Monday, 28 February 2011

TV

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards
aka the Oscars, of course. Once again, I've got myself Sky Movies specially for this -- pricey, but lots of movies for a month. Yay.

Due South
3x07 Mountie and Soul [2nd watch]
Wait... hold on... what are they doing?! No, they haven't skipped another episode (or three) -- despite acknowledging on their website that this is indeed the seventh episode, BBC Two for some reason showed this before episodes five and six. And, incidentally, showed five and six the wrong way round. And seem to be doing the same with later episodes too. It probably doesn't matter -- Due South isn't big on serialisation -- but still, what the hell?

Extraordinary Dogs
1x04 Crucial Hearing
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

My Life in Books
Episode 1 PD James and Richard Bacon (of 10)

Outcasts
1x05 Episode 5
Good, unexpected final twist. So at least this series has produced something almost worthwhile in the end.
[Subject yourself to it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Articles

Showtime renews Episodes, Shameless by Mike Moody
(from Digital Spy)
As requested. Super.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

TV

Due South
3x04 Strange Bedfellows [2nd watch]
I don't mind New Ray, but I do rather miss Old Ray at this point.

Oscars 2011: Red Carpet Live
Not much red carpet in the red carpet show -- which is fine by me! The actual awards begin at 1:30am here (1am Stateside, I believe), so I'll mention that tomorrow, as usual.

South Riding
Part 1 (of 3)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Top Gear
16x05 (20/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Up in the Air (2009)
[#25 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

this week on 100 Films

Just 1 new review was posted to 100 Films in a Year again this week. Must try harder.

The Invention of Lying (2009)
there are two points to be made. One, it’s not really setting out to be a 100% flawless world-without-lies — it’s our world, reflected back with lies removed. And two, it’s a comedy — the honesty of the corrupt cop or the casino box office is funny. On a deeper level, one might argue the film is exploring the lies we tell ourselves and each other — how harsh the world would be without them.

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

TV

The Culture Show
Forget the Oscars, Here Are the Kermodes [special]
Mark Kermode tells us how the Oscars have got it wrong this year. And he's probably right.
See also: today's Articles.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Due South
3x03 I Coulda Been a Defendant [2nd watch]

Fast and Loose
1x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Faulks on Fiction
Part 3 The Snob
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x10 Day 10
Once again a conclusion feels like it's nigh -- but we're only halfway through! As much still to come as there's already been! Tensiontastic.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Let's Dance for Comic Relief 2011
Episode 1 (of 4)
Despite all his trending on twitter and what have you, I didn't think Russell Kane's routine was that great. Dressing up in drag may've worked in both previous series, but it was accompanied by an amusing and well-performed routine -- I didn't think Kane managed either. And Katie Price was one of the worst too. But hey, whoever said the British public had taste?

Whose Line is it Anyway?
4x12 (10/4/92 edition)
3x16 (3/5/91 edition)
Despite Whose Line's fame and endurance (ten series of the UK version followed by eight of a US one), I've never seen it before. Caught these in the middle of the night on Dave, for some reason showing the last non-compilation episodes of the British version in reverse order. OK... And though this is the British one, these episodes were both taped in New York. One wonders where these ideas come from.
[Watch 3x16 and 4x12 (again) on 4oD.]

Articles

Groundbreaking Cinema: 15 Films from 2010 That Challenged & Advanced the Medium by Adam Quigley
(from /Film)
the movies from 2010 that, as best as I have been able to ascertain, helped contribute to the landscape of film in ways that are important, creative and culturally significant — regardless of any personal animosity you may feel toward them.
A most interesting read. And the intro is great as a reminder of the dozens of films the Oscars have completely overlooked, all of them more influential and/or popular than a good deal of actual Best Picture winners.

