It's My Blogiversary!

It’s that time again, and the Bride is now a stroppy teenager who still requires cake but it probably not that interested in balloons.

I personally turned 13 in 1975.

Yes, I am that old.

Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

Anyway, back to 1975

  • Bradley Cooper, Pedro Pascal, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and David Beckham were born
  • PG Wodehouse, Josephine Baker, Hannah Arendt and Shostakovitch died
  • Ms Grace by The Tymes was number 1 on my birthday; I have no memory of this song in any way, shape or form, but it is worth noting that one of my all-time favourites (January by Pilot) hit the top spot the following day
  • Who cares what other films came out – this was the year of JAWS!

Elsewhere Saigon fell, there was a horrible crash on the Tube at Moorgate, Bohemian Rhapsody was released (and purchased by yours truly) and Davros made his first appearance on Doctor Who.

Hope you will continue to hang around for Bride of the Book God: the Teenage Years

December Books | Gifts

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

All of my presents this year were books. This is a very good thing.

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone – it’s a house with a flawed and, let’s face it, potentially evil and certainly dangerous artificial intelligence which controls all of the stuff.

The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum – subtitled Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, speaks to my interests.

Occult Paris by Tobias Churton – The Lost Magic of the Belle Époque, according to the blurb this features Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Martinists, Freemasons, Gnostics, and neo-Cathars.

The Nice and Accurate Good Omens TV Companion – does what it says on the cover; this book is beautiful and has me wanting to watch the TV series all over again.

The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott – The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America; more true crime in the 1920s.

The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly – all about HMQ and the work that goes into dressing her for the wide range of events she attends, written (with permission, no scandal here) by her long-time adviser and curator. Irresistible.

The Hotel Years by Joseph Roth – a selection of articles from the 20s and 30s when Roth travelled around central Europe living in hotels and writing about the places he visited.

Twilight of Empire by Greg King & Penny Wilson – all about Mayerling and the suicide pact (or was it?) between Crown Prince Rudolf and his young mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera; this tragic event has led to an excellent ballet and a lot of conspiracy theories.

Scottish Queens 1034-1714 by Rosalind K Marshall – the lives of Scottish Queens, whether reigning in their own right or as consorts, aren’t often discussed in the way that they should be, so this will be interesting. Will Lady MacBeth feature I wonder…..

The Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair – using the story of varieties of cloth to illuminate history; I’ve already dipped into this and it is going to be fascinating.

All of the above were from the Book God, and from my Brother Who Is Not on Social Media I received

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – an oral history of a fictional 1970s rock band, this has been on my list for ages and glad I have it in my hands at last.

What books did you get for Christmas?

The Mega Movie Round Up

I have decided that rather than ignore some of the things I’ve read or seen this year, I would do a couple of major catch-ups to get me back on track. Hence this movie round-up – ten films desribed in a slightly greater number of paragraphs. Let us begin!

Ocean’s Eight

An all-women gang of eight (duh) comes together to carry out an almost impossible robbery at the prestigious Met Gala in New York. Hijinks ensue. I loved this, not just because I follow all of the shenanigans around the real met Gala, or because the women involved include some of my favourite actresses, but because of the clothes and the jewellery and the lack of snarkiness between the gang members and the general all-round awesomeness. It’s not high art but it’s a lot of fun!

Hell or High Water

A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.

Which translates into a very enjoyable modern western heist movie. All three main leads were excellent, and I always like an inconclusive ending. Hollywood Chris #3 does a great job in the lead role. I am happy to explain my Hollywood Chris ranking system on another occasion or in the comments if required.

The Meg

There was absolutely no way I was going to miss out on watching this film, in which The Stath is in exile following an encounter with Something in the Deep that no-one believes in until someone needs rescuing and our boy is the Only Man for the Job, whereupon said Something reappears.

Cue acts of derring-do, an unfeasibly enormous prehistoric sea creature and trademark grumpy Londoner faces as our hero punches the shark. Not a euphemism.

I LOVED THIS!

Vita & Virginia

I saw this biopic about the romance between Virginia Woolf (one of my literary heroines, please note) and Vita Sackfield West at the BFI Flare festival among a group of folks entirely pre-disposed to admiring the work. Elsewhere some have described it as dull but I really liked it and am of the view that the stateliness perfectly captures the whole buttoned-up but Bohemian vibe of the Bloomsbury Group, about which I have read far too much since first picking up Mrs Dalloway at Uni in (gulp) 1979.

Three Identical Strangers

This is an awful and tragic story about three young men who spent their whole childhoods not realising that they were not only adopted but part of a set of triplets who had been split up as part of what seems to have been a terribly misguided social experiment. I really felt for them as they talk about finding out what had happened to them and the impact it has had. A very strong and worthwhile documentary, definitely worth watching.

