Sunday, 31 January 2010

TV

Australian Open 2010
The Men's Singles final, of course, despite the early hour it was on over here. Can't say I'm too disappointed by the result, though seeing Andy Murray cry was a surprise. Maybe he'll humble up and actually become a nice guy now...

Wallander [Swedish]
1x13 Hemligheten (aka The Secret) [season finale]
[Due to its original theatrical release, this also counts as #12 in 100 Films in a Year 2010.]

Films

Anatomy of a Murder (1967)
[#11 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]

Generic News Story

Saturday, 30 January 2010

TV

Mock the Week
8x02 (28/1/10 edition)
Great bit on the undeservingness of Avatar (jump straight to it on iPlayer).
[Watch the whole episode (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

Articles from the past few days that I'd forgotten to put up...

The 50 Worst Movies Ever by Helen O'Hara, Alastair Plumb & Phil de Semlyen
(from Empire)
Not necessarily the best list ever -- many are more disappointing than genuinely bad -- but lists are always fun. And number one is deserved.

Billy Connolly claims British comedy is 'too censored'
(from BBC News)
"If you swear in a book, you're some kind of clever guy, if you swear in a poem, oh how dangerous he is, you swear in a song - oh my God, what a groundbreaker! You swear as a comedian, and you're a vulgarian and foul mouthed. When did this happen? Who's doing the judging?"

Michael Landy: Perfecting the art of destruction
(from BBC News)
What an idiot.

Snoop Dogg wants Coronation St cameo by Sarah Rollo
(from Digital Spy)
Well... I... hm...

Stars lambast South Bank Show axe by Paul Millar
(from Digital Spy)
Billy Connolly told a journalist: "It really makes me awfully sad. Without arts programmes there's only reality TV and reality TV needs the arts to tell them what reality is."

Rob Brydon added jestfully: "Well done, ITV. I can't back Billy's leftist thoughts. Good riddance I say, let's get rid of our bastion of culture on ITV and let's just lie around in pig s**t."


What Joey from Friends did next by Neil Wilkes
(from Digital Spy)
Preview clip/trailer in which Matt LeBlanc plays Matt LeBlanc auditioning to play Matt LeBlanc in a show in which Matt LeBlanc is going to be in a sitcom. Confused? Don't worry, most of the gags are more familiar. Fingers crossed the actual series is good because it's a nice idea.

Friday, 29 January 2010

TV

24
7x09 4:00PM - 5:00PM

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross
18x02 (22/1/10 edition)
Yes, last week's.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

How I Met Your Mother
4x05 Shelter Island
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week. This week, another round of increases as normal.

Not much more to add, really.

Number of titles in collection: 1,133 [up 7]
Of which DVDs: 1,073 [up 5]
Of which Blu-rays: 60 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 2,781 [up 9]
Number of films in collection: 1,198 [up 14]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 3,876 [up 6]

Statistic of the week:

Number of Doctor Who episodes:
409 (10.6% of the total number of TV episodes)
That breaks down as 348 classic series (9%) and 61 new series (1.6%).

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

TV

10 Minute Tales
Episode 10 Perfect Day
Episode 11 The Running of the Deer [final episode]

24
7x08 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Pushing the what-might-happen-in-an-hour credibility to the limit here. This plot would've been better spread over two episodes.

How I Met Your Mother
4x03 I Heart NJ
4x04 Intervention
[Watch I Heart NJ and Intervention (again) on 4oD.]

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

TV

24
7x07 2:00PM - 3:00PM
The whole four-people-against-the-whole-establishment thing is beginning to get a bit silly now -- this isn't The A-Team. Still, the days of such silliness may be numbered... though I wouldn't count on it just yet...

Articles

Apple unveils iPad tablet device
(from BBC News)
I want one.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

TV

How I Met Your Mother
4x01 Do I Know You?
4x02 The Best Burger in New York
Making a belated start on season four. But because E4 have switched to showing it weekly (the first three series were daily), I'll be caught up -- and, probably, overtake -- in no time. Hurrah for the Internet.

Law & Order: UK
2x03 Community Service
Sadly this episode suffers from Most Famous Guest Star Syndrome; not to mention that it's yet another bleak-ended episode -- can we have one with some proper justice soon, please? Such realism is a tad depressing, and not appropriate on shiny happy light-weight ITV.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Films

Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin: From Schönhauser Allee to Hollywood (2006)
[#10 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And that brings to a close my run through the Masters of Cinema Lubitsch in Berlin box set, and with it 100 Films' first Silent Week. Apart from posting all the reviews, that is.

