Sunday, 7 March 2010


Five Days
2x03 Day 8
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Oscars 2010: Red Carpet Live
And so Sky's coverage begins. And, in fact, is ongoing as this is posted, because the actual ceremony doesn't start until 1am over here. So there's an hour of red carpet to go, and the ceremony itself will be part of tomorrow's updates.
(Yep, this is word-for-word what I posted at this point last year.)


If you think Ashcroft is a scandal, what about the attacks on the BBC? by David Mitchell
(from comment is free at
I could scarcely agree more with the points Mitchell makes here. The BBC is one of the greatest organisations of its kind in the world -- far, far superior to the Murdoch empire -- and yet too many members of the public seem happy to sell it down the river just because they don't want to pay £142 a year for it. If they're successful in getting rid of it -- and I pray they're not -- then they'll soon miss it when it's gone. And those of you that think you won't... well, you will, you're just not bright enough to realise it yet.

Razzies 2010 Full Results - Sandra Bullock accepts Razzie on eve of Oscars?
I'm not really sure why there's a question mark in the title, considering she did accept said award. What'll be interesting to see is if she can win a Razzie and an Oscar in the same year -- she probably will, and it'll be a first too.

The morals of (illegally) downloading movies... that are on TV

Here's a question of morality to ponder:

I've just taken out a subscription to Sky Movies in order to watch the Oscars. I'll have to have said subscription for at least 30 days, during which time they'll screen dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of films I'm interested in seeing. If I recorded them to catch later, I'm sure most or all of you would agree that's OK -- what else are video recorders and PVRs and Sky+/V+ boxes for, after all.

Here's where the moral question comes in: I don't have a PVR and my V+ box only has so much free space, so does this make it morally acceptable to download (for free, i.e. illegally) any film that's on Sky Movies while I have my subscription?

Now, as I noted, of course it's illegal -- but, for the sake of argument, that's beside the point. If I had a (big enough) PVR I could record as much as I'd like -- indeed, if I went out and bought one now, I could even actually do that -- so why shouldn't I just get them the other way? Other than depriving a PVR manufacturer of some cash, Sky Movies and the film studios won't be missing out on any money if I download rather than watch on TV.

I'm not looking for a full-proof answer, nor saying anyone who comments is going to change my mind, but I think this is more of a morally grey area than straight-out illegal downloading (even if you do that and have ways of justifying it to yourself, there's no skirting the fact that it's illegal and morally dubious/unjustifiable).

I look forward to your thoughts... if anyone has any...

this week on 100 Films

6 new reviews were posted to 100 Films in a Year this week, and they were...

His Girl Friday (1940)
If you ever meet anyone who claims all old black & white films are slow, simple and boring, show them this. And if you ever meet anyone who hasn’t seen this, show them it; and if you haven’t seen it, watch it

Juno (2007)
There’s underage sex, swearing, numerous displays of teen independence, divorce, love of rock music and horror films… All that’s missing from a Middle American Mom’s worst nightmare is drugs (there’s no violence either, but we know them there yankees love a bit of that).

The Man Who Sued God (2001)
putting the church in a position where their only sensible defence is to prove God doesn’t exist is always going to make for a good story.

Michael Clayton (2007)
The obvious point of comparison is Damages, the excellent TV series that also concerns such high-profile big-business lawsuits, but... Damages sustains it for over 9 hours, replete with cliffhangers and plot twists so far beyond what Clayton’s surprisingly straightforward story has to offer that Gilroy isn’t even dreaming of being that good.

No Country For Old Men (2007)
it’s really about Fate, randomness, chance. Some clearly think this brilliant; I remain unconvinced. It lacks satisfaction. Maybe that’s real life — no, that is real life: random and lacking closure and satisfaction. But this isn’t real life, it’s a movie

There Will Be Blood (2007)
I can’t help but wonder if I missed something crucial along the way because, even after two and a half hours, I had no real idea what the film was about.

More next Sunday.