The Sending, Isobelle Carmody

I enjoyed it, I was relieved by much of what happened. It was brilliant to read a new book with these characters. It included some back story for a recently introduced character. And much more information about the Land’s history. It ends very excitingly and I am hanging out for the next one. OMG cliffhanger!


The Stone Key, Isobelle Carmody

This is book five of the Obernewtyn Chronicles and the last of the series that I have already read. There are two more books. I am currently reading book six: The Sending. We are waiting for book seven to be released.

I’ve got more to say about the series as a whole (having reread all the books in the lead up to reading The Sending), especially coming back to the series post Race!Fail and having read more adult fantasy and more global politics. It is worth remembering the first Obernewtyn books was conceived of by a school girl in Australia before the end of the Cold War.

Like books two, three and four, all that I really remembered about The Stone Key was the bits that happened in the last couple of chapters. Everything was kind of new. It’s at least four years since I read it.

Quantum of Solace

My second time watching this, having seen it in the cinema. I watched it preparation for Skyfall, which was not totally necessary. But having seen it again I understand it better. Also, it was nice to recognise Stana Katic.


I had a lot of fun watching this. I have no real critical engagement with spy or action films and am willing to accept some pretty ridiculous things in going along with the plot. (Not Robert Carlyle’s villain in The World is not Enough and not Pierce Brosnon’s Bond hiding behind an invisible car, but all the rest of Die Another Day was fine. The backstory of Salt was fine.) siria has a post from the point of view of the film being problematic. It is worth thinking about these things. At the time I was distressed by everyone laughing so hard at the first confrontation between Silva and Bond and I was creeped out by Bond approaching Sévérine in the shower. The plot of running til you have a place to stand is one I like. And I love the booby traps and following/hiding spy stuff.

I was completely thrilled the Kincaid thought M’s name was Emma. And even more thrilled with, “James. James Bond.”

Bourne Identity

I watched this at W&M’s when they invited me round for pizza and movie on a stupidly hot evening (before a day that got to 41ºC.). It is one of W’s favourite films and a film I had never seen before. It is great. It is more interesting than Skyfall. It is about trying to find stuff out rather than trying to destroy something/someone, so the character is more interesting. It is also much more low key in terms of the fighting and the spy stuff. It seems to be set in the present, whereas Bond seems to be set in the immediate future. Certainly, watching Bourne now – it was released in 2002 – is an interesting contrast in terms of technology and the way it looks. It would have been filmed ON FILM, whereas Bond was digital with digital effects. Skyfall had a budget of $200M, compared to Bourne Identity $60M. It buys you much more in special effects, now, too. I liked the basic-ness of Bourne. Like I prefer earlier Spooks to later Spooks.

The Fugitive

Going back in time with chase/spy/mystery films. We didn’t actually watch this, precisely. W likes it, and it was on, so we had it on mute for a while and turned the sound for the end, because we couldn’t quite remember it, although we could watch about 2/3 without the sound. (Up until the scene in the emergency room.) It lacks the grand emotional payoff and triumphant declaration of innocence that one might expect from films. I remember when m was younger, like young teens if not younger, we watched The 39 Steps and he did not understand that it had ended and did not understand the implication that they got together. The film seemed to stop to him, which would be true to one used to romantic films having an epilogue like Notting Hill does. I like it even more than Bourne for the scraping together just enough to get out of a situation/get information, and the set up makes the being chased/getting information plot stronger. But I do find the amnesia of Bourne compelling (I love amnesia as a plot device) and I also really love the spy skill/background too it.

The Hobbit

I would not necessarily have seen this now, nor seen it alone, but it was 41ºC, our air conditioning is not super effective (and I feel bad about the resources it takes to run it), and I had a movie pass from work. So, the Hobbit.

For the first 40-50 minutes I was thinking that if one were in the mood enjoy it, one probably would but I was not. I had, in fact, been monumentally annoyed by the opening. Backstory info dump with voice over! gah! I suppose to was to link people who have seen the LoTR films but who are not familiar with the books. I still don’t see why we have to have PREQUEL so heftily hammered home. Then there was more backstory info dump/introduction with voice over in telling Thorin’s story. This is not out of character with the book, but telling someone else’s story while they are listening to you tell it is a trope a dislike in fiction. The telling of the story should reveal current dynamic and character.

I was eventually sucked in to the grand epic quest and music of it all. (Although still finding a lot of the music tell-y, actually. This is a problem I had with LoTR, too.) It also took me too long to recognise Richard Armitage. I picked James Nesbitt quite quickly, and his presence did endear the film to me.

So, I uncritically like spy films. I am quietly looking forward to the next Hobbit film. There is not as much Elrond/Gandalf fic as I expected.