Saturday, 25 April 2009


HD on BBC iPlayer is rubbish. Keep reading to find out why...

Have I Got News For You
37x01 (24/4/09 edition; uncut repeat)
Hurrah! It's great to have HIGNFY back -- why can't it be on all year round?
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

3x05 Episode 5
Probably Primeval's most ludicrous episode yet -- and that's saying something. Riddled with plot and logic holes, which is a shame because the basic ideas here have such potential.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Robin Hood
3x04 Sins of the Father
I was quite excited by the prospect of using BBC iPlayer to watch content in HD legally. This was my trial run... and it was appalling. Playback frequently dropped as low as one frame-per-second and the compression was blocky -- not what you expect from HD! Ran out of time to finish it before HIGNFY was on so will have to catch the rest on regular TV iPlayer another time. So much for iPlayer, back to less-than-legal downloads it.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Hoping It Might Be So: Poems 1974-2000 by Kit Wright
Hoping It Might Be So (2000)
Short Afternoons (1989) (pages 45-55)
Collecting all of Kit Wright's books for adult readers published between (can you guess?) 1974 and 2000. Some very funny, satirical stuff. Some of it a bit densely poetic for me.


Chinese Democracy by Guns N' Roses
I got this album as a free legal digital download around Christmastime, when Amazon UK briefly (as in, for one day) offered a free MP3 album to anyone who wanted it. But this is why I usually avoid paid-for downloads: if it were a CD I'd've listened to it more-or-less immediately; as a download, I forgot about it for four months.

Despite years (literally) of anticipation, it managed to receive fairly good reviews on release (at least, that was my impression -- I don't really follow music reviews/journalism) and I can see why. Whereas some good albums require a listen or two to get into, much of Chinese Democracy is instantly likable. It's not a revolutionary step in GnR's output, but if this is your kind of music then it's enjoyable.

Stand-out tracks (after a listen and a half) were:
  • Shackler's Revenge
  • Better
  • There Was a Time
  • Scraped
  • I.R.S.
  • Madagascar

  • I don't think the last one has anything to do with the films.

    As a Queen fan, I'd also like to point out that one track, Catcher in the Rye, may or may not feature guitarist Brian May -- a leaked 1999 version did, but apparently the CD doesn't credit him.


    Harry Potter Deathly Hallows by Helen O'Hara
    (from Empire)
    That title tells you nothing, doesn't it? The subtitle is better: "How they're splitting the final film". No one reveals where they're doing it, of course, though it's intriguing that they settled on a point and then moved it to a different one. Very intriguing. Also discussed is how they might handle the "19 Years Later" epilogue, in more detail than where that breakpoint is.

    Talking with John “DJ” Des Jardin
    A solid interview about the special visual effects on Watchmen, including some of what we can expect from the Director's Cut.

    new review at 100 Films

    Runaway Train (1985)
    The focus on a high concept, emphasis on exciting action sequences, the way the plot is structured, the faintly pantomime villains, comical supporting characters, and occasional slips into fantasy — none of these elements suggest your typical Oscar nominee.

    Read the full review at 100 Films.

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