Month: January 2014

13 “Seven Wonders” (American Horror Story: Coven) [SPOILERS]


Well, somehow a period of time has passed, and we’re stood at the end of another series of American Horror Story.

There is a reason that this show is one of my favourite active programmes, and that’s largely based around its fresh originality. Which has been something that Coven has revelled in it. More than its two predecessors, it has spent most of its thirteen episodes grabbing the initiative with bizarre plot twists and shocking set pieces.

This post will focus on the finale itself, the long-awaited “Seven Wonders”.

Read one…(and mind the spoilers!)

American Hustle – A Review

american hustle

This was a train which, honestly, I thought I’d missed. Ash and I were going to see American Horror Story American Hustle a good few weeks ago, but for some reason we never quite made it. But since it was the only one of the four main Oscar films of the year which we hadn’t managed to get along to (the others being The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity).

So with no small sense of duty, we headed out through the rainy dark to Southend Odeon’s last showing of it, following a beacon of 70s nostalgia through to a promised land of acting and entertainment brilliance.


Read on…

Heresy of the Week – The Wicker Man remake is a work of genius

how'd it get burnt

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

Though widely decried as a weird, disorganised, unnecessary mess of a film, the Nicholas Cage remake of The Wicker Man in fact knows exactly what it is doing. It is not only a good film, but actually exemplifies everything which a remake needs to be in order to have any hope of success.

Read on…

Whips and chains

southend civic centre

My apologies to anyone whose non-specific Googling has brought them to this page. This blog is, of course, about political whipping. Which is less kinky than what most of you clicked the link for. Sorry.

For the uninitiated, a party whip is responsible for keeping the party in line, and making sure that all of the representatives of that party follow the line set by the leadership. It’s a fairly thankless task, but it’s the cornerstone of stable governance under the political party system.

And, on Southend Borough Council, the Independent Party Group make a point of not using a whip. So, for that matter, do UKIP. They flaunt it on their campaign literature as some sort of badge of honour. If only it were that straightforward.

Read on…

The Casebook of Eddie Brewer – A Review

the casebook of eddie brewer

This isn’t a new film, but it doesn’t seem to have had the widest of releases.

I myself saw it a few weeks ago at the excellent Southend-on-Sea horror film festival, Horror-on-Sea. In the one day I attended of the three-day celebration of scary films (both short and feature-length) this was the standout gem as far as I was concerned.

It’s a British film, which is always nice to see when a home-grown offering really impresses. And it’s also a hybrid-found-footage film, melding standard found-footage with third-person shooting — which might seem strange, given some of my previous pronouncements on found-footage.

But when it’s good, it’s good.

Read on…

Predictable election ends predictably

southend civic centre

On Thursday, the voters of a safe Conservative ward in Southend-on-Sea went to the polls in a by-election. When the ballots were counted, the Conservative candidate was returned as the new councillor representing the ward.

By the numbers, you might say.

Except, that bare bones overview doesn’t quite show the full picture of what happened in West Leigh ward this week.

Read on…

12 “Go to Hell” (American Horror Story: Coven) [SPOILERS]


Two to go.

American Horror Story is always an exponentially increasing whirlwind of crazy. Given that it started out pretty damn out there, by this point it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s like a mental patient screaming in your face. No, wait, that was Asylum

So whilst you wipe the spittle from your face, it’s worth remembering that despite mid-season stumbles, this has still been the best series so far. The plot twists have been over-the-top, the characters madder than a box of frogs, and the lines of taboo pretty much nonexistent.

And yet, the last episode bathed the camera in blood. What can top that?

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

The Wolf of Wall Street – A Review

the wolf of wall street

Now, I’ve been looking forward to The Wolf of Wall Street for some time. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most consistently brilliant actors working today. The ongoing internet amusement over his lack of an Oscar (a subject on which I have partaken myself)  is a testament to the injustice of it, and there is a sense, a real sense, that this at last could be his meal ticket.

The film itself has had criticism from some junctures on the basis that it glorifies the main character’s hedonistic behaviour. But given that it’s an adaptation of real events, there’s little which can be done surely. Besides, I don’t want my films to be a moralising headache. I can take my own messages, thank you very much.

Not to mention that this is Martin Scorsese we’re talking about. And The Wolf of Wall Street has been described as Wall Street meets Goodfellas. So…yeah

Read on…

Recipe – pseudo-healthy Greek yoghurt and banana pancakes

Okay, first thing is first: these are pancakes in the American sense. Nobody is going to be amused if you pull these out on Shrove Tuesday. Well, they will, because they’re delicious. But it won’t be playing the game, and everyone will scowl at you over their plates of yummyness.

So yeah; American pancakes, not “crepes”.

Also, the pseudo-healthy part probably needs a little explanation. Basically, they have fruit and yoghurt. Which are healthy. Of course, these are pancakes, and thus not healthy at all. But if you’re into self-delusion, then you’re welcome!

Read on…

11 “Protect the Coven” (American Horror Story: Coven) [SPOILERS]

What has been a fantastic series, all in all, is slowly coming to a close.

No, actually, forget that. There’s been nothing slow about the last few episodes. For a show which prides itself on fast-paced insanity, it has been building to a borderline-psychotic conclusion. Quite simply, it’s been impossible to predict what is going to happen next.

And. It’s. Genius!

Read on…