Friday, 25 February 2011

TV

Due South
3x02 Eclipse [2nd watch]

Episodes
1x07 Episode Seven [season finale]
It took a few episodes to find its feet, but I properly enjoyed it by the end. More please.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Graham Norton Show
8x17 (18/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang (2010)
[#24 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
aka Nanny McPhee Returns in the US, for God knows what reason.

Fiction

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

Titles this week include The Social Network soundtrack on Blu-ray (yes, a soundtrack on Blu-ray) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Blu-ray, which means that I now own, for various reasons, the 25th, 30th and 35th anniversary releases of that particular film. I need to get eBaying...

Incidentally, I thought the orders that made up this update would spread themselves out over two or even three weeks, yet somehow they've all turned up in just one. Back to being a bit quiet next week then... probably...

Number of titles in collection: 1,275 [up 8]
Of which DVDs: 1,103 [up 2]
Of which Blu-rays: 172 [up 6]

Number of discs in collection: 3,179 [up 13]
Number of films in collection: 1,345 [up 4]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,708 [up 37]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

TV

10 O'Clock Live
1x05 (17/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Due South
3x01 Burning Down the House [2nd watch]
This is the one episode of Due South I'm absolutely certain I've seen, because I remember not approving of the new Ray at the time. Now, I also don't approve of the new opening theme music or the new closing theme music. New Ray -- played, incidentally, by Callum Keith Rennie, he of a thousand recognisable guest/recurring roles since -- isn't as good as Old Ray, true, but he's not too bad.

Extraordinary Dogs
1x03 Myth and Reality
Aww, look at all the cute doggy-woggies!
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

House
7x10 Carrot or Stick

Just Good Friends
2x07 Goodbye Again [season finale]

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x09 Day 9
There's a bit of an "entering phase two" feeling about this episode, as a lot of long-running threads are closed off, giving rise to new ones that may well drive the rest of the series. Still over half to go though...
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Clash of the Titans (2010)
[#23 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Articles

The Day the Movies Died by Mark Harris
(from GQ)
Interesting article about the (potential) death of American movies.

Internet-savvy Firefly fans fly back into the fight by Doug Gross
(from Geek Out! at CNN)
Hard to believe anything will come of this plan to revive Firefly, but it's impressive how much coverage it gained so quickly.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

TV

How I Met Your Mother
6x09 Glitter
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Music

The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
[5th listen]
This time in HD 5.1 surround sound via Blu-ray. Lovely.

Articles

Doctor Who 'Brigadier' Nicholas Courtney dies aged 81
(from BBC News)
Splendid chap, both of them. He'll be sorely missed.
Though how many articles about this have perpetuated the lie that "the actor appeared on screen opposite five different Doctors"?! He "appeared on screen" with all seven classic Doctors... just not always as the Brig, or in stories of dubious canonicity.

Nicholas Courtney by Eddie Robson
(from Shiny Shelf)
Naturally there are many tributes across the web -- Tom Baker's is not to be ignored -- but this is amongst the best; or, at least, most reflective of my thoughts too.
people loved seeing him again, perhaps more than any other character in the show... It’s hugely saddening to realise we’ve seen him for the last time.


Rufus Sewell's Zen axed by BBC by Paul Millar
(from Digital Spy)
Can't say I'm surprised, but I am disappointed. The production company are "currently in discussion with other UK broadcasters" about another series, but no one ever wants another channel's rejects, and where would it fit anyway? Bit too classy for ITV, bit too pricey for C4 or Sky (I should imagine).

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

TV

Due South
2x18 Flashback [2nd watch; season finale]
Seems odd to end a season with a recap-esque clips show, but then this was the point at which Due South was cancelled (before being revived for two more seasons) so maybe it was intended to be a nice send-off as much as a recap.
On another note, BBC Two didn't bother to show the episode they skipped. Boo.