Mandy

So I was at home by myself one day as the Book God was out gallivanting with his friends, and being at a loose end I decided (as you do) that what I needed was some psychedelic horror. Hence Mandy, in which Nicolas Cage goes spectacularly off the rails after personal tragedy meted out at the hands of a cult leader (the UK’s very own Linus Roache) and his deformed biker-gang sidekicks. You will believe that a man can overact. There is blood, there is gore, there is extreme trippiness and the best chainsaw fight ever. Bonkers.

Skyscraper

It should be noted that one of my favourite films of all time is The Towering Inferno, one of the greatest disaster movies ever made and seen by me countless times. “Built to code” has become a catch-phrase chez Bride, and I eye any astonishingly high building based action movies with some suspicion.

Having said that, Skyscaroper was great fun. The Rock is engaging, Neve Campbell as his wife gets more to do than just hanging about waiting to get rescued and the effects were cool. It could have done with more cowardly Richard Chamberlain types plunging to their deaths in true 1974 style, but that’s just a personal preference 😀

Hellboy

Oh dear. I really wanted to like this. I knew it was going to be a very different take than the beloved Guillermo del Toro movies but I thought David Harbour was really good casting, and the ubiquitous Ian McShane is always worth watching but this was disappointing. It was trying far too hard and though I’m not normally one to complain about noise, it was just too loud. Felt a bit let down, to be honest.

The Transporter

Many many moons ago I was challenged to watch a number of movies before I turned 50. One of these was The Transport and it reflects my commitment to this challenge that I only got around to watching this now that I am 57. It was enjoyably silly with a very young Stath in the early stages of perfecting his pissed off at the inconvenience expression alongside his admittedly impressive fighting skills.

Sorcerer

William Friedkin’s remake of The Wages of Fear is a very interesting and very 1970s film and proves once again that I’m right to consider Roy Scheider a great actor, sadly missed. It’s long but engrossing and worth checking out.

How Old is the Bride?

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This incarnation of the blog may only be 5 months old but the Bride has been around since 20/21/22 January (depending on what source you consult) in 2007 which means that the Bride is 12.

Cue balloons and cake!

When I was actually 12 years old it was 1974.

  • Christian Bale, Amanda Abbington, Alyson Hannigan & Matthew Macfadyan were born;
  • Agnes Moorehead, Georgette Heyer and Mama Cass Elliott died;
  • Tiger Feet and Waterloo (all hail ABBA)charted, and Andy Williams’ Solitaire was number one on my birthday;
  • Jeff Goldblum made his first appearance on the big screen; and
  • three of my favourite films were released – The Towering Inferno (still the best disaster movie in my view), Young Frankenstein and Murder on the Orient Express (the Albert Finney one, with a huge starry cast and a suitably sized moustache)

Elsewhere we had Watergate, the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and the publication of Carrie, the book that got me into contemporary horror.

That was indeed a year.

Here’s to another 12 months of blogging. Hope you will stick with me 😀

 

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody 2018I have been a fan of Queen since for ever – I distinctly remember bopping to Killer Queen at our school Christmas disco in 1974 when I was 12 – and I have most of their albums as well a couple of 12″ picture discs (the younglings will not know what those are, sadly), so there was no way I was going to miss seeing Bohemian Rhapsody.

It was awesome IMHO.

The film tells the story of the band from its inception until their astonishing Live Aid performance in 1985. Although obviously Freddie Mercury is front and centre given his astonishing showmanship and ultimately tragic death, the other band members get a fair amount of attention also.

The casting is brilliant. Rami Malek is amazing as Freddie, capturing his distinct style of performance without getting lost in what could have been merely an impersonation. Gwilym Lee looks so much like Brian May, ditto Joe Mazzello as John Deacon, that it’s almost easier to accept that time travel exists! There are also lots of well-known British actors in supporting roles though I totally missed Mike Myers in his cameo.

The controversy around the film before it was released centred on how Freddie’s sexuality was going to be portrayed, and although it’s a 12A and therefore shies away from the more lurid aspects of his life, I don’t think it was straight-washed as many had feared. Of course it’s a movie and not a documentary, so some elements were changed to increase dramatic tension and the timing of certain events was tinkered with, but I thought the essence of the band and its history was largely maintained and I wasn’t disappointed in any of the changes made.

Clearly it’s a very old-fashioned, traditional biopic but the performances and especially the recreations of the various musical numbers are so special that it doesn’t matter that there are no real risks in the storytelling or direction. I loved every second of it, managed not to sing along until the end credits, and will very happily watch it again in its DVD release.

Honestly, if you like Queen you will enjoy this film (although you’ve probably seen it already!), and I’ll be stunned if Malek doesn’t win awards for his performance.

Directed by Brian Singer (though finished by Dexter Fletcher when Singer was sacked from the project) BoRap is 134 mins long and rated 12A for moderate sex references, drug references, infrequent strong language