Tuesday, 25 October 2016


7x04 Child's Play

The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice
3x09 Episode 9
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Stranger Things
1x01 Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers
Finally getting round to what may be the most talked-about show of the year. It's an intriguing start, but it's got a long way to go to justify the hype.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Sunday, 23 October 2016


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
[#167 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

The Transporter Refuelled (2015)
[#166 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

this week on 100 Films

It's the time of the month for 100 Films in a Year to look back at recent TV...

Also this week, I published 4 brand-new reviews...

Caesar Must Die (2012)
On the surface, this is a documentary about the inmates of Rome’s high-security Rebibbia prison — many of them with mafia connections — putting on a performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. However, it becomes clear fairly quickly that it’s all been staged... The question becomes: is that a problem? Because while it isn’t a documentary, it also is a documentary.
Read more here.

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Unlikely stories can make great movies, or at least fun ones, and if this isn’t the former then it’s largely the latter... Boasting a typically witty script from Aaron Sorkin, and a cast (including Philip Seymour Hoffman) capable of delivering it, it makes a potentially grim topic surprisingly entertaining
Read more here.

Lost River (2014)
there’s definitely some magical realism going on... Adult fairytale would be another term for it; there are slices of some form of Gothic, too. To put it another way, it’s definitely Lynchian. Other directors may have been an influence on Gosling as well, but it specifically brought Blue Velvet to mind for me, without in any palpable way being a clone of that movie.
Read more here.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
very ’70s in its bleakness; also in being about someone sticking it to The Man, and The Man winning. We often conflate such qualities with realism — “it’s not all happy, it must be more like real life” — but I wonder if Cuckoo’s Nest is actually too on the nose as an indictment of the system.
Read more here.

Finally, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...

Serenity (2005)
the real star is Whedon’s screenplay. Packed to the gills with the literate, witty dialogue he’s famed for, it also manages to be emotionally affecting, make points about governments and their power, engage with themes of belief and the importance of freedom, and weave in a subtext that reflects the real-life story of Firefly’s death and rebirth — though Whedon claims that last one was an accident.
Read more here.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
exactly the kind of movie primed to emerge as a consensus favourite: it has drama and darkness, but also humour and optimism, and elicits emotions across the spectrum — it’s neither too grim to depress people into not enjoying it, nor too sentimental to make them do that mock “throwing up” noise some people do when things get really schmaltzy.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Black Mirror
2x02 White Bear

1x01 For Tonight We Might Die
The new Doctor Who spin-off has a strong start here. It's basically The Sarah Jane Adventures multiplied by Torchwood, but with a good set of characters to help enliven that familiar format. Similarly, the bit where it tips its hat to all the other TV shows with a similar basic setup is funny, but does make you wonder how it might fare in the longer run. We'll see -- it's earnt a chance.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Great British Bake Off
7x09 Patisserie Week
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again
[#165 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]
Coming to Sky Cinema over here next Friday, when I'll review it.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

Just one big DVD-to-Blu-ray upgrade this week, who's only really result impact on these stats is to halve the number of discs in that set!

Number of titles in collection: 1,894 [no change]
Of which DVDs: 1,199 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 697 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 4,872 [down 21]
Number of films in collection: 2,093 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,452 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 496 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 21 October 2016


7x03 Clear & Present Danger

The Crystal Maze
Stand Up to Cancer Celebrity Special
[Watch it (again) on All 4.]


Black Mirror's Charlie Brooker interview: 'I'm loathe to say this is the worst year ever because the next is coming'
by Jacob Stolworthy (from the Independent)

An extended interview about the new season of Black Mirror, plus other stuff. Brooker's always worth a read.

Thursday, 20 October 2016