vr_trakowski: (Default)
I watched Plunkett & Macleane again today, for the first time since [personal profile] jeanniemac and I saw it in the theater when it came out.  It's not an easy movie to find; even Netflix only has it on streaming. 

It seems to have been billed as a comedy, but it isn't, though it has its funny moments; and while the promotional materials make much of Liv Tyler's character, she had nowhere near as much to do with P's and McL's activities as they imply.  It's a good piece of costume drama, appropriately filthy for the mid-eighteenth century, and with some very good acting; the villain is deeply chilling, and so well written that one only gradually realizes just how nasty he actually is.  And Alan Cumming's Lord Rochester is an utter, deep delight. 

The costuming seems more than a bit weird, especially the wigs and a particular hairdo, but I don't know enough about the period to tell whether it's exaggerated.  I suspect not. 

There is, however, a serious overuse of the word "fuck".  And for those of you who complain about the Ladyhawke soundtrack, this one is worse.  By far.  Especially the credits track.  Seriously, rap? 

All in all, I do recommend this film, if you can find a copy. 


On a completely different note, I covet this.  I have an unhealthy relationship with dichroic glass.  *snerk* 

vr_trakowski: (pages)
I'm not sure why I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story so much, but I do have a taste for them, with the excellence of Michaela Roessner's Vanishing Point being a high bar (though, strictly speaking, it's not exactly post-apocalyptic).*  

And I adore H.M. Hoover.  Her books were probably the first sci-fi I read, and they are still solid despite almost forty years' advances in technology.  They're not all gems, but the balance is heavy on the side of quality. 

Children of Morrow is definitely post-apocalyptic, and a terrific story of outcast kids escaping from hostiles to a better community.  Tia and Rabbit are vivid characters and the world is described well--it's desperately lonely, and bleak enough to make one want to go out and mend the ecology on the spot. 

Unfortunately, the sequel Treasures of Morrow doesn't deliver quite as well.  It synopsizes too much, skimming over the complexities of Morrow with just a few glimpses, and breaks down in characterization when the kids return to their original home.  It's not a bad book, but it suffers in comparison with the well-rounded Children.  

Still, I can recommend them both.  Read the first, and enjoy; if you like it enough, read the second. 


* I am aware of the deep flaws of her Walkabout Woman.  Vanishing Point is much better, and to my possibly ignorant eyes avoids such errors.  
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I'm not sure why I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story so much, but I do have a taste for them, with the excellence of Michaela Roessner's Vanishing Point being a high bar (though, strictly speaking, it's not exactly post-apocalyptic).*  

And I adore H.M. Hoover.  Her books were probably the first sci-fi I read, and they are still solid despite almost forty years' advances in technology.  They're not all gems, but the balance is heavy on the side of quality. 

Children of Morrow is definitely post-apocalyptic, and a terrific story of outcast kids escaping from hostiles to a better community.  Tia and Rabbit are vivid characters and the world is described well--it's desperately lonely, and bleak enough to make one want to go out and mend the ecology on the spot. 

Unfortunately, the sequel Treasures of Morrow doesn't deliver quite as well.  It synopsizes too much, skimming over the complexities of Morrow with just a few glimpses, and breaks down in characterization when the kids return to their original home.  It's not a bad book, but it suffers in comparison with the well-rounded Children.  

Still, I can recommend them both.  Read the first, and enjoy; if you like it enough, read the second. 


* I am aware of the deep flaws of her Walkabout Woman.  Vanishing Point is much better, and to my possibly ignorant eyes avoids such errors.  
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished re-reading Owls in the Family.  It's a delightful story in many ways--the owls are, if you'll pardon the term, a hoot.  I don't know how realistic it is as to their behavior, but it's close enough to believe in.  Wol and Weeps are wonderful characters and clearly have minds of their own. 

It's also a bit appalling.  The protagonists think nothing of robbing nests, shooting animals, shooting birds en masse, and painting a dog, among other casual cruelties.  They are, however, consistent with the time in which the book is set.  

It's still a worthwhile read, and a quick one. 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished re-reading Owls in the Family.  It's a delightful story in many ways--the owls are, if you'll pardon the term, a hoot.  I don't know how realistic it is as to their behavior, but it's close enough to believe in.  Wol and Weeps are wonderful characters and clearly have minds of their own. 

It's also a bit appalling.  The protagonists think nothing of robbing nests, shooting animals, shooting birds en masse, and painting a dog, among other casual cruelties.  They are, however, consistent with the time in which the book is set.  

It's still a worthwhile read, and a quick one. 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I've read this one before, being fond of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series if not her Kate Martinelli one.  (I have tried the latter, but couldn't care about the characters enough.)  This is mostly a Martinelli novel with a Russell story inserted in the middle, quite cleverly, and I enjoy it very much despite my one-sided tastes. 