How TV Ruined Your Life
1x04 Love
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Outcasts
1x04 Episode 4
Some people have said Outcasts gets better as it goes on (as I also mentioned yesterday). On the strength of this episode, I'm finding it very hard to believe them. If anything, it's getting worse.
[Subject yourself to it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Yugo the Negotiator
1x05 Trust
1x06 Promise
The end of Yugo's "1st Negotiation" -- i.e. first story arc -- sees a lot more action than previous instalments. Another quite well done element of the series that I don't think I've mentioned is how it handles the political situation, especially using it to a dramatic advantage. For instance, the hostage takers appear to be the villains, but they're freedom fighters with at least some degree of honour -- so are the army, who are out to stop them even if it costs the hostage's life, the true villains? But lest we be in any doubt that the terrorists aren't Not Wholly Nice too, they shoot down a helicopter almost in cold blood. Perhaps it's not the most nuanced programme ever, but it makes a fair fist -- more than one might expect, anyway.

Monday, 21 February 2011

TV

Baking Made Easy
1x06 Time to Bake [final episode]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Due South
2x17 Red, White or Blue [2nd watch]

Episodes
1x06 Episode Six
Surprised to find this reaching its series-opening flashforward near the start of the penultimate episode -- I'd assumed it'd be this one's ending, or somewhere in the finale. It's quite nice when a TV programme manages to genuinely surprise you in a good way.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Outcasts
1x03 Episode 3
I've read Outcasts gets better as it goes on. While it has its moments -- as it has since the start -- there's not yet any sign of significant improvement.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Yugo the Negotiator
1x04 Hero
Yugo continues its steady improvement with the kind of style I often like: a serial drama where each episode works as a standalone segment of the tale too. Here, Yugo has been captured by the terrorists and must prove his worth before negotiations can begin. The series also employs a technique used to Grown Up Clever Series like Mad Men: we're given individual scenes subtly furthering other plot threads with minimal explanation -- if you don't know what's going on they're a meaningless aside. That might sound obvious -- of course it's how you tell a story -- but, actually, many series wouldn't dare let them pass with so little explanation of what we're seeing.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

TV

Baking Made Easy
1x05 Bake to Impress
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Yugo the Negotiator
1x01 Negotiator
1x02 Resolve
1x03 Contact
For my thoughts on these episodes, look here.

Films

Sabrina (1954)
[#22 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Music

I've become lax and listing music again. So much for my good intentions. Anyway, I have mostly been listening to...

Once: Music from the Motion Picture by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Plus, today...

The Union by Elton John & Leon Russell
[4th listen]

this week on 100 Films

Just 1 new review was posted to 100 Films in a Year this week, rounding off David Fincher Week...

The Social Network (2010)
Reviews have been stuffed with superlatives — again, just look at the DVD cover — and while I agree with the counterpoint that it’s too soon to tell if it’s a classic or generation-defining (it’s about a generation-defining phenomenon, that doesn’t inherently make it a generation-defining film), there’s every chance it will indeed turn out to be both. Even if it doesn’t, it’s still an incredible piece of filmmaking.

Talking of rounding off David Fincher Week -- in which I reviewed all eight of David Fincher's films, lest you've forgotten -- I also had a bit of a summary post.

More (though no more Fincher, obviously) next Sunday.

Yugo the Negotiator, Episodes 1-3

Anime series about a privately-contracted hostage negotiator.

The first three episodes -- Negotiator, Resolve and Contact (ignore the titles at those links, they're incorrect) -- make up the first half of the first storyline. Only 13 episodes and two story arcs were made -- unfortunately, because the series has a lot of promise.

It's unusual for an anime show in its lack of action -- you imagine their usual interpretation of such a scenario would be for the character to go in all guns blazing, probably in a giant robot. (If you think I'm being stereotypical in such a view, read some of the reviews from dedicated anime sites.) Instead, Yugo is slow-paced and somewhat methodical, as the titular hero sets about investigating the situation and treading carefully, all with a very realistic and well-researched style.

