Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

by Daniel Okrent - 4 stars

I'd had this on my shelves for a while, but recent viewing of Boardwalk Empire whet my appetite for it. It turned out to be a truly comprehensive look at Prohibition that leaves virtually no aspect of life under that ridiculous law untouched, and with particular emphasis on the personalities and political manoeuvres that got it passed in the first place (and if you're anything like me you'll soon find yourself reading this while clutching a large glass of red wine in your clearly degenerate mitts, as all that talk about being 'dry' soon worked up a powerful thirst in me.)

Initially backed by the sorts of religious types who not only don't want to do something but don't want anyone else to do it either (ruddy killjoys) and then joined by some odd bedfellows for various reasons of their own, this book showed in a clear and detailed way how deft political machinations ensured that a law only really wanted by a minority was not only passed but stayed in place for far longer than it should have. 
There's definitely a lesson to be learned here, as we laugh at some of the fringe groups that would like to drag us back to the stone-age (whether it be culturally, sexually, educationally or in any other way, like the bigots in groups like the BNP, those lovely pro-lifers or the creationists who seem to have a scary amount of political clout compared to the rest of us less lunatic folk) when we should actually be taking them very seriously.

Ladies and the Klan, ruining drinking for everybody

A lot of the arguments for Prohibition seemed to be rooted in bigotry and xenophobia (because what else are black people to do now that they're not the slaves of white men but get drunk and rape white women? And the Germans and Jews making wonderful amounts of money from alcohol must be stopped) with people seemingly unaware of their own hypocrisy - I lost count of the amount of people who were spouting off about immigrants and how 'the scum of the old world' must be prevented from coming to America and becoming naturalized. Did these people never wonder how they had come to be American in the first place? Sure, they may have been born there but it's a very safe bet that at some point in their family history someone had to have got on a boat and sailed there as, after all, we're not dealing with the descendants of Sitting Bull and Geronimo here.

From such lovely beginnings it's small wonder that when the law was passed and needed to be enforced efforts were at best incompetent and underfunded and at worst venal and corrupt. Instead of changing drinking habits for the better it simply turned a huge chunk of the normally otherwise law-abiding population into criminals and handed the bigger criminals and their organisations astounding fortunes which could be used in no small part to bribe enforcement officers, politicians and the like to keep them out of jail and ensure that the only people really affected by the increasingly draconian sentencing guidelines were the poor and unpowerful (leading to a widowed mother of ten getting a life sentence for selling two quarts of gin in one particularly attention-grabbing case). 

Hands up if you're a criminal now!

If this all sounds depressingly familiar that'll be due to politicians and moral crusaders failing to learn any lessons from this period in history (that you can't legislate against human appetites, unless you want that law to be broken) and treating drug users in the same way. You can bet your life that the majority of people currently locked up for drug offences are small-fry, with the big boys still sitting pretty and counting their stacks of money as it's far easier for the fuzz that way - inflating their arrest stats and giving the appearance of effectiveness in the war on drugs.

That said, there were some intriguing developments and innovations thanks to Prohibition - the introduction of mixers (to disguise the rank flavour of crappy counterfeit booze) and the birth of what we now take for granted on cruise ships (who only started offering entertainment and facilities as a way to attract tourists back to the American ships that weren't allowed to carry alcohol) were just a few of the rather interesting things that came about, along with 
the fact that for the first time women were out drinking with men rather than waiting at home and so, really, Prohibition is also to blame for this:

That's probably more than enough of my ranting for now, but if you're at all interested in Prohibition then you couldn't go far wrong with this as it's packed with information and no small amount of personality too - like me, Okrent clearly couldn't help but let us know his own opinion at frequent, sarcastic intervals, which makes the book all the better as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

For Thomas Cromwell

*Puts on Russell Crowe voice*

Son of a Putney brewer, advisor to a King. Father of the modern English state and all round clever bastard, this one's for you:

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*Apart from that bit on the bill against homosexuality (Henry VIII's Enforcer - BBC Two) I don't remember that from the Hilary Mantel books.

Who in hell fancies Leonardo DiCaprio?

Being both a bit of a film buff and a voracious gossip hound, coverage of the Cannes film festival has brought Leonardo DiCaprio to my attention once more. Playing the lead in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (good book, but I tend to find Luhrmann's films migraine-inducing, so I can't say I'm really excited to see it) and having done the bare minimum by way of photocalls to promote the movie, while the rest of the film's cast is moving on to the rest of Europe to attend its various premieres, Leo has stayed behind in Cannes due to 'scheduling conflicts'.