Kick-Ass Theatrical Trailer 2
Yes.

Articles

Tesco sets up film studio to adapt hit novels by Vanessa Thorpe
(from The Observer at guardian.co.uk)
Well, now, this is unusual news. It also sounds like something of a new business model -- potentially, a very exciting and lucrative one. Let's just hope the adaptations are good and not sub-par-TV-movie direct-to-DVD standard (i.e. rubbish). Though with such big-name authors involved -- including ones who've already been adapted by the likes of the BBC and Proper Big Hollywood Studios -- you have to assume there's been some degree of quality control.

Monday, 25 January 2010

TV

QI
7x09 Gallimaufrey (extended repeat)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wallander [Swedish]
1x12 Jokem (aka The Joker)
With a quirky jazz score! Weird...

Films

Die Bergkatze (1921)
aka The Mountain-Lion / The Wildcat
[#9 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And the accompanying new essay of the same title by Anna Thorngate.

Articles

Avatar to topple Titanic's BO record by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
Not that Titanic is a worthy number one, but... well, neither's Avatar. Still, lesser of two evils and all that.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

TV

24
7x05 12:00PM - 1:00PM
7x06 1:00PM - 2:00PM
A quarter of the way through Day 7, and the MacGuffin Device (I completely forget what it's actually called -- CPS? CRB? CPR? Could be anything...) is threatening to give us a re-run of Day 4's histrionics. Still, it's not there yet, so fingers crossed...

Our World
Guantanamo Reunited
Happened across the tail end of this BBC News documentary last night while it was on BBC Two. It's an excellent documentary in which "a former guard at Guantanamo Bay comes face-to-face with two of his ex-prisoners who spent more than two years at the world's most notorious prison" (and were found to be falsely accused, it should be noted). It's reassuring to see how the men can reconcile with each other. If only world leaders were capable of the same.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Anna Boleyn (1920)
aka Deception
[#8 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And the accompanying new essay, "The Court Jester", by David Cairns.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

TV

24
7x04 11:00AM - 12:00PM

Mock the Week
8x01 (21/1/10 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wallander [British]
2x03 The Fifth Woman [season finale]
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Articles

Lawless: 'Spartacus will offend people' by Catriona Wightman
(from Digital Spy)
"new show Spartacus: Blood And Sand... features explicit sex and violence." So it's basically Rome 2 then. Well, Rome was severely underrated, so you never know...

Why do Americans care about late night TV? by Elizabeth Diffin & Megan Lane
(from BBC News Magazine)
Interesting article from a UK perspective -- as it points out, "the late-night talk show has been a staple of American programming for the best part of half a century [but] it's a format - and a timeslot - that's never really caught on in the UK.".

Friday, 22 January 2010

TV

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross
18x01 (15/1/10 edition)
Wossy's final series (well, presumably -- they might put a break halfway through; though the BBC site says it'll run for a straight 25 episodes) gets underway with only veiled references to his impending departure. Sensible, probably.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Sumurun (1920)
aka One Arabian Night
[#7 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And the accompanying new essay, "Ali-Babelsberg", by David Cairns.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week. Slight increases across the board this week (almost), though a couple of box sets mean the discs/films total is quadruple the titles! This is why I count titles and actual discs separately.

Number of titles in collection: 1,126 [up 5]
Of which DVDs: 1,068 [up 4]
Of which Blu-rays: 58 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 2,772 [up 19]
Number of films in collection: 1,184 [up 20]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 3,870 [no change]

Statistic of the week:

Number of silent titles:
19
(1.7% of the total)

These titles include 48 feature-length films and numerous shorts.

(Some are box sets that include a mix of silent and sound titles, but I've only counted genuine silents from that era -- so not including the likes of The Call of Cthulu, made in 2005 in an imitation silent style. Just to complicate matters, two Charlie Chaplin films -- City Lights and Modern Times -- are technically sound pictures, but only have synchronised music/effects and limited dialogue. The latter is often called the last silent film. So, you could say my actual total is therefore 50.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

TV

24
7x03 10:00AM - 11:00AM
I'm beginning to get a little worried by the amount of plot that's already been revealed. There's 21 hours to go, guys -- don't make the same mistake as recent seasons and over-cram the story with an unfeasible amount of incident!