It improves as it goes on too, a little like (though, to be frank, not as good as) The Wire -- the accumulation of knowledge and settling into the series' pace and style allows it to improve; later episodes aren't necessarily better in and of themselves, but the whole thing improves as it grows. It's the kind of slow-paced that's addictive: the running time mostly dashes past, but with so little development you long for the next episode to see the story continue.

In these respects it's rather good then, but it's let down by some occasionally woeful dialogue in the English dub. The acting is mostly fine, and they've gone to a lot of trouble to respectfully depict Pakistan (more than the Japanese dub did, it seems), but sometimes a better script is called for. Even worse, though, is the truly dreadful and shockingly inappropriate theme music. It's a jazzy number that doesn't fit the grim, serious, realistic tone of the series at all. I rarely skip title sequences -- they're part of the programme after all -- but here I'm seriously tempted.

On the evidence of these first few episodes I can see why Yugo isn't among the most well-known of anime series -- as those reviews point out, it's an acquired taste for a (Western) fandom more used to straightforward action, humour and romance -- but for those who like this kind of thing (like me) it's a minor gem. If it weren't for the too-often poor screenplay, it'd be the kind of thing you might use to persuade the unconverted to give anime a go, but as it is I'm not convinced it'd work.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

TV

Baking Made Easy
1x04 Very Entertaining
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Due South
2x16 The Duel [2nd watch]

Fast and Loose
1x06 Episode 6
I liked the new musicals round at the end -- most amusing. Also, one of the best Interpretive Dance rounds thus far. Handily (and by sheer coincidence -- no, honestly), those are the two clips available independently on the BBC's website.
[Watch the whole episode (again) on iPlayer.]

Faulks on Fiction
Part 2 The Lover
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Friday, 18 February 2011

TV

Baking Made Easy
1x03 Modern Classics
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Graham Norton Show
8x16 (11/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Top Gear
16x04 (13/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Articles

Today, three of the most interesting articles I've bothered to share in quite some time (in my opinion, of course).

How Pirates Can Save the Home Movie Industry (And Why Netflix is its Future) by Navneet Alang
(from TECHi)
Despite the big picture of Captain Jack, they don't mean those kinds of pirates. And it's less supposing Internet piracy can save the home video industry -- that's just an obviously inflammatory title -- and more how the lessons learnt from it could do the saving. It seems well-reasoned and

Middle-earth according to Mordor by Laura Miller
(from Salon.com)
"A newly translated Russian novel retells Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of the bad guys," basically. The article goes into a lot more detail on why this is a properly interesting and well-executed concept, not just some quick cash-in. It sounds like a good read... and thanks to potential copyright issues, it's available completely free (in English, as an ebook/PDF file) from here.

Why Chris Nolan’s Batman Isn’t Racist by Mark Hughes
(from Obsessed with Film)
That might sound like a silly or obvious thing to say, but the article has a good point to make -- essentially, that most comics and consequently comic book movies are extremely white-orientated, but Nolan's Batmans really aren't. It goes on a bit, labouring the point (especially toward the end), but it has plenty of examples and clear reasoning.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

A couple of little boosts this week. Should be more next.

Number of titles in collection: 1,267 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,101 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 166 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,166 [up 5]
Number of films in collection: 1,341 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,671 [up 11]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

TV

10 O'Clock Live
1x04 (10/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Baking Made Easy
1x02 Speed Baking
Normally I couldn't give a flying fig about cooking programmes, but this one is lovely. And yummy. Far too yummy to resist. Too many figs though.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x08 Day 8
Perhaps surprisingly, I found this episode's rather understated cliffhanger the most engrossing yet. What happens next?! I demand to know!
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Fiction

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Walking Dead by Mathew New
I've never read Scott Pilgrim and I've yet to see the film, but this was rather entertaining. The number of comments saying how similar it is to the originals suggests to me I might actually like them.
(By-the-by, that link is to Edgar Wright's blog. The original is here.)