Judging by the pap photos showing him at parties, surrounded as usual by ten tons of supermodel ass (which makes for a lot of models. They don't tend to weigh much individually, after all) 'scheduling conflicts' actually means "I want to stay in Cannes and score some supermodel strange". Which I'm sure he will, as he seems to be rather successful with the ladies. Although why that is will remain an eternal mystery to me.

I suppose, in the interests of fairness, that there are a couple of reasons for his scoring success that I can think of. He is, after all, a fantastic actor and has chosen to star in some amazing films, and for the likes of such awesome dudes as Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan, who don't often pick wrong 'uns. He's also very, very rich, and I hear that can help when it comes to exciting a certain type of young lady.

But all the money in the world couldn't help my complete lack of lady-boner when looking at Leo.

First there's his face. Look at it:

It's quite a big face, isn't it? And yet all of his features are huddled together around his nose, leaving a vast, empty expanse of doughy cheek to inhabit the rest of his skull. While helping to keep his face eternally babyfied (and if that's not a word, it should be) it also puts me in mind of such sexual icons as the Churchill nodding dog:

You're probably already yelling at me about how pretty he was during his romantic lead heights, in Romeo + Juliet and Titanic. Let's take a quick look, shall we?

Pretty? Yes. Sexy? No. Why? Because he looks like he's 12, and 12 year olds have never turned me on (even when I was 12). The hair really isn't helping here, as the only people I've ever known with 'curtains' were all 11-15 year olds.

Let's move down, and onto the body. First - the clothes. While his wardrobe choices for premieres and events are pretty standard (you really can't go wrong with a suit), have you ever seen what he wears off-duty? Take a look:

Yes, that is a shell-suit top and Uggs. And yes - he is wearing socks with his shorts. 

Due to the above, you'd think I'd be grateful when he took his top off, just so I don't have to see as much of the clothes. You'd be wrong. Here he is showing off his sweet bikini body:

Below the torso things don't get much better. We've already noticed his feet (see above), but take another look at him walking:

Do you see it? Just in case you don't, here he is in action:

He walks, and runs, with HIS FEET TURNED OUT! Never has there been a quicker killer of the lady-boner than a man walking with his feet turned out, like a precious little ballerina.

"You're so superficial!" I hear you all cry.
"Just like Leo" I respond.

Aside from a quick fling with Blake Lively (who went on to marry Boss-Eyed Foundation Face Ryan Reynolds, so clearly has appalling taste in men) Leo has almost exclusively dated supermodels. I'm sure this has nothing to do with how they look and everything to do with their personalities. He's probably picked most of them up while in the company of his 'Pussy Posse'. That delightful moniker was given to Leo and his friends, probably by Leo and his friends, and the group comprises such ladykillers as Lukas Haas, Tobey Maguire and David Blaine. Snort. 

Can anyone smell douche? I'll bet his pick-up lines are worse than Amsterdam Vallon's: 

He looks like he can't dance. I have no proof of this but I'm damning him with it anyway. I'd also bet my house that he's selfish in bed, and kind of fumbly.

And you can show me as many pictures of him with cute little Knut as you like, and raise the fact that he's done some brilliant awareness raising of big issues and is vocal on the subject of climate change. Because I don't like him, I'll point out that he travels on a private jet.

So there you have it. Leonardo DiCaprio - I wouldn't touch him with yours.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Friday night's alright for fighting

I've been having something of a scrappy week and, while it hasn't yet resulted in any violence, I can't say I haven't fantasised about slamming a few heads into my desk. But while I can't go around visiting physical injuries upon those who annoy me, I can certainly come up with a list of my favourite screen fights...

10. Rob vs Ian - High Fidelity

The scene that started this post, it shows exactly what I've been doing this week. The only difference being that the prick I want to beat up isn't called Ian.

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9. Chev Chelios vs baddie - Crank: High Voltage

The Crank films are my guilty pleasures. Gleefully batshit, Crank: High Voltage hit surreal heights with this fantastic Godzilla inspired giant head fight.

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8. Jay & Silent Bob vs Internet posters - Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

I would dearly love for Jay to visit those on my shitlist. Or for him to be my best friend. I think he's awesome even when he's beating up children.

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7. Ripley vs Alien Queen - Aliens

Apparently women are the weaker sex, but don't tell Ripley that. Besides, who needs muscles when you're a badass with a powerloader?

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6. Columbus vs Apartment 406 - Zombieland

When the hot girl from the apartment next door wakes up with a serious case of the zombies, Columbus shows off some survival skills that are probably more like mine than any other on this list...

