Monday, 9 November 2009


Ghosts in the Machine
Documentary about the supernatural on TV.

The Graham Norton Show
6x05 (2/11/09 edition)
Yes, last week's.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

6x06 Brave Heart

Russell Howard's Good News
1x03 (5/11/09 edition, extended repeat)
Why don't they put the extended one on iPlayer, hm?
[You can only see the shorter version on iPlayer.]


Inside Empire

Special edition of Empire celebrating their 20th anniversary. Yes, you're right, they did a 20th Birthday issue earlier this year (guest edited by Steven Spielberg, no less. I still haven't read it.) This issue focuses in on the magazine itself, however.

That might seem a little self indulgent, but Empire is an internationally respected magazine (c'mon, Spielberg guest edited it!) Perhaps because they already did a birthday issue, but at times it feels a little slight -- the list of regrettable mistakes (e.g. giving Attack of the Clones five stars, or Pearl Harbor four), for example, only manages 20 entries, which after some 246 issues seems unlikelily brief.

Other features fail to live up to their promise: What Might Have Been... doesn't present as well-realised an alternate history of the last 20 years in movies as you'd've hoped, for instance, while the focus on the 'directors who define Empire' are just old quotes (though some at least are interesting), and the profile of the readership is as silly as you'd hope but at just two pages feels lacklustre. Several articles merely relive former glories in a watered-down version, such as the six pages dedicated to the Lord of the Rings photo supplement they did in 2003.

It's not all bad -- some of the features are worth a read, like the editors' reminisces or the summary of the Real World in the last 20 years (not as thorough as could be, but wins points for noting Doctor Who was 2005's most defining TV series and GoldenEye 1997's most defining game. Some of the album choices are thoroughly suspect though -- if I've not even heard of them, how defining can they really be?)

Perhaps the 20th birthday issue was a more worthy celebration. I really ought to read that...

new review at 100 Films

Alone in the Dark (2005)
I could go through every scene in the film describing what’s wrong, but no one wants to suffer that. Suffice to say it only gets worse — none of the initial flaws improve, but are compounded by more weak performances (Tara Read as some kind of scientist?) and the story entirely vacating proceedings... It's laughable for all the wrong reasons. Sadly, none of it’s laughable in a charming way — this is not So Bad It’s Good territory.

Read the full review at 100 Films.

There are currently 16 feature films and one short in the review pipeline at 100 Films. As ever, updates here as and when they're posted.