Sunday, 18 July 2010


The Mentalist
2x22 Red Letter
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

Mock the Week
9x04 (15/7/10 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Sandbaggers
3x02 To Hell With Justice

Wallander [Swedish]
2x10 Vålnaden (aka The Ghost)
Another rather good episode, for the most part -- very filmic, nicely shot and evocative of a summer heatwave.


A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Part 2, Chapters 6 - 7 [the end]

Very good. Still not sure if I've read it before.

Anyway, I read it via iBooks on my iPhone -- that's how I started it, for one thing, and it's surprisingly pleasurable to use, not to mention portable. I've been using the good preview copy I mentioned when I read Chapter 1 because, well, it was the best one. But, reaching the final chapter, I discover they are sensibly cunning: the preview includes all of the novel... except the final chapter. Oh no! Unfortunately for them, I already own two hard copies of the complete Holmes so have finished it off with one of those.

But, as it's only £1.99 for a very readable almost-complete collection, I may buy it anyway. It's just unfortunate that, out of the three copies I found on iBooks, by far the most readable is also the least complete: it misses The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, still under copyright in the US, while one of the other two is actually the complete Arthur Conan Doyle -- and is as unwieldy to use as you might imagine a single book containing dozens of novels and hundreds of short stories would be.

this week on 100 Films

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

The International (2009)
A lot of scenes involve people explaining the plot to each other, or discoursing in clichés about why they’re going to be thrown off the case or justice is an illusion or whatever. In a rare moment of something approaching innovation, we don’t have to suffer a romance between the two leads. It should be something of a concern when one of a film’s high points is something it doesn’t do.

Is Anybody There? (2008)
Far from being “lightweight”, it’s a subtle tale that covers a lot of ground in an unshowy way. Aside from the main plot, which is very worthwhile in itself — about how a lonely, slightly odd 10-year-old boy and a lonely, stubborn old man accidentally wind up bringing out the best in each other and helping each other to move on from the troubles they’re stuck in — the supporting characters are used to paint succinct pictures of old age, abandonment and regret.

Max Payne: Harder Cut (2008)
director John Moore doesn't use Matrix-derived bullet-time visuals, but, despite keeping a snow-bound New York and a revenge plot, he's somehow managed to also throw out everything that made Max Payne: The Game good. Despite the similarities in plot and setting, this doesn't feel at all like the game. Max Payne: The Film, to put it simply, is a load of crap.

Also this week, an editorial piece on the abundance of Director's Cuts (and the like) that we now see. Which is the definitive version of a film these days? Read my thoughts here.

More next Sunday.