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5. Indiana Jones vs show-off swordsman - Raiders of the Lost Ark

When you just don't have the time to get into a fight...

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4. Ting vs fight club dude - Ong Bak

Having just watched this fellow annihilate some poor dude, it looks like it's shaping to be quite the scrap when Ting inadvertently enters the ring.

For iPhone/iPad click here.

3. Oh Dae-su vs a small army - Oldboy

Facing a corridor full of tooled-up thugs, Oh Dae-su battles his way through armed with nothing but a hammer (ouch). This one looks like it hurts a lot.

For iPhone/iPad click here.

2. River vs a bar - Serenity

That awkward moment when your secret government training is subliminally triggered by a commercial, and you kick the living shit out of an entire bar.

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1. Good Ash vs Bad Ash - Army of Darkness: The Medieval Dead

My biggest battles are always with myself. Besides, Bruce is the King. Hail to the King, baby. Hail to the King.

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Those are my favourites. What are yours?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Don't Bother Bin - Lady Chatterley's Lover

1 star (read May 2009)

Some time ago, I read Twilight (don't judge me). All the chastity gave me a severe case of literary blue balls, and so I went off in search of consummation. Having read this as a teenager and with no real memory of it other than the odd lewd bit that stuck out, I thought I'd give it another go and see if it resonated any more deeply now that I'm a little older and, ahem, wiser...

I really wish that I hadn't bothered, as this felt like a real chore. Maybe it was Connie's initial apathy that rubbed off on me, but the writing left me cold. It was incredibly repetitive and the descriptions all seemed a bit off. I lost count of the times I read sentences such as 'they were slack and thin, with a slack thinness to them', 'watching with a cold watchfulness', or 'he was impetuous and went about impetuously'...and this is supposed to be good writing?

Much of the book was spent lamenting over pre-industrial England that had ceased to exist by the time of writing, eulogising the death of 'real men', or sneering at the characters for some aspect of their class (whether upper or working class, Lawrence seems to feel contempt for pretty much all of them). The infamous sex scenes were all strangely detached and impersonal, with no real intimacy or sensuality, and even by the end of the book I failed to see any real love between Connie and Mellors.

The only thing I was left with was an abiding sense of Lawrence really disliking women - they're fishwives, gossips or blanks, (even Connie, despite Lawrence somehow seeing her as intelligent and spirited, seems mostly vacant a lot of the time - and Mellors seems to love her mainly for her arse and fanny) and some of the statements that are put into the mouths of various characters on women were more shocking to me than the fucking. Women who don't enjoy sex are hated, women who do enjoy it are despised. 

But then, it seems overall that this book wasn't even really about sex between a couple anyway, but in large an ode to the cock. 

I just thought it was bollocks.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot - 3 stars

(read May 2013)

I fell in love with Middlesex, and The Virgin Suicides sustained that feeling and kept my expectations high, both of them possessing a hypnotic quality and originality that still make me feel a bit glowy when I think of them. It was perhaps for this reason that I felt slightly underwhelmed by this latest outing from Jeffrey Eugenides, or perhaps the fault lay with me as I wasn't able to devote as much time to reading this as I would have liked. When I finally did get a chance to read undisturbed for more than 5 minutes I found it almost engrossing, but unfortunately up until then real life shenanigans had intruded and made for a fractured reading experience, which might partly explain why I didn't get the expected tingle from this book.

Madeleine is writing her thesis on the marriage plot in literature while starring in her own marriage plot as she loves Leonard, who's manic depressive, and is loved by Mitchell, who's pondering questions of spirituality. Including enough nods to other literary works to keep most bookworms satisfied and lots of nice moments of writing, somehow I still didn't really feel as if I ever connected with it on more than a superficial level.

If I hadn't read anything more by Eugenides I'd have probably enjoyed this more, but I just didn't get that rush that I've now come to expect from reading him, when a book sets up shop inside you.

If you're thinking of picking up some Eugenides, perhaps these might be a better place to start:

Middlesex - 5 stars

(read April 2009)

I felt like I'd read a rare treat, a book as unique as it's narrator.

This tells the story of hermaphrodite Cal (formerly Calliope) by tracing the recessive gene through the tangled branches of his family tree, from his grandparents' courtship on the slopes of Bithynios and the burning harbour of Smyrna, through to Cal's own Walk on the Wild Side in 70's San Francisco.

