Thursday, 4 September 2008


8 Out of 10 Cats
7x01 (4/9/08 edition)
A whole episode without a single mention of Big Brother? The surest sign yet that Channel 4's method of torture reality show is on its way out.

God, the Devil and Bob
1x08 Lonely at the Top

Mock the Week
6x09 (4/9/08 edition)

5x10 Aftermath [season finale]
It was all going fairly well... til the ludicrous climax that was too dependent on bad CGI water and huge coincidences. And then, just to make things worse, Ros didn't die. Anyway, I'm as now caught up on Spooks as I'm gonna get til series six is both released on DVD and has time to get cheap.


Del Toro Commits To Universal Until 2017 by Chris Hewitt
(from Empire Online)
Following The Hobbit (and its mysterious sequel), he'll make/remake Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Slaughterhouse Five and Drood between 2012 and 2017. Worryingly, that leaves no sign of Hellboy 3 (can't imagine a decade-late sequel would be popular) or At the Mountains of Madness (which I suspect he'll get to if it's the last thing he does). I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Paxman: TV is biased against men
(from BBC News)
I hope not...

Two-Face Won't Be Back For Batman 3 by Chris Hewitt
(from Empire Online)
He's dead, fanboys. Dead. It's pretty clear y'know. Now, we just have to hope Nolan signs on for the inevitable second Begins sequel, cos otherwise it'll likely be shit. Unless Whedon gets it.

Bond from the Beginning #10: The Spy Who Loved Me

The Spy Who Loved Me is one of the few films that Moore Haters (like me) sometimes like. To be honest, I'm not sure why.

As the 10th film in the series, and one not at all beholden to the original text (Fleming allowed them to use the title but none of the plot), someone apparently made the decision to remake some of the hits from previous films. While the pre-titles ski sequence is excellent and has become appropriately iconic, the rest of the film is a bit of a damp squib, with a nothingy villain who barely features, a Soviet-spy Bond girl almost as unrealistic as The World is Not Enough's nuclear scientist, and a plot more recycled than usual -- those who call it a remake of You Only Live Twice aren't far wrong.

Egypt looks stunning, Jaws is a good invention, parts are entertaining, but it's not Moore's best (though is surely better than much of what was to come). As the theme song says, nobody does it better... except Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Sorry Roger.

Dr Horrible 2!

Slightly late on this one, but only just found it:

Doctor Horrible Sequel, Soundtrack Planned by Michael Hinman
(from SyFy Portal)

The soundtrack's already been released, but it's good to hear there'll be a sequel as the first three episodes of Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog were fantastic.

I can't wait for the DVD either:

"the writing crew already is preparing for a DVD release, which will be far more than simply 45 minutes of Whedon musical talents. "You probably heard about Commentary: The Musical," Jed Whedon said. "If you haven't, there is going to be commentary that we're writing songs for." There also will be a chance for fans to be involved. The crew is preparing to accept video from fans featuring their character they would like to be accepted into the Evil League of Evil. The 10 best videos will be picked and included in the DVD release."

Also, in a more random incident, Dr Horrible's van remote can be found online here. You'll need an iPhone to appreciate that at it's best though.

Young Bond 5 cover art revealed

Ever-so-slightly old news (already), this, but still:

Click to enlarge

"In keeping with the royal theme of the novel, the artwork is in striking red, black and silver with an embossed union-jack and regal-red edged pages." (It looks even better in the flesh.)

And also, the arguably-cooler (except for those yellow bars) audiobook:

"The Young Bond books have to date sold over three quarters of a million copies in Britain alone and have been translated in to 24 different languages. The series was launched with SilverFin in March 2005 and was followed by Blood Fever, Double or Die [should've been The Deadlock Cipher] and Hurricane Gold." By Royal Command is the fifth -- and final, for now -- entry in the series.

Click to enlarge

Lost in Austen: Part One

"Is she mad, in a bonnet or back in time?"

ITV clearly think they have a huge hit on their hands here, based on the constant promotion it's been getting in their ad breaks and across their chat shows and morning TV thingies. And it's easy to see why, considering the mix of formulas they've concocted.

Period drama? Always popular -- just look at the recent success of series like Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford, as well as innumerable others in the history of television.

Jane Austen? Especially popular -- look at the esteem in which the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice is still held, the financial and critical success of the recent Pride & Prej film, and again the success of ITV's even more recent adaptations of Austen's three lesser-done novels; not to mention the two biopics in the past year (or so), Becoming Jane and Miss Austen Regrets.

Time travel? Most definitely popular -- look at the ratings-dominating success of the revived Doctor Who, the more moderate but not irrelevant success of Primeval, and, most pertinent to this example, the critical and ratings success of Life On Mars and it's sequel/spin-off, Ashes to Ashes.

Put all these together -- with a dash of Bridget Jones for good measure -- and you get Lost in Austen, which mixes a cut-price Austen-esque cast (this is ITV rather than the BBC, after all) and all the popular tropes of traditional costume dramas, with time travel tomfoolery and jokes about reality TV and pubic hair styles (I kid you not). Plot-wise, it comes across a bit like they wanted to do an adaptation of Pride & Prej, but thought it was either too soon (considering the film was all of three years ago, and that felt hot on the heels of the then-10-years-old TV series) or that an ITV audience wouldn't be all that interested, so have given it a big twist.

After the first, largely entertaining, episode (of four), it remains to be seen if it can pass beyond being a LOM rip-off / yet another Austen adaptation to become something of its own.