Articles

Lords want TV ads cut by 20 percent by Kate Goodacre
(from Digital Spy)
The House of Lords Communications Committee has recommended cutting the number of advertisements on television... "our recommendations would encourage both public service and commercial broadcasters to provide their viewers with quality original UK television programmes."
What better way to encourage broadcasters to make more programmes than cut the amount of money they earn, eh?

Reader’s Block by Geoff Dyer
(from Work in Progress)
An interesting -- if slightly long and overly academic -- essay on "reader's block", the notion of finding it increasingly difficult to read a book. In possibly the only instance of it on the entire Internet, nearly all the comments are quite interesting too (and most more digestible than the article itself, it must be said).

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

TV

Due South
2x15 Body Language [2nd watch]

Fast and Loose
1x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x07 Day 7
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Roman Holiday (1953)
[#21 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Articles

Holmes sequel gets Game Of Shadows title by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows? I like it. Particularly the inclusion of "A".

Outcasts cast out to Sunday late slot by Tara Conlan
(from guardian.co.uk)
BBC1 sci-fi drama Outcasts is being moved from 9pm to a Sunday late-night slot after disappointing ratings.
Oh dear. However bad things get, British dramas very, very rarely get shunted around in the schedules. Still, that's what happens when you make a flat-out poor show.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

TV

Baking Made Easy
1x01 So Easy
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

How TV Ruined Your Life
1x03 Aspiration
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Outcasts
1x02 Episode 2
Well, that wasn't any better that the first. Still, at least it's not as unremittingly dire as The Deep.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Yes Minister
2x04 The Greasy Pole

Monday, 14 February 2011

TV

Due South
2x14 All the Queen's Horses [2nd watch]

Episodes
1x05 Episode Five
I think I may be saying it every week now, but this just keeps improving. Hurrah!
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Glee
2x05 The Rocky Horror Glee Show
I don't normally watch Glee -- and on the strength of this, I don't intend to start. What a horrible way to ruin an excellent musical; all High School Musical-y and sanitised. Only an X Factor theme week version could possibly have been worse.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Outcasts
1x01 Episode 1
Well that was a bit disappointing. Too much blatant exposition, too much blatant mystery establishing, not to mention all the instances of weak dialogue and weak acting. Plus, of course the mentally ill character turns out to be a villain. Ugh. There's so much potential in the basic idea -- not to mention a fairly good cast and clearly a big budget -- but it looks likely to be squandered here. Shame. Huge shame, actually.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Once (2006)
[#20 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Sunday, 13 February 2011

TV

The British Academy Film Awards 2011
In case you didn't fancy totting up the numbers, The King's Speech unsurprisingly dominated this years BAFTAs with 7 wins, followed by The Social Network and Inception with 3 each (the former including two big'uns; latter all technical) and then, would you believe, Alice in Wonderland with 2.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Mentalist
3x12 Bloodhounds

The Tudors
4x02 Sister

Films

Pocahontas (1995)
[2nd watch]
Shame about being massively historically inaccurate, because the songs are quite good (only quite good, mind) and it looks quite beautiful, especially in HD.

this week on 100 Films

7 new reviews were posted to 100 Films in a Year this week, all thanks to my David Fincher Week. They were...

Alien³: Special Edition (1992/2003)
Despite this extended version being 26% longer, I still found it hard to spot much of the additional material... to an extent, it’s “a longer version with more of the same”, but I found it more coherent too. While the major plot beats still occur at the same time and in fundamentally the same way, perhaps the myriad tweaks have made it clearer just what’s going on?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
a lot of Benjamin’s story might just as well be imagined with a life that runs forwards. The fact that he’s ageing backwards colours events, certainly; it gives it the surface sheen of a more unusual story; it gives motivations for some of his actions... but if he was a regular orphaned boy, it wouldn’t take much extra creativity to see the same tale work.

