Friday, 17 April 2009


A particularly busy TV day, which makes for a nice change.

2x01 (23/3/09 edition)
After what seems like no time away, Argumental's back! Hurrah! (Look, forget I've already watched the next two, alright?) A particularly strong start to a new series too, packed with utter hilarity until the very last -- well, if we're honest, until the penultimate -- round.

I've Never Seen Star Wars
1x06 Nigel Havers
Havers made for a consistently surprising guest -- I'd never have expected him to give such high scores to McDonalds or getting a tattoo. How little he enjoyed the Smiths (which I can completely relate to) didn't seem to warrant a score as high as 7 though.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Mad Men
2x09 Six Month Leave
Mad Men's quality has been slightly variable in this second season -- never bad, but you get the sense proceedings aren't quite as focused as they were in the first year, especially when it comes to arc plots -- but this episode sees the show on blazingly good form. One of the best.

The Mentalist
1x03 Red Tide
Some dodgy dialogue (and delivery) aside, this continues to be an entertaining procedural that makes good use of the lead character's Derren Brown-style skills -- they're all believably grounded in truth and treated with suitable skepticism by his colleagues, rather than being some magic semi-mystical solution.
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

The Wire
1x11 The Hunt
Following the shooting of a cop in the previous episode, the police -- as usual -- seriously mobilise their forces. One of the series' best episodes yet, for all kinds of reasons -- there's plenty of room for character, plot, subplots, themes, tropes, and more. Plus, a brief silent scene centered on a pen stain on a sofa exemplifies all that is so clever and so praised about this series.


AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
[#18 in 100 Films in a Year 2009]
Nearly done...


First Look At Tintin by Helen O'Hara
(from Empire)
It's Empire's 20th birthday soon, and the celebratory issue is guest-edited by Steven Spielberg. Fancy-pants, ain't it. And from that forthcoming issue, here's a couple of world exclusives. Firstly, a brief look behind the scenes of Tintin...

Jackson/Del Toro Talk Hobbit by Chris Hewitt
(from Empire)
...and secondly, news that the Guillermo del Toro-directed Hobbit films will now both adapt the titular book, and not in fact tell two different stories. Shame.

Review: State of Play by Mick LaSalle
(from the San Francisco Chronicle at SFGate)
As a huge fan of the original TV series, I'll be very interested to see if this much-lambasted ending is the same one that had, or some new mistake grafted on the end.

new review at 100 Films

The Kite Runner (2007)
the story seems to be more about its themes than its characters: bravery, cowardice, and the difference between the two; friendship, and the lengths (or not) it will go to; truth and lies, and what underhand things people — especially children — will do to cover up their own shortcomings and failings.

There are currently 15 new films in the review pipeline at 100 Films, not to mention two shorts, two films I've previously seen, and an alternate cut review. As ever, updates here as and when they're posted.