Films

Die Austernprinzessin (1919)
aka The Oyster Princess / My Lady Margarine
[#6 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And the accompanying new essay of the same title by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

TV

National Television Awards 2009
A surprisingly high number of worthwhile winners this year. Not all of them, of course, but what do you expect? It's on ITV after all. So, well done British public.

Films

Ich möchte kein Mann sein (1918)
aka I Wouldn't Like to Be a Man
[#4 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And the accompanying new essay of the same title by Anna Thorngate.

Die Puppe (1919)
aka The Doll
[#5 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
And the accompanying new essay of the same title by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky.

Articles

Marc Webb Will Direct New Spider-Man Reboot by Brad Brevet
(from RopeofSilicon)
This story's all over everywhere, so you can take your pic of who reported it. Quite surprising news though -- a) to have announced a director so speedily, and b) their unproven choice. Could make for an interesting Spider-Man 4... er, 0... or... um...

Spooks, Waking The Dead tipped for axe by Daniel Kilkelly
(from Digital Spy)
And the BBC deny it, of course, but their denial sounds rather false: the original story reports both will end after their next series, the BBC 'denial' just says they've been recommissioned not cancelled... which is true, but because the article says after the next series there's no reason it's not also correct.
It's probably about time though -- Spooks has its moments, but its best years are long gone and they're clearly out of stories; and I've never watched Waking the Dead but it doesn't look much cop.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

TV

24
7x02 9:00AM - 10:00AM

Law & Order: UK
2x02 Hidden
A surprisingly strong episode of L&O:UK, both in terms of its subject matter and its relentlessly twisty storytelling. If only every episode had this much going on.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

QI
7x08 Germany (extended repeat)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Magazines

Radio Times 25-31 January 2010
Sometimes there's nothing to read in the Radio Times, other times I'm virtually reading cover to cover. This week's is the latter, thanks in part to the belated return of Mad Men to BBC Four and BBC HD -- hurrah! If only we didn't have to wait so long for it -- makes it very tempting to acquire it while it's on in the US.

Articles

Fox readying U.S. version of Torchwood by James Hibberd
(from the live feed at The Hollywood Reporter)
I'll believe it when I see it. It's not wholly implausible, but there're enough suspicious bits in the article (like they'd allow a "reboot Doctor Who for U.S. audiences") to make it doubt-worthy. Still, a US-set variant of Torchwood could work... maybe...

Monday, 18 January 2010

TV

10 Minute Tales
Episode 7 The Three Kings
Episode 9 Syncing
If only Syncing had a decent, sense-making ending, it might've been rather good. As it stands, it's a couple of neat sound/image-trickery ideas in search of a story to support them.

24
7x01 8:00AM - 9:00AM
It's been literally years since I last watched a series of 24: you may remember this seventh season was delayed a full 12 months thanks to the Writers' Strike (in the interim we were treated to the season-bridging TV movie Redemption), and season eight has just kicked off in the US (with the UK broadcast beginning next Sunday). Add it all up and it's about two-and-a-half years since I saw the end of season six.
I only missed Day 7 (as some like to call it) when it was on because I didn't have Sky1 then (I say "only" -- I was all prepared to be dishonest, I just didn't get round to it), so it's only now -- prompted, of course, by season eight beginning -- that I'm catching up. Is it the long-awaited return to form some fans claimed? Or just another chapter in the show's descent into overblown unbelievable uber-threats? Well, I'll have to wait and see, but this is certainly a strong start going in the right direction.

Peep Show
1x01 Warring Factions
Everyone goes on about the brilliance of Peep Show, and I've just discovered I can watch it online for free (legally) so thought I'd give it a go. The first-ever episode clearly has potential and a couple of good moments, but it certainly isn't great yet. I presume, therefore, that things only get better, and so I shall continue to watch.
[Watch for free at LOVEFiLM or on 4oD.]