Fight Club (1999)
the twist works. It makes sense. “Sense” in the sense that the characters are mentally ill and we’ve been let into their experience — quite literally, an unreliable Narrator — but that fits. Clues are littered throughout. You can argue they’re not fundamental to the story — most are lines or asides that hint at it — but I don’t think it’s a nonsensical turn of events.

The Game (1997)
I’d intended for this review to be a defence — I’ve always really liked it, but it tends to get lost amongst Fincher’s more provocative and, yes, better films. [But] after a couple of watches it becomes like a holiday photo album: a nice record and reminder of good times had, rather than ones experienced anew.

Panic Room (2002)
Panic Room stands out as (arguably) Fincher’s most atypical film. Whereas his others are all epic, in one way or another, this is the exact opposite. It’s very contained, virtually the entire running time spent on one night in one house, alleviated only by brief outside bookends and a guided tour of the house at the start. Fortunately, it’s still an outstanding little thriller.

Se7en (1995)
Some claim that Se7en is no more than a standard murder thriller... In some respects they’re right, but in enough respects they’re wrong... It’s really the execution that makes it so much more. It’s in the performances, the way the characters are written, their subplots, the story’s pace, the cinematography, the music, individual sequences that rise not only to the top of the genre but to the top of the very medium itself.

Zodiac: Director's Cut (2007/2008)
What’s different? Very little. It’s not just because I haven’t watched it for so long that the changes passed by unnoticed: five minutes of new material comes mostly in 15-second-ish snippets of dialogue... this material wasn’t missed in the theatrical version, but it all brings something to the film, be that a spot of humour, a character beat or added clarity to the investigation.

And tonight I'll post my review of his latest, The Social Network.

More -- including that -- next Sunday.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

TV

Faulks on Fiction
Part 1 The Hero
An interesting look at the history of the novel. Faulks makes for a good presenter, especially in the way he's able to stay still (as opposed to flapping his arms around and jiggling his head all over the place) when he talks, something some of his interviewees would benefit from learning. That said, someone needs to buy the cameraman a tripod -- why must the image wobble and vibrate when someone's just being interviewed?! And it all gets a bit too up itself and Literary toward the end. But that aside, quite good.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Great Outdoors
1x03 Episode 3 [season finale]
Series finale? Not sure. Would be nice if they made more.

House
7x09 Larger Than Life

How I Met Your Mother
6x08 Natural History
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Not Going Out
4x06 Life on Mars Bars [season finale]
Looks like Not Going Out might be over -- again -- because apparently Tim Vine wants to leave. Considering how central he is to the series, that may well be the end. Again.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Easy Virtue (2008)
[#19 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Friday, 11 February 2011

TV

Due South
2x13 White Men Can't Jump to Conclusions [2nd watch]

The Graham Norton Show
8x15 (4/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

The Social Network (2010)
[#18 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
Concluding my David Fincher Week with his latest, out on UK DVD and Blu-ray this coming Monday. It's up for a total of eight Oscars, the ceremony for which is in just over a fortnight.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

One new thing this time: The Social Network (out on Monday), just in time for the end of David Fincher Week.

Number of titles in collection: 1,265 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,100 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 165 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,161 [up 2]
Number of films in collection: 1,340 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,660 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

TV

10 O'Clock Live
1x03 (3/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x06 Day 6
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Yes Minister
2x03 The Death List

Films

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
[#17 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
The first of two new films to close out my David Fincher Week. I don't quite know why it's taken me so long to get round to this one, but it certainly has been a (relatively) long time -- the UK theatrical release was two years ago this week!

Articles

Sky News facing Sky Atlantic probe by Andrew Laughlin
(from Digital Spy)
Ofcom is to investigate whether Sky News broke broadcasting regulations governing editorial independence by giving "undue prominence" to the launch of the Sky Atlantic channel.
Ha.