It's filled with cinematic moments; throughout the montage on the Henry Ford assembly line, the businessmen on Black Thursday, and the little girl pedalling furiously behind tanks rolling through Detroit, you can almost see the edits and grainy footage. At other times you're submersed in dreamy detail.

Amusing, thrilling, informative and moving, I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.

The Virgin Suicides - 5 stars

(read in January 2011)

You might be forgiven for thinking that a book telling of the suicides of five teenaged sisters, all within a year, might be depressing. However, soon after embarking upon this book, you'd have been proven wrong as instead this is a beautiful and moving account of the indelible impressions left upon the lives and memories of their community and the neighbourhood boys who loved them from afar, as they try to piece together the mystery of who the girls were and why they took their lives.

From the very first the neighbourhood is touched by pollution and decay - the fish flies that fill the air and leave their bodies blanketing the houses, cars and streets, the constant flooding of basements and the cutting down of neighbourhood trees in an effort to stop the spread of dutch elm disease, much like the watchfulness that grips the neighbourhood following the suicide of Cecilia, the youngest, as though suicide is a contagion. Already isolated due to the boys' shy worship, the family becomes more and more isolated until completely shut away inside their decaying home, lending the girls the air of tragic fairytale princesses needing rescue and leaving the boys to fantasize and speculate on each scrap of their lives that they can scavenge. However, much like the girls themselves, the answers to who they were and why they died always remains a tantalising riddle, always just out of reach.

I can't do justice to this book with this review, so instead you should just go out and find yourself a copy, and let yourself drift inside the memories of the boys.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Getting FUBAR

It's the Birthday weekend, which means drinking. I used to be excellent at drinking but seem to have turned into the type of person who's smashed after a couple of drinks. But the real question is, just how FUBAR will I get today?

Place your bets, please!

5. The Anthony Michael Hall

Just drunk enough to think I'm cool, and using my drunk voice, but not yet smashed enough to ruin my cool illusion. 

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4. The Golden God

I soon start showing off. This is the 'hey everyone, look at me!' stage.

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3. The Withnail

Where I start to become belligerent, and usually in the least appropriate of settings.

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2. The Fear & Loathing

At some point, I will start to behave like this...although I will still think I'm perfectly OK to carry on drinking.

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1. The Nick & Norah

While this should be Simon from Inbetweeners, YouTube won't let me embed it, and so this becomes the final stage...

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What stage will I make it to? 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Spoilt little sod...

Yesterday I woke up one year older. I love birthdays, probably because I always get well and truly spoilt. This year was no exception.

Having spent the previous evening with my mum, drinking Grandad's home-made wine, I woke up a little worse for wear (which seems to be a tradition for me on my birthday) and found that the gift giving had started early, with the universe giving me this to wake up to:

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In case you hadn't already noticed a tendency to include something of his in most of my lists, I'm something of a Joss Whedon fan and so I spent the rest of my day off work luxuriating in a mild hangover and a rewatch of some Buffy, while awaiting my birthday guests.

Talking of which, you've gotta love friends who'll bring you the things that you were supposed to sort out for your evening but were too crap and hungover to manage, so a big shout out goes to both Midge and Rerab for saving my bacon and ensuring we got fed. You're the best besties a girl could wish for.

I spent the rest of my evening hanging out with awesome people, laughing at the two best little people to have ever walked the earth, and stroking my presents. Wanna know what they were? Course you do...

I got some practical things - like some decent cutlery (we seem to have had nothing but butter knives in our house up until now, which means you may as well just pick your steak up and chew it) and a swish new cocktail flask (of course it's for cocktails - what else would it be for?!)

I got some clothes as, even though my bedroom is stuffed to overflowing already, I never have anything to wear.

My Playstation Lego addiction was further fed (I am OBSESSED with these games) along with some stonking British films.

I got a book on one of my idols, Mr Leonard Cohen, which I can't wait to start tearing into, and a beautiful journal which came complete with assorted quotes from fantasy novels inside. I'm already getting nerdy and checking how many of these I've read (with a note to pick up the rest) and am planning on using only my best pen (yes, I have a best pen) and handwriting in it. 

And NikNak outdid himself with an amazing framed poster of my favourite book of all time...

But what about the cake? I hear you all cry. Wait until you get a load of this:

Wanna see it in action?

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Yes, that is the Iron Throne. Yes, those are heads on spikes, complete with drips of blood. Yes, those are sparklers. And yes, Rerab made it all with her own awesome hands.

It tasted as good as it looked, but I'm banning anyone from so much as touching the throne...