Sunday, 17 January 2010

TV

Wallander [British]
2x02 The Man Who Smiled
Kurt Wallander is depressed. No change there, you might think, but now he's properly depressed in the wake of shooting Svartman -- sorry, Racist Murderer Guy -- in last week's episode. It feels odd for a series of out-of-sequence novel adaptations to have such a linking thread, but it's a good showcase for Branagh. I imagine it must frustrate some viewers -- "he killed a bad man, why can't he just get over it?" -- but I should imagine murder, even of someone so deserving, isn't that easy to deal with in reality.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

The Man Who Sued God (2001)
[#3 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
Probably because it stars Billy Connolly and has a rather quirky subject matter, I'd always assumed this was a British film. But no, it's a very, very Australian one. Which is fair enough.

Articles

Most Overrated Movie of 2009: Avatar by ShepRamsey
(from MovieChopShop)
Yes. And here's a good explanation of why.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

TV

8 Out of 10 Cats
9x02 (15/1/10 edition)
I wasn't going to bother with this series of 8 Out of 10 Cats, largely because it isn't often that good (I blame people like sex-obsessed Jason Manford and the frankly sporadic and over-praised Sean Lock -- who are both, unfortunately, team captains), but I needed something on the half-hour-comedy end of the spectrum and, with How I Met Your Mother 4 still downloading on its way and Mock the Week not back til next week, there wasn't much choice. I expect last week's, with Shappi Khorsandi, would've been better, but 4oD (on the telly) doesn't have series link. Ho hum.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Friday, 15 January 2010

TV

Lark Rise to Candleford
3x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wallander [Swedish]
1x11 Blodsband (aka The Black King / Blood Line / Bound by Blood / Blood Ties)
After a promising beginning this turned into one of the weakest, for me. Shame.

Articles

Lasseter: '2D animation was a scapegoat' by Mayer Nissim
(from Digital Spy)
Very, very true. This is why it's a Good Thing that Pixar are now in charge of Disney.

Laurie "kicking ass" directing House by Dan French
(from Digital Spy)
[Hugh Laurie] is a MULTI threat. Actor, Producer, Director, Author, Comedian, Singer, Musician and the man can dance, yo.

Nolan: 'Inception a four-dimensional Bond' by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
Finally, some idea what it's actually about... and it sounds good.

Tarantino admits dislike for digital cinema by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
"Admits"?! Cos he's not been going on about it for years!

Will Red Riding be welcomed home in the US? by Danny Leigh
(from Film Blog at guardian.co.uk)
Interesting piece speculating on the Red Riding Trilogy's imminent US release

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week. This week's numbers boosted by a host of released-just-after-Christmas and random-January-sale purchases.

Number of titles in collection: 1,121 [up 10]
Of which DVDs: 1,064 [up 7]
Of which Blu-rays: 57 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 2,753 [up 14]
Number of films in collection: 1,164 [up 7]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 3,870 [up 6]

Statistic of the week:

Total running time of collection (approx.):
190 days, 19 hours, and 48 minutes.
(Up 3 days, 23 hours, and 9 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

TV

FlashForward
1x10 A561984 [midseason finale]
And FlashForward returns in... Christ, I dunno -- ages. Maybe it'll get better...
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

How I Met Your Mother
3x20 Miracles [season finale]
Surprisingly, nearly caught up with E4 now (though only cos they switched from "every weeknight" to "every Thursday").

Survivors [2008]
2x01 Episode 1
After an unsatisfying first season finale, Survivors returns with a bang: loads of info about the shady organisation barely glimpsed previously, lots of other character and plot advancement (well, sort of), and some truly epic sequences on deserted city streets and in a collapsing hospital -- very impressive effects work there as well. Next week also looks heavy on arc plot -- maybe Survivors is shifting from a largely "encounter of the week"-based format into a more serialised one? Ideally, I hope they can strike a better balance between the two.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Articles

Winstone: 'Money problems killed Sweeney' by Simon Reynolds and Stella Papamichael
(from Digital Spy)
It was literally about to start filming when the money pulled out, donchaknow, and was apparently going to be brilliant. Shame.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

TV

Law & Order: UK
2x01 Samaritan
L&O:UK season one returns, sneakily now being branded as season two by ITV (and whoever it is releasing them on DVD).
Lesson of this week's episode: you can't trust the Police. True that.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

QI
7x07 Girls and Boys (extended repeat)
According to iPlayer, this week's edition sees "Stephen Fry gallantly grapple with girls and boys". Oh my!
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Magazines

Sight & Sound Vol.20 #1
So, I basically read the whole thing, from cover to cover (though not in that order). First time I've read a Sight & Sound; it was more or less what I expected, though not quite as depressingly academic, so that's a good thing.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

TV

How I Met Your Mother
3x18 Rebound Bro
3x19 Everything Must Go
Oh, nearly at the end of season three! I guess I better, er, get hold of season four...