Will Shane Black Direct Iron Man 3? by Borys Kit & Pamela McClintock
(from Heat Vision at The Hollywood Reporter)
I didn't even know Jon Favreau had stepped down. Black's a good choice though -- he wrote and directed the excellent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which would seem to have more or less the right tone for an Iron Man film. He also wrote Lethal Weapon, but that was 24 years ago so let's not hold it against him.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

TV

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x05 Day 5
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Top Gear
16x03 (6/2/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Zodiac: Director's Cut (2007)
[#16c in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
Continuing my David Fincher Week. I watched the theatrical cut of Zodiac as #64 in 2008 (on 25th September, to be precise; getting on for 2½ years ago -- Christ, time flies!) This Director's Cut adds around five minutes of footage, which in this case isn't enough to earn it a new number.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

TV

Fast and Loose
1x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

How TV Ruined Your Life
1x02 The Lifecycle
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

No Ordinary Family
1x06 No Ordinary Visitors
It was all going so well, until the dramatically implausible final few minutes. If only awkward people had such total personality changes so easily in real life.

Yes Minister
2x02 Doing the Honours

Films

Panic Room (2002)
[#16b in 100 Films in a Year 2011; 3rd watch]
Continuing my David Fincher Week. This is another 'lesser Fincher', and yet still a fantastic little thriller.

Articles

Boyle's Frankenstein to screen in cinemas by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
I just hope they release it on DVD (preferably, Blu-ray) as the chances of my making it to one of the screenings is very slim, and to both nigh impossible -- and it's the same for plenty of other interested viewers too, I'm sure, not least those seeing the play only once who'd like to see it 'the other way round', as t'were.

Don't Look Now named best British film by Mayer Nissim
(from Digital Spy)
Well there's an unusual choice then.

Monday, 7 February 2011

TV

Due South
2x12 Some Like It Red [2nd watch]
BBC Two didn't show episode 11, Starman, due to tennis overrunning, but rather than just do the sensible thing -- show it in the next Due South slot -- they just skipped it and kept going. Common sense, sadly, does not prevail.

Episodes
1x04 Episode Four
While I enjoyed this from the outset, I feel it improves as it goes on.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Fight Club (1999)
[#16a in 100 Films in a Year 2011; 4th or so watch]
Continuing my David Fincher Week with another of my favourite-ever films. He really does show amazing consistency at being an outstanding filmmaker.

True Grit (1969)
[#16 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Films

The Game (1997)
[#15a in 100 Films in a Year 2011; 3rd or so watch]
Continuing my David Fincher Week. This isn't Fincher's best film, but it might be his most underrated. I really like it anyway.

Monkey Business (1952)
[#15 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

this week on 100 Films

No new reviews were posted to 100 Films in a Year this week. Oh dear.

There was the January update, though. Plus the news that reviews from my David Fincher Week viewing begin tonight, so keep your eyes open for them.

More -- all Fincher films, I should imagine -- next Sunday.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

TV

Not Going Out
4x05 Fireworks
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Primeval
4x07 Episode 7 [season finale]
Some answers, lots unresolved -- exactly what you'd expect from the middle finale of a series that's shot two seasons back-to-back.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

QI
8x09 House and Home (extended repeat)
So, this is the last of the XL episodes that BBC Two skipped last November for no apparent reason. Shiny.
While I'm glad they've shown them, I do wish they'd done it first time round -- funny though QI is, I'd rather just watch the extended edition than the regular and extended. Though they add 15 minutes -- half as much material again -- it does tend to disappear amongst all the stuff I half-remember.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Yes Minister
2x01 The Compassionate Society

Films

Se7en (1995)
[#14a in 100 Films in a Year 2011; 7th or so watch]
Continuing my David Fincher Week. This is one of my favourite films, though I haven't watched it for about 2¼ years -- not that that's unusual for me. Plus, this is the first time I've watched it on Blu-ray. I'd comment on the image quality, but as this is published I'm actually still watching it...

Friday, 4 February 2011

TV

Fast and Loose
1x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Graham Norton Show
8x14 (28/1/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Just Good Friends
2x06 Pregnant?

