Black Butler (2014)

Want to see so much!

Playback Reviews

Black Butler filmLength: 119 min

Release date: 18 January 2014

Synopsis: An orphaned aristocrat summons a demonic butler to aid her, at the price of her soul.

Genre: Action / Crime / Drama

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Kentarô Ohtani / Kei’ichi Sato

Writer: Yana Toboso (manga) 

Starring: Hiro Mizushima / Ayame Gôriki / Yûka

MPA-Rating: 15

Black Butler (also known in Japanese as Kuroshitsuji) began life as a manga that debuted in 2006. Published by Yen Press for the English market, it is written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. It’s currently ongoing and has twenty-one published volumes so far.

The original manga of Black Butler (and later its popular anime counterpart) is set in VictoriaBlack Butler mngan London. It tells the story of a thirteen year old orphan, Ciel Phantomhive, as he strives to lead household, and solves crimes as the Queen’s Watchdog. He is accompanied by a “one hell of a butler”…

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July Camp

 

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Yes, I am planning to take part and thought I had my idea sorted until today when I had a bit of a wobble.

I was settled to write a science fiction story but I’ve read an article in this month’s Writing Magazine about making criminal characters enticing and likeable so the reader will root for them. This got me thinking about the two thieves characters I like to write sometimes. I have spoken about them before on this blog because I used them for my July 2013 Camp novel. After today, I was really tempted to either rewrite or continue with that story.

I am now thinking that maybe I should put the crime story aside completely to work on later. The reason I am taking that route is because I have looked at previous projects and realised I have been a bit adventurous (for me) in the stories I have tried to write. The reason I wrote them was because they were interesting to me despite outside of my comfort zone. I definitely have learnt a lot from doing it and whilst I haven’t been totally successful with them, I have enjoyed writing them.

As mentioned in other posts, I have had problems with writing, partly out of writers block, as of late since the last session. I just haven’t had a clue what to write. I have had the science fiction idea, revolving around robotics engineers, for a couple of weeks and it’s based on a really old fan fiction about Robot Wars (called Battlebots in the USA). The idea excites me and I want to write it in a new form, especially as I feel I have improved as a writer and matured as a person to really write it. I was a kid writing about adults.

I know a partial issue with it is lack of planning due to not even knowing exactly what’s going to happen in it in its new form and setting. A lack of knowledge of the genre does not help because I am not a big sci-fi reader or watcher aside from Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory and some Marvel and DC films and TV shows. I do however follow tech and science news because I have an interested so that may help. I have some idea of what’s going to happen from doing some character planning already and from looking at what I had previously written for some idea of the plot but still, there is this big hole in the story I feel from just not knowing what’s going on.

The story feels right though and I feel I need to pursue it to whatever end next month during Camp.

Are you taking part this session? Has anyone else had a wobble on their story idea? Are you fully planned or like me, probably know just enough to at least start? Feel free to comment.

Harry Potter’s 18th Birthday

18 years ago, a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling was released here in the UK, which led to the phenomenon today that defines many young people’s childhoods and created a generation of readers and writers, myself included.

Quite timely, today JK Rowling revealed that she is working on a play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child due to open next year in London. Telling the untold part of Harry’s life, including the story of James and Lilly’s life. Find further details by visiting the BBC News story.

This is to be closely followed by the film version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November 2016, starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.

Happy Birthday Harry and may you keep fans new and old fascinated for years to come.

Film Review: Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War

I know! A film review! Only a quick short one really.

Source: GoodSearch Images

Mrs Caldicot (Pauline Collins) has been kept under her husband’s thumb for years so when he dies, she thinks she has the perfect chance to become independent. Her son (Peter Capaldi, long before Doctor Who) and daughter-in-law however force her into a retirement home where she is drugged to keep quiet and forced to sign over her house to her son. However, when the drugs wear off, she incites revolution among her fellow inmates, leading to her to discovering her fire and creating more change than she anticipated.

This British film does not sound like it is going to be particularly entertaining at first however Pauline Collins soon warms you up, getting the audience to relate to the character through the themes of finding independence and fighting against a system that is wrong through, initially, small acts. Capaldi is wonderful in his role of the manipulative son (attack eyebrows included), with fellow Doctor Who star Annette Badland as the homes cook and Tony Robinson of Time Team fame as chat show host, Nick Reid. There are some laugh out loud moments, mixed in with warm moments whilst also asking questions about the treatment of our aged and elderly that are as relevant today as they were back in 2002 when the film was made.

