The Cutprice Guignol

The Fifth Year: How to Get Away with Meh

Operation Quit Smoking, Part Seven

I think, right now, I’m where I want to be when it comes to smoking.

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Relevant: my skin has cleared THE FUCK UP since I went off cigarettes, in case you, like me, needed a completely superficial reason to stop. That’s why I can reasonably squeeze in this actually nice picture of myself.

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The First Year

So, it’s been just over a year since I finished university – I graduated in June 2016, which feels like an almost comically long time ago now. And, in the months that have intervened, I have found things…well, different.

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Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter Eighteen

I actually made an “uuuuuUGH” of distaste when I realized that it was about time for me to put up a new Fifty Shades recap. We’re so close to the end, friends, and yet so very far. As ever, if you’d like to read some arguably less-shit romance and erotica, please take a look at the Buy my Books page where you can get your hands on my work!

We left off last time with Ana’s stepfather ending up in the hospital after a car accident, and the happy couple Ana and Christian staying in a nearby hotel. Ana wakes up, and it’s her birthday so it’s time for Christian to chuck her a bunch of expensive shit. We start with a charm bracelet, which, of course, has a pile of charms that only relate to Christian on it (an ice-cream cone for “vanilla”, mementos of their trip together, a glider), including a large letter “C”.

“I was his first girlfriend to use his first name…”

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Really? Really now? So every single other one of the partners he had only ever referred to him by dom/sub terms? Like, when he met them, and he introduced himself, and they went “Nice to meet you, Chr-” he jammed his finger to their lips and shook his head and forced the printed-out Wiki page for BDSM into their hands? Why must this book be so wrong at every possible turn?

They canoodle a little and then Ana goes to brush her teeth:

“I used his toothbrush after I first spent the night with him. I smirk and grab his toothbrush in homage to that first time.”

HAHA LOL NOPE. I read this bit out to my boyfriend and he shot me a look of utter and complete disgust which is the only correct reaction to someone else using your toothbrugh I’m actually heaving a little thinking of it.

Christian checked in with the hospital and confirmed that Ana’s stepfather is no worse, so they have plenty of time to call each other Mr and Mrs Grey and reminisce about the last time they were at that hotel when Christian kidnapped a blackout drunk Ana from a bar and took her back to his place and undressed her while she slept. They snog in the lift, and EL James insists on describing it as “our tongues exploring the oh-so-familiar but still oh-so-new, oh-so-exciting territory that is the other’s mouth” which for some reason also gives me the boke. Did I eat something bad? Oh, wait, no, it’s just this fucking book.

Christian buys Ana a fancy-ass car, and everyone just breezes by it because it would be awkward to bring up the time Christian sold Ana’s old car without her permission haha, this chapter is just a greatest-hits of reminding me of all the shit that Christian has pulled over the last…oh, yeah, the last four months or so, because they still barely know each other.

Christian indulgently lets Ana drive to the hospital, where her stepfather is as fine as he can be, and Christian makes a big show of getting the drunk driver who crashed into him dealt with. Ana gets a little pissed that her mother hasn’t bothered to reach out to her, which is understandable given her stepfather’s injuries and the fact that it’s her birthday, but I can’t bring myself to care about some bad-mother subplot thrown in in the last half of the final book. It feels like EL James has only just now realized how shite and thin these characters are and is trying to plug in a trilogy’s worth of character development in the last ten chapters, which fits with the amount of effort she put into the rest of the series, I guess.

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Ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh

 

Christian and Ana leave and Christian shares some details of some nebulous business deal with her, and they honestly just talk about how much Ana loves him and how great he is and wow, this chapter is just a big fucking pile of filler, isn’t it?

They drive to find somewhere for lunch, and end up at a place they’d been to before in the last book because this is actually a Greatest Hits of Fifty Shades and I’m offended that I’m being forced to pull up these memories that I did such a good job repressing. Christian makes some dick comments about a waiter flirting with Ana the last time they were there, which of course he would remember because all he cares about is when and where people dare enroach on his territory. They eat, and then go back to the hospital, and then Christian insists on taking her out for dinner, and honestly maybe I’m making this chapter sound more exciting than it actually is because it is truly a punishing exercise in how far I’ll go before I actually go into stasis from boredom.

