Category Archives: Books and Movies

The Problem of Susan- Always a Queen of Narnia?

Spoilers- The Chronicles of Narnia

When I was child I adored The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I had a paperback copy of the story which had been read and re-read so many times the pages and cover was coming away.

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Then for Christmas one year I was given a VHS copy of the BBC adaptation and watched it over and over. There was and still is something magical about Narnia under the reign of the White Witch, a place where it is always Winter never Christmas and the four Pevensie children who happen across Narnia all thanks to a magical wardrobe.

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The tale revolved around Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy but for me Susan was my child hood heroine, she was the oldest girl (like me) and shot a bow and arrow which lets be honest is pretty bad ass. But my adventures with the Pevensie children ended after the third book in the seven book series The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. This I thought was to be the children’s last adventure but never the less it was mine. I don’t remember why I never ‘returned’ to Narnia all I know is that with nostalgic love the stories have stayed with me and now in my twenties I still think of them with the same great affection.

Last night The Voyage of The Dawn Treader was on TV and so sparked a conversation that will change my opinion of C.S Lewis, Narnia, Susan and the other Pevensie children forever.

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My friends and I were watching the (2010) film when one of them piped up and said “shame how the book series ended” leaving me gaping wiped eyed desperate for answers. She went on to explain that three of the Pevensie children die in a train crash and upon their deaths return to Narnia. She went on further to explain that Susan does not die and does not return to Narnia, having ‘turned her back on the world and is said to no longer be friend of Narnia’.

I have only read the first three books so I find it hard to form a opinion on what happened to Susan but since last night and the revelation that my childhood heroine was rejected from a world where it was promised she would always be a Queen I have struggled to except her end.

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When researching Susan briefly last night I found this quote from J.K Rowling regarding her fate-

 “There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.”

After finding comments on Susan from J.K Rowling, Neil Gaiman (check out Neil Gaiman’s short story Here) and numerous other authors I have decided to explore Narnia and The Problem with Susan  more. Reading all seven of the books this time, I have also decided to read them chronologically ending of course with The Last Battle. I am hoping to discover Narnia once more but most importantly discover Susan and find out what happened to her.

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I read somewhere last night that this is truly the first time an author  has turned their back on their own character. I don’t know if C.S Lewis turned his back on Susan but I intend to find out. My Susan Challenge begins now!

Me Before You – Movie Up Date

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I love the book Me Before by JoJo Moyes and as promised here are some updates ( in picture form ) from the up coming film. To check out my original review just click here – https://goo.gl/EIF577

New picture of Lou and Patrick

New picture of Lou and Patrick

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Any Home and Away fans may spot Brax pushing Will’s luggage here as Nathan. Great casting choice for the trio and it will be really interesting to see how the film develops.

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Will and Lou at their adorable best.

Will and Lou at their adorable best.

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The first look at Lou wearing the notorious yellow tights and clutching Will’s letter (my heart just broke a little.) For more Me Before You up dates keep checking back and I will do my best to keep you updated. The sequel After You  is due to be released in September 24th, can’t wait.

A Promise (2013) Review

So what happens when Severus Snape and Robb Stark are in love with the same woman?

Chaos guys. Just chaos.

Based on the post humerus novella by Stefan Zweig A Promise directed by  Patrice Leconte is set in 1912 and beyond. When a young  engineering  graduate Friedrich Zeitz (Richard Madden) comes to work for an aging tygoon  Karl Hoffmeister (Alan Rickman) he learns of his employers deteriorating health and is soon, having earned the affections and respect of Hoffmeister helping him run the company as he becomes more and more bedridden.

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The problems start when Madden meets Lot (Rebecca Hall)  Hoffmeister’s much younger and beautiful wife and an attraction begins to grow between the two. Lot is a devoted wife and unwilling to betray her ailing husband until, she finds out that Madden is being sent by Hoffmeister to Mexico for two years.

Finally the two declare there feelings for each other and make a vow to love each other, write to one another and be together when their two year separation is over.

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Of course their separation was to be for longer than two years, with the out break of war imminent it would be six years before the lovers saw each other again and with years, continents and war to separate them a lot will change.