Mind you, the Russell story isn't about Russell at all, it's about Holmes, but to a devotee of that series it doesn't matter; one can take it as an addendum to Locked Rooms.  Parallel murder mysteries and a clever look at the nature of "fiction".  What is real, after all?  Ms. King does love to play with the concept. 

I recommend it, and frankly I think it can stand independent of either series, though a reader would get more from it after reading one or both series first. 

Separately, I'd like to direct interested parties to Open Library.  It's a nifty idea and I hope it manages to take off. 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I've read this one before, being fond of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series if not her Kate Martinelli one.  (I have tried the latter, but couldn't care about the characters enough.)  This is mostly a Martinelli novel with a Russell story inserted in the middle, quite cleverly, and I enjoy it very much despite my one-sided tastes. 

Mind you, the Russell story isn't about Russell at all, it's about Holmes, but to a devotee of that series it doesn't matter; one can take it as an addendum to Locked Rooms.  Parallel murder mysteries and a clever look at the nature of "fiction".  What is real, after all?  Ms. King does love to play with the concept. 

I recommend it, and frankly I think it can stand independent of either series, though a reader would get more from it after reading one or both series first. 

Separately, I'd like to direct interested parties to Open Library.  It's a nifty idea and I hope it manages to take off. 
vr_trakowski: (dream bigger)
[livejournal.com profile] cincoflex's The Tutor is just not getting the love it deserves.  Okay, it's early days yet at one chapter so far, but it is Eames to an absolute, smoking T, and it's only going to get better from here on out.  Trust me, I've read ahead.  *wicked grin*  So go read.  Her LJ or FF.net, and for mature audiences only!   

P.S.  If you haven't seen Inception yet, you should-- *ahem* --there are spoilers for the film, but so far at least one can read without really losing anything.  However, it'll make more sense if you wait until you have seen it.  
vr_trakowski: (dream bigger)
[livejournal.com profile] cincoflex's The Tutor is just not getting the love it deserves.  Okay, it's early days yet at one chapter so far, but it is Eames to an absolute, smoking T, and it's only going to get better from here on out.  Trust me, I've read ahead.  *wicked grin*  So go read.  Her LJ or FF.net, and for mature audiences only!   

P.S.  If you haven't seen Inception yet, you should-- *ahem* --there are spoilers for the film, but so far at least one can read without really losing anything.  However, it'll make more sense if you wait until you have seen it.  

Alas!

Jun. 27th, 2010 11:08 pm
vr_trakowski: (shelf space)
Why is it that Pamela Dean's works so often go out of print?  Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary is a fabulous book.  It's difficult, certainly--I had to read it at least three times to get all the nuances--but one doesn't read Ms. Dean for easy.  

It's really more about Gentian than the other two, who are all sisters.  And I'm finding it difficult to try to explain the plot of this book in any way that would convey its absolute uniqueness.  There are old ideas there, of course, but like Tam Lin, they are never, ever what one expects.  This is, in a way, a fantasy book, but the setting is modern and suburban.  Gentian is an astronomer, a scientist, and is struggling with the usual questions of a practical teen facing an impractical world.  And then someone new moves in next door...  

Whatever you're thinking, you're wrong.  But I don't want to give the plot away.  *grin* 

In addition, if you're into good books, pay attention to what the characters in this story read.  I found a wonderful series that way, and would have found another great title if I hadn't read it already. 

Alas!

Jun. 27th, 2010 11:08 pm
vr_trakowski: (shelf space)
Why is it that Pamela Dean's works so often go out of print?  Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary is a fabulous book.  It's difficult, certainly--I had to read it at least three times to get all the nuances--but one doesn't read Ms. Dean for easy.  

It's really more about Gentian than the other two, who are all sisters.  And I'm finding it difficult to try to explain the plot of this book in any way that would convey its absolute uniqueness.  There are old ideas there, of course, but like Tam Lin, they are never, ever what one expects.  This is, in a way, a fantasy book, but the setting is modern and suburban.  Gentian is an astronomer, a scientist, and is struggling with the usual questions of a practical teen facing an impractical world.  And then someone new moves in next door...  

Whatever you're thinking, you're wrong.  But I don't want to give the plot away.  *grin* 

In addition, if you're into good books, pay attention to what the characters in this story read.  I found a wonderful series that way, and would have found another great title if I hadn't read it already. 

Busy, busy

Feb. 16th, 2010 11:51 pm
vr_trakowski: (Green Laurel)
Chapter 13 of Green Laurel is posted (Iron Man, Tony/Pepper).  Also, I put in a quick Sherlock Holmes story at [livejournal.com profile] consulting_room, which [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex promptly sequelized; check 'em out, and [livejournal.com profile] tres_mechante's delightful Watson ficlets while you're at it.  

