Saturday, October 27, 2018

Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien

The story of Beren and Lúthien is one of the three central stories of Tolkien’s Elvish history, presented in this book in a new light, revealing the process of Tokien’s writing and how it evolved from its earliest concept to the latest, though never quite finished version.

Edited by Christopher Tolkien, Beren and Lúthien is actually a collection of various versions, accompanied with a commentary on their conception and development and the reasoning behind it, following by now a familiar approach when it comes to Tolkien’s posthumously published works.

As such, it comes out rather academic – perhaps overly so – to a reader only interested in a ‘story’.

However, I found Beren and Lúthien extremely readable and even refreshing and I loved rediscovering the already familiar story from The Silmarillion with its different and new angles through both in prose and verse. Although Tolkien’s poetry does at times seem awkward, it is in most places highly evocative and yet again shows Tolkien’s skill. The latest written verses in particularly make you think about what he could have done if he had had more time.

I was, nevertheless, a little ‘disappointed’ to learn that Tolkien was apparently not a cat person (just kidding, LOL.)

All in all, Beren and Lúthien was an enjoyable and quick read that only rekindled my love for all things Tolkien.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Someone Else’s Fairytale (Someone Else’s Fairytale #1) by E. M. Tippetts

The concept of Someone Else’s Fairytale – a movie star falling for the one girl whose dream isn’t a hot movie star falling for her – was intriguing, but that was also all.

However, it kept me reading through to the end, which earns it half a star more than it would have for the plot and the characters. Because this was one of the dumbest stories I have ever read. And there were so many annoying things.

Of course the male BFF is actually pining for the main character in a romantic way. Or is she pining for him? I don’t know. Because clearly men and women can’t be ‘just’ friends. Right.

The said BFF also presumes to tell the protagonist who she shouldn’t be friends with and how often she should talk to them. Red flags rising my hackles all around.

Then, Chloe, from whose POV the story is written, sounds awfully immature, despite being through quite an ordeal in childhood and apparently having to take care of herself. She is 21, but her actions and even more her reasoning are those of a 15-year-old. As someone who basically had to grow up at 14, I couldn’t at all relate to her childishness – and it shows the author clearly wrote neither from experience nor from sufficient research.

But most of all, the story is just bland, as in, there isn’t any story – only enumeration of this and that which happens, and the reader knows the main characters will get a HEA anyway. There is some drama due to Chloe’s past, but it doesn’t really serve the story, although it is rather interesting on its own, and I think the author would have had more success with it if she had written a YA thriller about that ordeal instead of this ‘romance’.

The characters are equally bland. There are hardly any descriptions (and I don’t mean hair/eye colour, height and whatnot; there aren’t even any mannerisms and such that make up a person(ality)), unless you count  unfavourable ones of the supposedly hot movie star. And while leaving physical appearances up to the reader’s imagination can work out marvellously, this isn’t the case in Someone Else’s Fairytale. Hence, everyone seemed just words on paper, dead, and I felt no connection to any of them.

Which brings me to the last and worst: the story was feeling-less. It is supposed to be a romance, but I couldn’t feel a thing reading it. Angst? Love? (Who am I kidding?) Tension? Happiness? Sadness? Anything? Nope, nothing. A phone book makes me feel more.

At least it was free on Kindle.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Siberia (2018)

DIRECTOR: Mathew Ross; CAST: Keanu Reeves, Boris Gulyarin, Ana Ularu…

SUMMARY (from IMDB)When an American diamond trader's Russian partner goes missing, he journeys to Siberia in search of him, but instead begins a love affair.


I watched this film the other day due to coming across some salacious gifs on Tumblr and I had some time to kill and wasn’t in the mood for anything from my lengthy back log of thought-provoking films I need to catch up with.

Though-provoking much, however, Siberia isn’t, since it follows a predictable template of an-American-vs.-Russian-mob thrillers, except perhaps in deciding for the less Hollywood-like ending of the two possible options in that sort of movies.

Keanu Reeves is a good actor, but he doesn’t do a particularly outstanding job in Siberia, perhaps due to the character he plays, who felt rather bland to me.

The one thing that does stand out once for a change in a Hollywood production is the casting of Russian and other actors with a great grasp on the language for the majority of Russian characters as well as using Russian for more than just a few standard catch phrases, all of which I highly appreciated.

RECOMMENDATION: Overall, Siberia is a rather mediocre film, employing all the typical (and overdone) tropes of the genre. It includes cheating and forced consent (the latter not between the main characters, fortunately), so beware. Reeves’s “stellar” performance in certain E-rated scenes and the very mediocrity, however, make it a good movie to kill some time and/or unwind with.