I have not read the book and believe me I plan on it because the films premise was… interesting.

This was a indie film so by no means am I going to compare it to any of it’s big budget contemporary’s I liked the story and with out getting all spoiler-y (big twist cough cough) is just I thought the whole thing was a little rushed.

With in eight minutes of the film  the main character had, arrived at his new job, met his boss, had dinner with him, been promoted and fallen for Lot and the film continues in this fashion.

Over all I would A Promise is a good film, it has sparked my interested and made me want to read the novella Journey into the Past and above all it was nice to see Professor Snape and the King in the North alive and well.

 

My Favourite Epigraphs

Epigraphs are a strange thing, they are when, at the beginning of a book an author posts a quotation from another authors work often best describing their own novel, story or the characters within. Here are a few of my favorites – 

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‘I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul…Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent forever. I had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out he abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing…’  – Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities 

– Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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Vengeance is mine I will repay – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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“These violent delights have violent ends 
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, 
Which, as they kiss, consume” 
                                              -Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, ACT 2 scene 6 

                                              – New Moon by Stephanie Meyer 

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Don’t Believe in everything you see. 

Because what you want might not be what you need.

Hold your breath and jump with me, and we’ll survive.” 

                                                                            – Phillip Phillips Tell Me a Story 

                                                                            – There is No Light in the Darkness by Claire Contreras

If you have any favourite epigraphs let me know, I would love to hear them!

 

Romeo and Juliet (2013) Review

Downton Abbey’s much loved writer Julian Fellows has adapted William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and this is just latest film version of the world famous play it’s predecessor being Baz Lurman’s adaptation made in 1996. I can’t imagine there is anyone out there who doesn’t know the story but, just for argument sake if you have been living under a rock or, are a defrosted caveman (or woman) here’s the gist-  These two are the original star crossed lovers and lets just say it doesn’t end well, for anyone.

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Romeo and Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet is my favourite Shakespeare play second only to Twelfth Night so when there is an film adaptation I’m always really hopeful that it will turn out well and although the Baz Lurman (1996) version was different and might not have been for everyone I think most people can agree that the acting was superb and the original text wasn’t changed beyond recognition.

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Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes (1996)

First of all I should probably just say (2013) Romeo, Oh My God he is just a beautiful man, and although I am grateful to watch that face in any film should Romeo ever be better looking than Juliet? Romeo goes on and on about how bloody beautiful she is when, actually he looks like some kind of Greek God. Alright, I know this film is probably suppose to be Shakespeare for the Twilight generation or whatever but I’m guessing that the Twilight generation couldn’t give a sh*t about Shakespeare, they get enough of that at school (I’m just guessing).

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Mercutio, Romeo and Tybalt 

I had two main problems with this film, the first was the changes that Julian Fellows had made to the original text I heard Douglas Booth (Romeo) say in an interview that he had done it to make the film more accessible and I know for Hollywood that makes a lot of sense but if the (1996) Baz Lurman adaptation can use Shakespeare’s text with out interfering with it to such an extent that it’s barely recognizable why can’t the (2013) adaptation? Shakespeare is Shakespeare for a reason and surely Julian Fellows took something away from the film by changing the text so much.

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The Secret Wedding

My second major issue with the film was the actors who played Romeo and Juliet although they were both great looking I just didn’t believe  Douglas Booth or  Hailee Steinfeld as Romeo and Juliet. I felt sorry for them in a way because I was constantly comparing them to Clare Danes and Leonardo Di Caprio and don’t imagine I was alone. I feel that to carry off Shakespeare strong actors are required and neither of these are that, pretty yes, talented, no.  Paul Giamatti who played Friar Lawrence was amazing when he walks in on Juliet having killed her self with a dead Romeo in her arms his performance made me cry he really is very talented. Also the Benvolio in this film is very good, I connected with him so much more than I did the (1996) just for these two performances it makes the film worth seeing.

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Juliet and Friar Lawrence

All in all, I would say that if you like this story then the film is worth watching, it’s has welcome traditional style of telling the tale but the text changes and some weak actors can be off putting.