It’s not exactly a film that would grace TV’s at prime time and is more suited to a quiet Sunday with the family to curl up and enjoy. Not all plot lines I feel are tied up, the ending comes out of nowhere and character development, away from Mrs Caldicot, is minimal, if any happens at all. It certainly could draw lessons from fellow Brit comedy-drama Keeping Mum, which also features a lot of British talent. Some fleshing out and rewriting was needed in places. Unfortunately, this does let down an otherwise funny, warm film.

Definitely a film to curl up with a slow day but certainly not the best. I know I, at least, would rather watch Keeping Mum or Call the Midwife over this.

Life Takes Charge

Sorry for not posting much lately! I am not ignoring this blog or abandoning it. Life has got in the away once more. My job search has had to take a priority as well as a few other personal issues, not through my own personal choice, and it has meant certain things have had to suffer, such as this blog and my own personal writing. I am trying to re-address that balance but it may take a little time. I am determined though that NaNoWriMo will not suffer; that it will generate blog posts and, in turn, get this blog active again.

Just because I haven’t been posting does not mean I have run dry on article ideas. I have toyed with the idea of writing a post on the use of schools as settings and plot devices in books, why they are such a common setting at least and why there is not actually that much in the way of having colleges or universities as setting in books or even any focus on teachers as main characters. At least, in my experience, I have not actually come across any book with these elements. Film and TV, yes. Books, no. If you have any insights on any of these issues, I would love to hear from you.

My job search may yet generate blog posts as well as I am contemplating becoming a freelance writer and becoming self-employed. Again, if anyone can offer any help on this front in any shape or form, I would be grateful as it is a scary prospect for me but I think it would suit me to the ground. It is still very early days and life may yet decide that my path leads elsewhere but it is something to at least being having a think about.

I am trying to read where I can too but, as you might have guessed, that has taken a hit too. I recently managed to finally get my hands on the latest Benedict Jacka book, Hidden, so will be trying to read that as fast as I can so I can get a review up here as soon as possible. I am also re-reading Steven Harper’s Writing the Paranormal Novel, partly for help as I edit and rewrite a novel but also to try to get me back in the writing frame of mind so I can get more writing done than I have done.

So sorry again, I am not abandoning the blog and I am aiming to get this blog more active. Thank you guys!

Camp NaNoWriMo Planning

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Okay, first things first, I want to apologise for a lack of real activity on here. A mixture of different things, mostly revolving around job hunting, have prevented me from posting and writing as much as I would have liked. Please forgive me for that.

My July project for Camp NaNoWriMo is based on the successful musical Wicked, which in turn is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Image Source: GoodSearch

Hopefully, the writing side of things will improve as I have signed up (perhaps stupidly) for another Camp NaNoWriMo session. Most of the writing I have done since April has surrounded planning for this next session, inspired by the musical Wicked. I am sure people will know what it feels like when you get thinking about something. I got thinking about this next session not long after my rather dreadful April attempt, whether I was going to take part in the July session and about the fact that Wicked is currently touring around the UK.

Unable to afford to go and see the professional version, I started wondering about whether there was any amateur performances of Wicked in my area. A quick search online revealed that there were no licenses available for am-dram groups to perform it so it was not possible for groups to do the show. Naturally (maybe to a writer’s mind), I started thinking about writing a script based on Wicked that can be performed by local drama groups and so July’s  project was born.

Whilst working on the basic planning, I realised that I was in danger of replicating the back story to another character I have. I also realised that whilst playwriting books and Celtx do try to help you write plays, I don’t actually know how to format a play script. So until I figure that bit out, I will be writing it as a moving image/film script. Don’t be afraid to get in contact if you can give me any advice or help on the formatting of play scripts. I will appreciate any and all help anyone can give me!

This new project may or may not work but I figure it is something well worth a shot. Will it get performed? Will I even edit it after I have finished the script? I don’t know but I really want to try. I am also curious about who else is planning to do NaNo this month. Hopefully, for me at least, July will be better than April.

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Sly Cooper Movie?

The Sly Cooper game series is getting  a movie it seems. Slated for a 2016 release, the film is being developed by Rainmaker and Blockade Entertainment but other than that, very little is otherwise known about the film.

Have a look at the trailer here:

What do people think? What are your hopes for the film? Is there anything you would hate to happen in it? Comment below.