So, that was my lucky am I?!?

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Musicals aren't all bad...

I've been lent a copy of the Les Miserables stage show by a well-meaning soul and, although I can't imagine that the addition of some watery-eyed ballads can make me change my opinion, it got me to thinking about musicals. I'd thought for some time that I wasn't really much of a fan, thanks to things like The Sound of Music, but on reminding myself of Frank N Furter singing Sweet Transvestite in Best Character Entrances, I realised that I was wrong. 

I do like musicals. I just happen to only like the ones that are awesome. Which, surely, means it's time for another list! And so, without further ado, I present to you - My Favourite Songs in a Musical.

Note: The Rocky Horror Picture Show will not be included here, as it's in a class of its own and besides, I posted my favourite song from that in my last list

10. Dr Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog

From the god-like (to me) Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris, who isn't half bad himself, comes Brand New Day, sung by our titular aspiring supervillian after being vexed in love by his nemesis, Captain Hammer.

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9. Oz 

Obligatory Oz clip time! From the very beginning of the show, the relationship between Beecher and head Aryan Schillinger (played by the fantastic J.K. Simmons, who should be in all the things) was fraught with rape, ass-branding and the murder of loved ones. In a move I never thought to see, and was delighted with, Season 5 brought us a musical episode, and this:

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8. Sweet Charity

I once went to see this show staged by a local amateur dramatics group, and have never quite recovered from hearing this sung with a Janner accent. But I'm being unfair. After all, in this moment Sammy Davis Jr stole the entire film.

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7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

YouTube is an asshole who doesn't want me to show you anything from Once More With Feeling, the musical episode in which a demon comes to Sunnydale and soon has everyone bursting into song, whether they like it or not. I'd love to show you I'll Never Tell, where Xander and Anya sing their pre-wedding jitters, but a video with just the lyrics will have to stand in instead.

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6. Grease

I grew up watching Grease, but even back when I was little I couldn't stand Sandy and secretly wanted to grow up to be Rizzo. For me, Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee was always the gleefully bitchy highlight of the film.

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5. Cry Baby 

Long before Johnny Depp started wearing the Scarves of the Midlife Crisis, he was Cry Baby. I probably love this film a little more than is healthy.

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4. Moulin Rouge

I don't actually know what I think of Moulin Rouge as a whole, but I can't deny that it has its moments. Roxanne being one of them.

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3. The Blues Brothers

In a film packed with amazing singers and songs, the Queen of Soul (naturally) takes the crown.

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2. Little Shop of Horrors

The stand-out song from an outstanding film (shut up, it is) comes courtesy of Steve Martin...

For iPhone/iPad click here.

1. South Park - The Musical

Having gifted me with my favourite moment in a cinema ever, this had to be number one. A song from a musical inside a musical, the moment this started playing there was an audible gasp, a moment of silence, and then the entire cinema fell about in hysterics.

For iPhone/iPad click here.

Now I've had my fun, it's over to you. What have I missed?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Sociopath Next Door

by Martha Stout - 2.5 stars

I fancy myself as something of an armchair psychologist and so books like this always appeal to me. The cover tells me that 1 in 25 Americans are secret sociopaths and asks who the devil is that you know, and so even though I'm not American I was looking forward to surreptitiously scrutinising my acquaintances for signs of no conscience. 

It's easier said than done, even facetiously. Although the statistics would assume that I know at least a couple, it's hard to assign something like lack of remorse to people as I can't really imagine any of them - even the most destructive and awful of them - being a true sociopath. Except, predictably, those currently in Government.

This book was easily accessible to a layman like me, especially when looking at the potential makings of a sociopath (nature vs nurture) and coming out with interesting points such as the effect of war on the psychological make-up of countries. With Genghis Khan being the sort of guy who slaughtered all he vanquished and fathering tons of sons, apparently now 8 percent of people currently living in the region of the former Mongol empire - 16 million - apparently have a genetic predisposition to genocide, as well as for totally ravaging sporting goods stores.

However, at times this also felt repetitive and some of the anecdotal evidence felt like hammy writing, along with a little too much focus (for me) on presenting sociopathy as a battle between good vs evil. Apparently desiring to put a stop to the damage Stout sees done daily by sociopaths, who she sees as the biggest danger to the world and ourselves, this tipped too much into Helen Lovejoy territory at times for my liking...

...even if every now and then she'd do a complete 180 and start banging the drum of understanding and shedding tears over how awful it must be to live without an emotional life.