Busy, busy

Feb. 16th, 2010 11:51 pm
vr_trakowski: (Green Laurel)
Chapter 13 of Green Laurel is posted (Iron Man, Tony/Pepper).  Also, I put in a quick Sherlock Holmes story at [livejournal.com profile] consulting_room, which [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex promptly sequelized; check 'em out, and [livejournal.com profile] tres_mechante's delightful Watson ficlets while you're at it.  

*bounce*

Jan. 7th, 2010 10:35 am
vr_trakowski: (hat)
Gotta rec these.  Attention [livejournal.com profile] boubabe , [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex  and I kind of collaborated on Digest--I'm responsible for some of the dialogue, at least. 

And last night she posted Folly, which is for adults only.  *grin*  Sherlock Holmes isn't all about the slash, you know.  

*bounce*

Jan. 7th, 2010 10:35 am
vr_trakowski: (hat)
Gotta rec these.  Attention [livejournal.com profile] boubabe , [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex  and I kind of collaborated on Digest--I'm responsible for some of the dialogue, at least. 

And last night she posted Folly, which is for adults only.  *grin*  Sherlock Holmes isn't all about the slash, you know.  
vr_trakowski: (Noel)
In the spirit of the holiday, a review of some fine [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex Christmas fics! ;) Why not recommend your own favorites?

CSI:

Casa Caliente 7: Christmas Revelations -- Surprises abound for the residents of the crime lab. (NC-17)

Inn Trouble -- Once upon a Christmas, Grissom was Joseph... (T)

The Kringle P.O. -- Grissom's wish list. (PG)


House:

Tempered III: Tying One On -- It's time for House and Cuddy to open presents. (NC-17)


Iron Man:

Eden in a Box, Book 2
-- starting in Chapter 9. (NC-17)

Letters to Santa -- Collection of notes to the Big Man in the Red Suit. (PG-13)

Nutcracker (co-written w/me) -- It's a matter of trust. (G)

Order: Santalales -- Will Pepper be left behind this Christmas? (M)
vr_trakowski: (Noel)
In the spirit of the holiday, a review of some fine [livejournal.com profile] cincoflex Christmas fics! ;) Why not recommend your own favorites?

CSI:

Casa Caliente 7: Christmas Revelations -- Surprises abound for the residents of the crime lab. (NC-17)

Inn Trouble -- Once upon a Christmas, Grissom was Joseph... (T)

The Kringle P.O. -- Grissom's wish list. (PG)


House:

Tempered III: Tying One On -- It's time for House and Cuddy to open presents. (NC-17)


Iron Man:

Eden in a Box, Book 2
-- starting in Chapter 9. (NC-17)

Letters to Santa -- Collection of notes to the Big Man in the Red Suit. (PG-13)

Nutcracker (co-written w/me) -- It's a matter of trust. (G)

Order: Santalales -- Will Pepper be left behind this Christmas? (M)

Heat Wave

Nov. 18th, 2009 10:13 pm
vr_trakowski: (Captain)
As a tie-in novel, Heat Wave (the Castle spin-off) is surprisingly good, with strong characterizations and a nice complicated mystery. There’s plenty of wit and twists, and while it’s short enough to make the cover price a bit outrageous, it’s fun and a very decent read.

As what it’s pretending to be, however, it fails utterly. The characters that are supposed to be inspired by the police folks are basically copies with the names changed. And the author offers almost no physical description of them at all. Nikki Heat is supposed to be young and sexy, but there’s nothing to tell the reader that. It’s a glaring omission for what’s supposed to be a debut novel.

It’s still fun and full of inside jokes, though, and I recommend it--though you might want to check your library rather than paying the full price.

Heat Wave

Nov. 18th, 2009 10:13 pm
vr_trakowski: (Captain)
As a tie-in novel, Heat Wave (the Castle spin-off) is surprisingly good, with strong characterizations and a nice complicated mystery. There’s plenty of wit and twists, and while it’s short enough to make the cover price a bit outrageous, it’s fun and a very decent read.

As what it’s pretending to be, however, it fails utterly. The characters that are supposed to be inspired by the police folks are basically copies with the names changed. And the author offers almost no physical description of them at all. Nikki Heat is supposed to be young and sexy, but there’s nothing to tell the reader that. It’s a glaring omission for what’s supposed to be a debut novel.

It’s still fun and full of inside jokes, though, and I recommend it--though you might want to check your library rather than paying the full price.
vr_trakowski: (shelf space)
I know most of you have probably read and loved these for many years, but just in case, Robin McKinley's classic The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword.  Sterling adventure for young adults and anybody else, a beautifully crafted world, wonderfully real characters...it's all here.  I like the second one best, for some reason.  There are Damar short stories to be had, in Water and A Knot in the Grain, also marvelous. 

Here are heroines who are real and strong without being cliched or overconfident, people I'd like to know.  Harry in particular.  These books are one reason why fantasy succeeds as a genre. 

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