Friday, October 30, 2015

Split Second by Douglas E. Richards

If you enjoy these musings, you might enjoy my latest book DEADLY MESSENGERS which readers are calling the most terrifying, impossible-to-put-down thriller of 2015.

Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Prime members read it for FREE!  (and all my other books and stories). CLICK HERE:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Split Second
I'm trialling Kindle Unlimited. Actually, I'll tell the truth, my book Deadly Messengers is gathering quite a few page reads via Kindle Unlimited, and I wanted to have a nosy around what was on offer and why it was being read so much.

This book Split Second by Douglas E. Richards kept being recommended to me by Amazon's algorithms and it sounded intriguing. I love techno thrillers, and since Michael Crichton's untimely death I haven't found anyone who can write a cracking adventure and throw in credible techno elements. So Douglas E. Richards, I thought, show me what ya got!

He's got a lot, good readers. This book starts off with a bang, with one of the main characters being murdered before his girlfriend's eyes. I love the 'how' and 'why' of this book. It isn't about whodunit, it's a whydunit.

Poor Jenna and her brilliant live-in lover Nathan Wexler are captured one night by a military group and Nathan is killed when the kidnappers are ambushed. Jenna is left fleeing for her life and alone, until she contracts and ex-ranger now private investigator to help her. What follows is a cat and mouse chase, while the two of them try to figure out why the time travel project Nathan was working on is so important.
He'd created time travel, but it can only send you back in time for less than a second? What is the point of that? You can't change anything in less than a second.

The answer is intriguing and a real mind-bender. I love time mindbenders and Richards sure knows how to spin one. I'm going to read more of his books now. If you like your thrillers, taut, terrific, and filled with mind-blowing twists, then this is the book for you. I don't often give 5 stars, but this was a standout for me and a unique plot.

I also loved at the end that the author explained what was real science and what was fiction. He actually had me believing time travel like this is possible. Is it? You'll need to read the book. It's available in Kindle Unlimited, too. Well worth the monthly fee.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Film Stuff 29th October 2015

If you enjoy these musings, you might enjoy my latest book DEADLY MESSENGERS which readers are calling the most terrifying, impossible-to-put-down thriller of 2015.

Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Prime members read it for FREE!  (and all my other books and stories). CLICK HERE:

THE DRESSMAKER  ✪✪✪  (opens 29th October most cinemas)
My Thoughts
I don’t know how to describe this film, other than to say it’s bonkers. It begins well enough with Tilly (a-too-old-for-this-part-but-still-gorgeous Kate Winslett) arriving bank in a middle-of-nowhere Australian town Dungatar. There’s a mystery to be solved. Did she kill a young boy at school? And can she get her demented and crazy mother to remember what happened, because she cannot?
She’s been away for years developing her skills as a dressmaker in Paris and London. Now back in the small town, the only way the fish-out-of-water Tilly can integrate into the gossip-filled and judgmental society is to make gorgeous outfits for the locals.  
This is a who’s who of Australian acting royalty. Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis, Rebecca Gibney, Shane Jacobson, Barry Otto, Julia Blake, Shane Bourne, and the list goes on.
Liam Hemsworth plays her suitor. He is probably one of the most gorgeous men on screen presently, along with his brother Chris. However, once the mystery is solved, you’re expecting the film to have a nice tidy ending. It doesn’t. There’s another thirty very long minutes of the weirdest film story I’ve seen.
I noticed in the credits the second unit director and co-writer is P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Mental), who was behind one of the worst, campiest films I’ve seen in the last five years Mental, so it all became clear. Director, Jocelyn Moorhouse was co-screenwriter and, also, produced Mental.
I don’t like their style of over-the-top caricatures, and I think this film would have been much more entertaining without them. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how it compares. Probably a DVD watch, so you can turn it off when it all gets too much. Can I say its very Australian like a Muriel’s Wedding.