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Pictured: me

Christian gets Ana a fancy dress and shoes and a bodysuit, and then sennnsssuuuaalllyyy dries her hair and takes her out for dinner. It’s a weird mix, this chapter, because it’s half Ana worrying over her stepfather and feeling deep worry and sadness over his condition, and half sexy, fun birthday times. Did…is this the best way she could think to do this? These two halves don’t belong together.

And then…oh my goodness Christian has thrown Ana a surprise party and her mother is there and she’s loved her all along! A satisfying end to that long-running thread about her difficult relationship with her mot- oh, wait, that whole thing started earlier this chapter and is completely unearned. My bad. Christian’s brother greets Ana “”S’up babe? Your old man will be fine.”” which for some reason irritates me more than anything else this chapter because, wow, that’s not how you speak to someone who’s father figure was just in a near-fatal accident. They all mingle and talk about how great Christian is (but really, Kate discusses how hot he is), and then Christian takes her home and we get a skipped-over sex scene lest the audience accidentally be jolted awake from the restful slumber this chapter threw them into.

The next day, Ana and her mother visit Ray and Ana’s mother talks about how she’ll always love him, then they drop Ana mother and her partner off at the airport and send them on their way. Ana returns to the hospital, and we’re left on the cliffhanger of Ray waking up and everything being fine, thus rendering this entire fucking subplot nothing but a waste of my time, your time, and these finite seconds we have on this mortal coil. Have a great fucking week, and I’l see you again for another disgraceful traipse down Deep Boredom Avenue once more.

TV Characters I Would Fight, Part Three

It’s been a quiet week blogward and, with my family visiting and just so much work to get done, the rest of August looks like it’s going to be thin on the blog-ground as well. I’m hoping to have a Quit Smoking Diaries entry and a Fifty Shades recap up in the next week, but meantime, let’s return to another addition of TV Characters I Would Fight!

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The Stories We Tell About Rape

We are raped and we are raped and we are raped and we are raped.

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Operation Quit Smoking, Part Six

The novelty has thoroughly worn off quitting smoking.

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Have this horrifying picture of me. 

 

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Hounds of Love, Extreme Violence, and Exploitation

I went to see Hounds of Love today, writer/director Ben Young’s debut feature revolving around the story of an suburban Australian couple (played by Emma Booth and Stephen Curry) carrying out a series of violent abductions, rapes and murders to assuage his twisted sexual appetites. We pick up as they abduct Vicky (Ashleigh Cummings) and carry out a series of physical and sexual assaults on the teenager, and a battle of wills begins between the younger woman and the older.

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Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter Seventeen

Yeah, so it’s been three straight weeks since I last wrote one of these and I’m sorry for that. It’s summer, which means most of my time has been spent hanging out at the park near my house in full camo gear watching cute dogs from the bushes doing greatly interesting and very cool summer things that a peon like you could only dream of. Yeah, that should do it. Side note: if you are looking for some romance and erotica that is not quite as crushingly badly written as this, please check out the “buy my books!” section I just installed above. And on with the round!

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A Wanker’s Literary Reaction: Justice League Comic-Con Trailer

IT’S TIME for another much-anticipated chance to suffer through force myself through agonisingly dissonance to watch enjoy the latest trailer for Zack Snyder’s newest release, Justice League! In case you missed it, here’s the writing I’ve done about the other DCEU movies, and without further ado, let’s get into this!

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Movie Review: Dunkirk

All genres morph and change in tone and attitude based on the era they happen to be made in. With almost every nation having it’s own complex and constantly evolving relationship to militarism, war, and how those things fit with the construction of their respective national identities, the war movie genre is one of the best ways to translate the attitude of the era they’re made in.

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