Wallander [Swedish]
1x10 Luftslottet (aka The Castle Ruins)
I think I missed what relevance the title had...

Articles

First A-Team Teaser Trailer Arrives by Owen Williams
(from Empire)
This looks utterly ridiculous... and utterly cool because of it. Wonderful use of the series' opening monologue as all of the trailer's narration, making it sound like that's exactly what it was written for.

Sony reboots Spider-Man film franchise by Mike Moody
(from Digital Spy)
Well I never. After managing to secure Raimi and co and properly entering development, I didn't see this one coming.
It'll be interesting to see how easy that is to sell to a general public not as familiar with random reboots and changes as a geek fanbase are. That said, it'll have been so long since Spidey 3 by the time this hits that half the core audience -- i.e. kids -- might be more than happy to see the franchise start from scratch.

And following that...

10 Directors Who Could Take Over Spider-Man by James White
and
10 Actors Who Could Take Over Spider-Man by Helen O'Hara
(from Empire)
Do what they say on the tin.
(As in they do, not you have to.)

Monday, 11 January 2010

TV

The Force
Episode 3 (of 3)

How I Met Your Mother
3x16 Sandcastles in the Sand
3x17 The Goat

Wallander [Swedish]
1x09 Täckmanteln (aka The Container Lorry)

Films

Doctor Faustus (1967)
[first third; part of 100 Films in a Year 2010]
Elizabethan tragedy is hard going, even when it's made to feel like a Hammer production! Aiming to watch the rest tomorrow (when I finish it'll be assigned a number).

Articles

20 Things We Learnt from The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter by Ian Berriman
(from SFX)
SFX reviews/previews/ruins the forthcoming extended reprint of Russell T Davies' inconceivably brilliant Writer's Tale. Spoilers ahoy!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

TV

How I Met Your Mother
3x15 The Chain of Screaming

Wallander [British]
2x01 Faceless Killers
It's a little weird going back to 'our' Wallander having seen so many of the Swedish ones -- so much more stylised, moodier, trying to be in some way unique. I guess Sweden don't have the proliferation of police procedurals filling their TV schedules that we do. Both versions are very good, however, just in slightly different ways.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

We Need Answers
2x06 The Sun
Once again I'm left wondering about BBC's policy to series links on the iPlayer, as I've missed two episodes of this due to the assumption it had one (I swear I saw it on episode one...)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

His Girl Friday (1940)
[#2 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]

Suspiria DVD trailer
More of a featurette extract than a trailer (in fairness, it says this relatively early on). So interesting it's convinced me (along with the DVD Times review) to take a punt on the new Blu-ray.

Articles

Moulin Rouge named best film of decade by Marcell Minaya
(from Digital Spy)
I think Moulin Rouge is brilliant, and very underrated in some circles, but this is a huge surprise.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

TV

The Greatest TV Shows of the Noughties
The Top 20, as voted for by viewers.
Good: Doctor Who in the top three; Life On Mars in the top ten; no Big Brother anywhere; astonishingly, QI trumps The X Factor (and dozens of others)!
Bad: Doctor Who only at number three; The Apprentice at number two; dearth of US shows (great to celebrate what we've done here, but there are numerous outstanding American shows that have just been ignored); Britain's Got (no) Talent trumps QI (and dozens of others)!
And the winner... well, who saw that coming? Though it was worth it for all the commentators' reactions, particularly the editor of Heat. What a cock.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Friday, 8 January 2010

TV

10 Minute Tales
Episode 3 Ding Dong
Episode 4 Let It Snow
Episode 2 The Walkers
Episode 6 Dog Alone
Ohhh, they're all Christmassy themed! And all about a man & a woman in some way!
(Note the ridiculous typo in the URL for Dog Alone, which makes its episode page impossible to find without searching Google.)

FlashForward
1x09 Believe
FlashForward is, on the whole, still A Bit Rubbish, but this episode's main plot is actually quite good and sweet. Just a shame we have to suffer the on-going stories in the middle of it.
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

Films

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
[#1 in 100 Films in a Year 2010]
Finally getting underway...

