which does not break the ice...and the enemy sees this and starts to advance. Gendry has reached Eastwatch and Dany is alerted.

What follows is the Battle of Beyond The Wall, so to speak, and the army close in on the stranded men. The Hound saves Tormund from the dead. Dany arrives with her dragons and starts taking out the army. The Night King throws his ice spear and kills one of the dragons to Dany's horror, leaving it crashing into the lake. The men and the captured wight are loaded onto Drogon as Jon hold off the dead. When he sees the Night King getting ready with another spear, Jon tells Dany to go without him and she reluctantly does. Jon ends up surrounded...but Benjen rides to his rescue. Benjen gives Jon his horse and sends him riding for Eastwatch while he is buried under the dead. With Jon finally recovering from his ordeal, he makes it clear that he will bend the knee to Dany.

The Night King resurrects the dead dragon...

My thoughts:

I loved the male bonding within the group of men especially Tormund raving on about Brienne to The Hound. I loved how proud he was that together he and Brienne would make monsters to rule the world! Loved Jorah bonding with Jon and Thoros. Loved the bear fight and the battles with the army of the dead. Loved how creepy Arya was when dealing with her sister. Finally, Dany understands exactly what danger Westeros is in-about time she got with it! I liked that Thoros risked his life to save The Hound who freezes up at seeing the bear on fire running at him. Can't really blame him!

The Noooo! moments were there as well. My heart was in my mouth when the dead grabbed poor Tormund! I thought he was a goner and the panic in him was getting to me. It's the first time I've ever seen him afraid and I could have kissed The Hound for saving him. The death of the dragon and the resurrection were something I had known about for a while but it was still shocking to see it happen. I'm not sure I approve of Arya giving that dagger to Sansa...

Random thoughts...

Where is Ghost???!!!
Why is Littlefinger still slithering around?
Why did Sansa really send Brienne away?
Is Ellaria's daughter not dead yet and why aren't we seeing it?
Where is Yara?
Did Theon ever get to request help from Dany?  
Does an undead dragon retain it's flames or will it breathe ice?

Film Review: Dino Shark

My first Deep Blue Terror weekend was a huge success with 7 films watched and 3 books! This weekend I've already looked at four films. Here I share with you my thoughts on another one I looked at.

An ancient shark trapped in the northern ice thaws out and heads off on a coastal trail of destruction.

Starring Eric Balfour, Iva Hasperger, Aaron Diaz 

A thawed out ancient dinosaur shark has arrived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and begins a feeding frenzy on the locals in the ocean and the rivers. A local boat captain and environmental science teacher team up when a mutual friend is killed by it, with help from a marine biologist when local police prove useless.

This is one of the better shark films as the quality of the acting shows, compared to other cheap shark films. I first saw Eric Balfour in season one of Buffy and liked him in Haven and he gets the starring role in this one. The rest of the cast are good including horror legend Roger Corman as the marine biologist. There is also the slimy resort owner who is a real sleaze around the women and I was hoping he would be shark bait. The shark itself is pretty realistic for this kind of film with lots of good special effects and plenty of dinoshark mayhem to enjoy as the shark hits everyone on the water.

Well worth a watch.