Film Blurb
  Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, this bittersweet, comedy-drama is set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage, a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy, but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in so doing gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

BROOKLYN  ✪✪✪✪ ½ (showing at the British Film Festival Luna cinemas)
My Thoughts
This is a superbly created historical film about a na├»ve Irish girl moving to New York to make a better life. There’s nothing for her in Ireland, but she leaves behind her mother and sister, and is dreadfully homesick and lost in the strange, crowded New York of the fifties.
It reminds me of my own heritage and my husband’s with his parents moving here in the late forties after WWII. You just have so much respect for the courage it took for immigrants to move so far away from what they knew. This wasn’t the era of cell phones and Skype; they only had letters and so it would take months to hear from home.
Saoirse Ronan is stunning in this. I do love her as an upcoming actress. The sets are rich and beautiful, and Julie Walters is charming as the boarding house mother. Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Harry Potter) pops up as a beau in Ireland. Probably the beauty of the film is the chemistry between Saoirse Ronan and Michael Zegen, her Brooklyn suitor Maurizio. Both these young actors are divine on screen and are ones to watch. Just loved this. Take your mum or girlfriends. You will weep.
Film Blurb
BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother's home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. (C) Fox Searchlight

THE PROGRAM  ✪✪✪  (showing at the British Film Festival Luna cinemas)
My Thoughts
  Sorry, but I’m probably not giving an unbiased review of this film. I’ve read two books from different participants in the Lance Armstrong doping story, seen the Oprah interview, and the very good documentary last year The Armstrong Lie. I was also one of those who devoured his books. So, I’m very much over Lance Armstrong. There’s nothing more in my opinion that needs to be told.
However, if you haven’t followed the story as closely as me, then maybe you will enjoy this film on the biggest cheat in the history of sport, or should I say, the biggest cheat who got caught. I do feel, while the film is well made, it adds nothing new and is probably a little light on showing his personal life. If you’re not suffering Armstrong burn out, most of the reviewers who saw it thought it was great, so you might, too.

Film Blurb
From Academy Award® nominated director Stephen Frears (THE QUEEN, PHILOMENA) comes the incredible true story about the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most celebrated and controversial men in recent history, Lance Armstrong.

When Lance Armstrong fought back from life-threatening cancer to win the 1999 Tour de France, it seemed almost too good to be true. It was. Journalist David Walsh was one of a small group who was prepared to raise awkward questions about Armstrong’s seemingly superhuman feats. And so began a 13-year battle to reveal the truth that finally ended in October 2012, when the cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour victories for using performance enhancing drugs, and banned from the sport for life.

Based on the award winning book “Seven Deadly Sins” by David Walsh, and featuring a stellar cast including Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Dustin Hoffman and Jesse Plemons, this tense thriller looks at how one of the greatest deceptions in the modern era was uncovered, and how a few brave people fought to save a sport they loved from corruption.

SUFFRAGETTE  ✪✪✪  (showing at the British Film Festival Luna cinemas)
My Thoughts
  There haven’t been too many films about this important historical fight for women’s rights, so I excitedly anticipated this film. Something is not quite right in this. It should have been rousing and inspirational, but it felt pedestrian. The main issue might be that the story is told through the eyes of Maud (Carey Mulligan), a fictional character participating in events surrounding real true-life characters. Through Maud, we are shown the huge sacrifices made by the female foot soldiers of the movement. She loses her husband, her son, and then her job.
However, the greatest sacrifice witnessed by Maud was that of Emily Wilding Davison who stepped out in front of King George V's horse at the Epsom Derby on 4 June 1913, suffering fatal injuries. It was said she did this to gain publicity for the cause, which was being ignored by the media. Her death is credited as one of the catalysts for the movement’s ultimate success.
It would seem, therefore, she would be the more interesting character on which to base a film. By using Maud’s character as a minor participant and more as a witness, there feels a distance between the viewer and the storytelling.
Don’t hold your breath for Meryl Streep’s appearance, either. She’s in it for less than five minutes, although she features prominently on promotional material.