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x04 Day 4
Just as the mystery was looking solved, it all gets more complicated. Which is for the best, really, as there's 16 episodes to go.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Top Gear
16x02 (30/1/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Alien³: Special Edition (1992/2003)
[#14 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
Beginning my David Fincher Week.
I watched the theatrical cut of Alien³ for the first time as part of 100 Films 2009; this cut extends the film by half an hour, changing it significantly enough for me to count it with a new number.

Articles

Fiver rebrands as 5*, acquires new shows by ?
(from Digital Spy)
"In a competitive marketplace, you need strong brands that jump out of the EPG, and the rebranding of Fiver as 5*, combined with exciting new shows, provides us with a distinctive channel."
From a half-decent pun on a recognisable phrase, to a name that makes viewers think "how do I say that?"? Oh yes, what superior rebranding. Whoever's in charge of this clearly isn't much cop at their job -- I mean, have you seen Channel 5's new logo? It's awful. (Never mind the fact that "Five" was a catchier name than "Channel 5" and seemed like sensible rebranding to me.) Old TV dramas/films did better fake logos than that, and they were always implausibly tackily cheap-looking.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

Network's Gerry Anderson celebration sale (which ended on Monday, sorry) produces significant jumps across the board this week -- not least to TV episodes! All that is topped up by two new releases and two other titles, making a lovely boost just in time for this month's running time update.

Number of titles in collection: 1,264 [up 8]
Of which DVDs: 1,100 [up 4]
Of which Blu-rays: 163 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 3,159 [up 23]
Number of films in collection: 1,339 [up 5]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,660 [up 115]

And this week is a running time update, so...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
225 days, 22 hours, and 19 minutes.
(Up 1 day, 16 hours, and 9 minutes from last time.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

TV

10 O'Clock Live
1x02 (27/1/11 edition)
It does feel a bit daft watching a topical news show a whole week late...
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Due South
2x10 We Are the Eggmen [2nd watch]

How I Met Your Mother
6x07 Canning Randy
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Films

Harry Brown (2009)
[#13 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Radio

Life at 24 Frames a Second
Part 10 Fade to Black [final episode]
[Listen (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

Premier League TV football choice 'upheld' by EU advice by Bill Wilson
(from BBC News)
An article about football? What?! But no, this has a point, and potentially a wider relevance to other entertainment like film, books and music. I would try to summarise it, but you may as well just read it.

Russell T. Davies 'may leave Torchwood' by Morgan Jeffery
(from Digital Spy)
Well now, this could be interesting...

Why Americans Don't Play Superheroes by Borys Kit
(from Heat Vision at The Hollywood Reporter)
Following all the recent controversy over the casting of a Brit as Superman -- in the wake of so many other non-Americans being cast as US superheroes -- THR's Heat Vision blog looks at why this might be (albeit briefly; though split over two pages for maximum confusion). As one star's agent says, "I hate to say it: They’re better actors".

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

TV

The Killing [aka Forbrydelsen]
1x03 Day 3
Answers seem close at hand... though with 17 episodes still to go, I imagine they really aren't.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

No Ordinary Family
1x05 No Ordinary Quake

Yes Minister
1x07 Jobs for the Boys [season finale]
Still. So. True.

Radio

Life at 24 Frames a Second
Part 9 The Last Flight
As if this series wasn't personalised enough, the poorly-acted female 'character' he's added to talk to in the last few episodes is just bizarre.
[Listen (again) on iPlayer.]

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

TV

Due South
2x09 The Edge [2nd watch]

The Magicians
1x05 Episode 5 [season finale]
I've mostly enjoyed this series, all things considered. More please.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The South Bank Show
37x07 Judi Dench Revisited

Yes Minister
1x06 The Right to Know

Radio

Life at 24 Frames a Second
Part 8 Happy Endings
[Listen (again) on iPlayer.]