A good primer, but I'd have preferred it had it come with less of an agenda, and less hysteria.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The 'Don't Bother' Bin - Sleeping Beauty smut

What can I say? There's a lot of football on the telly in our house, and I don't always want to get engrossed in something big and brilliant when my brain feels mushy. That's when I turn to smut. I don't know why - I don't think I've read much that I've enjoyed, as these 'erotic' takes on the Sleeping Beauty myth show...

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - A.N. Roquelaure

1 star

Don't let the name confuse you - this is Anne Rice. I'm an Anne Rice fan, although she can piss me off at times (cough, cough Angel Time). It seems though there's something that can annoy me quicker than her banging on about God, and that's her banging on about paddling instead.

This is well written (and is infinitely better than 50 Shades of Shit Grey) but deeply irritating (especially all those quivering buttocks), though I think that's probably less Anne's fault than it is mine. It seems that BDSM just ain't my flavour and I can't find rape, humiliation and degradation a turn-on, as I spend most of my reading time desperately wishing that one of the 'love' slaves would rise up and punch their master in the neck. I can hereby promise that the first person to try slapping my tits will quickly find themselves short a few teeth.

Ravish: The Awakening of Sleeping Beauty - Cathy Yardley

1 star

In another 'erotic' retelling of Sleeping Beauty, this time Rory is a young woman on holiday on a Carribean island, about to lose her virginity, when she falls into a coma. 

Jacob White is the brilliant neurosurgeon (or something) brought in by her wealthy family six years into said coma. Jacob soon starts having sexy dreams about his comatose patient, and....oh whatever. The story doesn't really matter, and is merely a ridiculous and silly setting in which our 'characters' have lots and lots of sex.

I keep coming back to these smutty reads hoping for something different each time, but it seems that instead of having sex as the point, I prefer it as part of a believable story (by which I don't mean it has to take place on a council estate or anything, after all I inhale fantasy and paranormal stuff like it's going out of fashion). 

Oh well, it seems I'm destined to be forever disappointed in this genre.

The first time I saw your face - best character entrances

Last week we looked at some of my favourite ways to enter a room. This week, I'm all about character entrances. Some arrive in a clash of thunder, some with a smirk, and some with awesome backing music. Here are my picks of the best:

10. Colonel Kurtz - Apocalypse Now

Having spent the whole film leading to this moment, he makes one hell of an impression in a short amount of screen time.

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9. Tobias Beecher - Oz

Making another list due to my obsession with the show (seriously, I'm currently considering Oz marathon number 9,999) and we enter Oz along with Beecher. Having Alvarez stabbed in front of him will not be his lowest point...

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8. Satanico Pandemonium - From Dusk Til Dawn

I won't bother with an intro, as Danny Trejo does a better job than I could ever hope to.

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7. Dr Peter Venkman - Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters came out when I was 5. And from the moment I spied Venkman fudging the results of a psychometric tests to flirt with a girl, a lifelong love affair with Bill Murray bloomed. 

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6. Patrick Bateman - American Psycho

When I first heard that American Psycho was being adapted for the screen, I was worried that they would never be able to do the book justice. I needn't have worried, as this introduction to Patrick Bateman attests.

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5. Jaws - Jaws

Having spent all of our time up til now with Jaws as point of view shots, or as a bit of (brilliant) music, the first time we actually clap eyes on him is one helluva moment, and also leads to one of my favourite lines in a film, ever.

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4. Jack Sparrow - Pirates of the Caribbean

Although Johnny Depp is annoying me more and more these days (I think it's the scarves. Seriously, how long does it take him to pick out and artfully arrange those 20 scarves, 30 bangles and various chains each time he gets dressed? I'll bet he takes at least 30 times longer to get dressed than I do), I can't deny that this introduction is fan-flipping-tastic.

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3. The Kurgan - Highlander

If I had my way, every moment starring the Kurgan would be top of every list going. Sadly, I understand that the world doesn't share my slightly off-kilter tastes - and that most people cheer for Christophe Lamby-pie against the Kurgan. Fools.

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2. Jesus Quintana - The Big Lebowski

Surely the greatest introduction, including the awesomeness of the Gipsy Kings Hotel California, except: Eight year olds, dude...

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1. Frank N Furter - Rocky Horror Picture Show

And so we find ourselves here, backing up against an elevator while a sparkly platform heel taps time. What happens next must have had a very profound effect on me as I not only found Tim Curry wildly attractive but also grew up to believe that most men look sexier with a bit of lippy and some eyeliner...

For iPhone/iPad click here.

Those were my favourites. What are yours?