Articles

3D TV is being billed as possible industry saviour by Maggie Shiels
(from BBC News)
They'll be lucky.

Frozen Britain seen from above
(from BBC News)
Oo-ooh!

Click to enlarge

Media Demand New Words For 'Snow'
(from the Daily Mash)
The National Union of Journalists last night demanded at least 12 new words for snow. The NUJ has lobbied the Oxford English Dictionary to approve a range of synonyms including 'squibble', 'floatynice' and 'roadf****r'... Wayne Hayes, The Sun's assistant editor (snow), said... "I want to write 'Droppyice covers Britain or 'Boffins warn of further clouds****y'. But those gayboy Oxford eggheads won't let me."


Russell Tovey to join Torchwood team? by Dan French
(from Digital Spy)
I wonder... if John Barrowman mentioned that someone like Heath Ledger was a good actor, would Digital Spy run a "Heath Ledger to join Torchwood team?" headline? I wouldn't be surprised.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week... except over Christmas. Which I think was fair enough.

As this is the first post-Xmas update it covers, essentially, What I Got For Christmas. (Well, What DVDs And Blu-rays I Got For Christmas -- I did get other stuff too. For a change.) Anything in the days since will be added from next week's update (not that there's much. Yet.) This slightly skews the normal way of things, I know, but I'm sure no one cares that much. Or at all.

Number of titles in collection: 1,111 [up 9]
Of which DVDs: 1,057 [up 4]
Of which Blu-rays: 54 [up 5]

Number of discs in collection: 2,739 [up 33]
Number of films in collection: 1,157 [up 9]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 3,864 [up 84]

Statistic of the week will return next time. See you then, faithful reader.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

TV

10 Minute Tales
Episode 1 Deep & Crisp & Even
Episode 5 Statuesque
A series of eleven dialogue-free short films, most with famous stars (and/or crew) that Sky1 aired over the Christmas period. As one might expect from a concept that sounds quite arty, they can be a bit ambiguous and not always wholly satisfactory; but the constraints also allow imagination to flourish -- Deep & Crisp & Even, for example, has several lovely ideas that are beautifully realised through well-applied special effects.
(I set this on my V+ box while I was away. Unfortunately it mucked up and I've missed one. Shame.)

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge.

How I Met Your Mother
3x13 Ten Sessions
3x14 The Bracket
Ten Sessions is an exceptionally good episode, particularly it's single-shot climax. (Not that The Bracket is bad, that is.)

Wallander [Swedish]
1x08 Fotografen (aka The Photographer)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

TV

Ad of the Decade
"X of the Noughties/Decade" lists are everywhere at the minute, but this is quite a fun one: a viewer-voted Top 20 of the best TV adverts from the last decade. Naturally there's a bias towards more recent ads (I honestly don't believe the Compare the Meerkat "simples", which placed 3rd, will be remembered in a decade, unlike the "wassup?" Bud ads from 2000, which placed 20th), but some genuinely impressive and deserved ones are here.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Doctor Who Confidential
4x19 Allons-y! [season finale]
And so, it ends. The great thing about this Confidential is that, while still doing the usual behind-the-scenes thing, it still compliments the episode and highlights how great it was, particularly the performances of David Tennant and Bernard Cribbins.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

How I Met Your Mother
3x12 No Tomorrow

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

TV

How I Met Your Mother
3x10 The Yips
3x11 The Platinum Rule
Picking this back up after a break over Christmas. E4 are now well into season 4, so there's certainly some catching up to do.

Poirot
12x01 Three Act Tragedy
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Articles

Out of Time by Michael Beek
(from Music from the Movies)
Long interview with incumbent Doctor Who composer Murray Gold about his work on the final specials, some of his initial thoughts for the next series, and his future plans in general.

Monday, 4 January 2010

TV

2009 Unwrapped extra [2nd watch]

The Graham Norton Show
6x13 New Year's Eve Special [season finale]
Feels slightly odd watching a specifically New Year's Eve-y special several days later, but then it was filmed far in advance anyhow so what does it matter? Still, this is a much preferable choice to the dross BBC One have been offering up on New Year's Eve for the past few years, so I hope it was a success.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

House
6x10 Wilson
An exceptional episode of the show, which (as the title may suggest) centres on Wilson rather than House, as the latter's usual activities continue in the background -- always a nice comedic touch (see Buffy episode The Zeppo for a similar thing). Even more unusual is how unChristmassy it is -- House is usually very full of the festive season for several episodes each year.