All in all a 3.5/5

A New York Winter’s Tale – Review (Spoilers)

A New York Winter’s Tale or Winter’s tale is based on the bestselling and beloved novel by Mark Helprin it is the story of Peter Lake a thief and a wanted thief too boot. Wanted by his old boss Pearly (by reasons unknown) Peter and his flying horse yes you read correctly, break into house of a wealthy family believing that no body at home.

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Peter and Beverly

When he discovers  the daughter of the house Beverly Penn is still in the house, Peter and Beverly fall immediately in love over a good old fashion cup of tea and the rest is history… or not. Beverly has consumption and is going to die so their time together is limited and spent being chased by Pearly who is later revealed to be a servant of the devil.

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Dancing

Now it was at this point where I had a problem, suspend your belief I was told by people who had previously seen the film, and so I did, even when Peter’s horse for a reason which is never explained grew WINGS and took flight my belief remained suspended. Until we meet Lucifer and out walks, wait for it, Will Smith, I had to laugh, you’re telling me that the Fresh Prince, Hitch, is the Devil, I’m sorry but no, just no. I watched his face trying to be all mean and dark, all the while waiting for him to make a joke (He didn’t but he may as well of done, who made that casting choice what a joke!)

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Peter and Horse

Okay so Pearly, servant of Lucifer obviously his against true love, he must stop them  being together we get it but seriously… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Russell Crowe as Pearly has the worst Irish accent I have ever heard proper leprechaun chic. (Sorry Russell but I hear Noah is going to be good) The acting in this film on the whole was great and Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay as Beverly Penn and Peter Lake were very believable. Winter’s Tale is a big book and fantasy realism is hard to put to the screen because it isn’t one thing or the other sadly I heard this film was a long coming passion project which makes it even worse that it was such a flop.

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Russell Crowe as Pearly

But, without having read the book (which I will be reading this month) I would say the biggest problem with the story was world building (there wasn’t any!). There was to many unanswered questions to make the story believable. For example why is the horse really a dog? And why he can  fly is never really explained, the topic of guardian angels is briefly touched upon but there was never really enough substance.

I love the reincarnation side to the story but by this point in the film there had been already been so many bad points to achieve a decent ending for the story.

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Reincarnated 

A beloved novel that has been adapted poorly, fantasy realism is a hard genre to take on and I have read that many said that Winter’s tale could never be brought to the screen. I think perhaps they were right.

Cheerful Weather For The Wedding Review

I feel as though I have been a little slow on the uptake when it comes films recently – or at least good films, I put this down to the fact that I am drowning in books. I have no excuse I know but it’s the only one I’ve got.  Cheerful Weather For The Wedding was adapted for the screen from Julia Strachey 1932 novella by Persephone books the cover painted by Lamorna artist Harold Knight is stunning.

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The summer before…

I finally got round to watching the film Dir Donald Rice and staring Felicity Jones and Luke Treadaway it is also has fabulous and hilarious supporting cast including Elizabeth McGovern, Mackenzie Crook and Ellie Kendrick.

The film and novella  are about a young woman called Dolly and are set on the morning of her winter wedding day.While her rather curious family are down stairs she is upstairs in her room, drinking rum, vomiting, and acting nothing like the traditional movie bride we have all come to know and love/sneer and laugh at. Throughout the film Dolly continues to barricade herself in her bedroom becoming further and further acquainted with rum, avoiding one particular guest who waits to see her desperately before she says I do. The story is told though a series of flash backs between the summer before the wedding and the present from either Dolly’s or the waited guest (Joesph’s) perspective.

Keeping their nerve

Dolly’s family I think  are great representation of every family and it is Dolly’s family who make the film great. The deaf uncle, the child with home made cherry bombs and his two parents begging him to behave and failing miserably. A husband who’s wife loathes his family and the judgmental mother who will always disapprove of her child’s choices and is blind of the real goings on to her own family, and siblings who in spite ourselves we sneer at and find a constant, reliable source of amusement.

Goodbye my love

Cheerful Weather For a Wedding is a realistic love story told through the eyes of the leading man on the morning  the love of his life is set to marry another man. The story is written beautifully and shows the complexities of women, it also portrays how saying what you feel is difficult no matter your sex and how sometimes the end of the story is simply goodbye.