Film Blurb  `
Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, lead the cast of a powerful drama about the women who were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality in early-20th-century Britain. The stirring story centers on Maud (played by Carey Mulligan), a working wife and mother whose life is forever changed when she is secretly recruited to join the U.K.'s growing suffragette movement. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Maud becomes an activist for the cause alongside women from all walks of life. When increasingly aggressive police action forces Maud and her dedicated fellow suffragettes underground, they engage in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the authorities, who are shocked as the women's civil disobedience escalates and sparks debate across the nation. Inspired by true events, SUFFRAGETTE is a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of those who risked all they had for women's right to vote - their jobs, their homes, their children, and even their lives. The film also stars Ben Whishaw, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, Romola Garai, and Natalie Press. SUFFRAGETTE is directed by BAFTA Award winner Sarah Gavron from an original screenplay by Emmy Award winner Abi Morgan. (C) Focus Features

Rooftop Movies
Date: Opens Thursday 29th October
Time:  Doors open at 6.00pm Film commences 8pm
Location: City of Perth Roe St car park LEVEL 6 NORTHBRIDGE   

Films of note this week: 
The Martian (Sunday night)
Everest (Wednesday night)

With the best balmy summer nights in Australia, we're making the most of it. We've created a pop-up paradise, complete with palm trees, vintage caravans and a bunch of pink flamingoes just for fun. Doors open at 6pm nightly, so arrive early, get comfortable and take advantage of the cold bevvies and novelty candy we have on offer. Back for in 2015, the chefs from Dough Pizza will be cooking up pizza and delicious nibbles, fresh for you on-site.

Date: Opens Wed 28th October – 18th November
Time:  Various Times
Location: Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema Details and Booking

Films of note in the next week:
Four Weddings and a Funeral
The Program
Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman directed by Werner Herzog
Bill – a comedy about Shakespeare in the vein of Monty Python

Showcasing the best and brightest cinema from the British Isles, the program captures the magic, unique humour, romance, traditions and new age vitality of British culture.
Highlights include 45 YEARS, winner of best British feature film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and starring Charlotte Rampling; BFI London Film Festival 2015 Opening Night film SUFFRAGETTE starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter and Meryl Streep; and British writer Nick Hornby’s (An Education) BROOKLYN, the tale of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones), a young Irish immigrant trying to make her way in 1950s Brooklyn, New York. THE PROGRAM is also screening which is the story of Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace.

And announcing our 2015 retrospective, LOVE ACTUALLY-A CENTURY OF BRITISH ROMANCE which will feature 10 romantic gems representing each decade of the Twentieth Century.

Date: Opens  28th October– 8th November
Time:  Various Times
Location: Backlot Cinemas Leederville Details and Booking

Free Macabre themed Films showing at the Northbridge Piazza screen 29th & 30th October
Never Die
The Incident
Viva Mexico Party
Thursday the 5th of November 2015 at Perth's hottest venue, The Blue Flamingo, in Leederville. Mexican Day of the Dead theme!
Live band playing salsa and Latin tunes!
Free welcome drink! Free Mexican finger food!

Viola Dana play Nosferatu LIVE
Date: 1st November Sunday
Time:  7pm Luna SX
Location: Luna SX Fremantle Details and Booking

Local band Viola Dana will be presenting the Perth premiere of their new soundtrack for the seminal silent horror film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror live at Luna on SX as part of this year’s Fremantle Festival.

 Adapted from Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, FW Murnau's Nosferatu is a landmark piece of German expressionist cinema, and, some may argue, one of the most influential horror films from the history  of the genre. Viola Dana member Kathy Corecig writes, “Despite being made 93 years ago, Nosferatu seems as  spooky as ever and even fairly thematically relevant today. The fairly rudimentary visual effects by today’s standards seem to lend a greater degree of eeriness to the film than something slick and realistic, and the  themes of fear of the unknown – and of contamination – are universal and everlasting. The rich and soulful  combination of the cello, viola, guitar and drums that makes up Viola Dana’s sound naturally lends itself to  illuminating Nosferatu’s dark and brooding imagery. However, as a band that has worked solely on comedic films to date, we’re forever trying to look for ways to musically bring in a bit of light-hearted perspective where  it works!” Corecig has collaborated with Viola Dana drummer Pete Guazzelli to score this classic silent film.
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (FW Murnau, 1922, silent horror, 90 mins, tinted black and white,)