Spooks
8x08 Episode 8 [season finale]
Cliffhanger-tastic.

Top Gear
14x07 Episode 7 [season finale]
"How short can a one-hour programme be?" Jeremy Clarkson wonders towards the end of this episode. It's ironic, not that he realises it, because Top Gear almost always overruns by 5 to 10 minutes, which is a right bugger if you're intending to watch something on the other side. And, indeed, it's almost exactly 60 minutes into this episode that he actually muses that, before continuing to go on for a couple more. Clearly they need much, much better timing.
Still, fun episode, even if it was supposedly made with no money and -- here's a real surprise -- was actually full of car reviews.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

Producer: 'Bond 23 is up in the air' by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
Oh dear.

Sherlock Holmes 2 plans in jeopardy? by Oli Simpson
(from Digital Spy)
An over-dramatic headline if ever there was one (which is probably why they added the question mark). The story boils down to if the filmmakers decided to pursue a suggested thematic strand, which they probably won't, then the copyright holders would probably tell them not to, in which case they'd surely just do something else instead anyway.
Digital Spy: always good at telling us what people aren't and won't be doing.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

TV

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2009
A particularly funny year for what has now become something of an annual tradition on C4 (this is its fifth year). Nice to see Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross both back and on one team too, though my personal favourite contestant was the ever-excellent Rob Brydon.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Doctor Who [new]
4x18 The End of Time Part Two [2nd watch]
Caught the final 20 minutes of this by accident. Still brilliant -- what a send-off.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Gavin & Stacey
3x06 Episode 6 [series finale]
A fitting conclusion to what has consistently been an excellent series (even through the occasionally awkward second season). In keeping with the overall tone: not too sentimental, not too neat, but far from depressing. Nice job.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Gavin and Stacey: The Out-takes
Outtakes can be a mixed bag, and often reek of "it must've been funny if you were there". Thankfully, this bunch are mostly pretty good, even sustaining a full half-hour, aided by commentary from Ruth and James.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Live at the Apollo
5x06 (1/1/10 edition) [season finale]
Love Reginald D. Hunter, there wasn't enough of him. Not that the other two weren't good as well.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

QI
7x06 Genius (extended repeat)
A particularly funny edition, I felt. I imagine much of the silly riffing was cut the for the half-hour version, so it's a shame that's the only one available on iPlayer.
[Watch the shorter version (again) on iPlayer.]

Saturday, 2 January 2010

TV

2009 Unwrapped extra
Red Button off-cuts from the excellent 2009 Unwrapped. These are mostly just as good, so one can only presume they were cut for time. They could've replaced some of Alone in the Shed in my opinion.
It's a shame Red Button content doesn't last long and is only sporadically available online, because these deserve to be more accessible. Two of the best are available online however: Hole in the Wall with Nick Griffin, and the pandemic compilation CD advert.

Doctor Who 2010 Trailer
Ooh, that looks exciting. So much to see...

Top Gear
14x06 Bolivia Special
Mad.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Victoria Wood: What Larks!
Behind the scenes of Victoria Wood's new Christmas special, which turns out to be an entertaining bit of comedy in its own right.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Friday, 1 January 2010

TV

Doctor Who [new]
4x18 The End of Time Part Two [New Year special]
After being a little disappointed by Part One, I thought that was excellent. A little indulgent at the end, maybe, but when you have such a beloved lead leaving it's OK to be a little indulgent within the show itself -- after all, it's not made for those who don't care that he's going, is it?
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

James May's Toy Stories
1x06 Hornby [season finale]

Marple
4x03 They Do It With Mirrors
A pretty good one, til the over-done ending that didn't fit. Oh well. I guessed the solution also, but I like to think that's more me being clever than a fault with the programme.

Articles

Tennant's last interview before leaving Doctor Who by Lizo Mzimba
(from BBC News)
Is it? Is it really? I doubt it. But still, in this brief video he has a few things to say of passing interest. Likely there'll be much more interesting stuff to say once the post-broadcast interviews appear in Doctor Who Magazine and what have you.

Entertainment review of the decade by Mark Savage
(from BBC News)
BBC News look back over the decade in entertainment, taking in Top Ten lists across awards, ratings and sales for cinema, music, literature and TV. I like a good list or twenty.