Thursday, 30 June 2011

TV

$#*! My Dad Says
1x17 Lock and Load
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

The South Bank Show
36x04 Disney.Pixar
I watched the final-ever South Bank Show back in May, but this is the last one I have knocking about to watch.
Broadcast in October 2009 (11/10/09, to be precise -- neat date) -- before Up was out, and while The Princess and the Frog was still at a stage where clips here are unfinished -- this edition both recounts the history of Pixar and examines its philosophy, and how this has gone on to influence how Disney is managed today. It doesn't shy away from the problematic history between Pixar and Disney either, which is good. In fact, it's a great demonstration of why The South Bank Show should never have been cancelled: it treats one of the most popular of popular culture things as serious art worthy of examination and documentation. Damn you, ITV.

Tim Vine: So I Said To This Bloke...
One of Vine's live shows, from 2008, shown on ITV4 for the first time recently. I like his style, but it gets a bit wearing over a whole hour.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Wimbledon 2011
Ladies' semifinals day, which this year meant matches between Victoria Azarenka & Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova & Sabine Lisicki. Hurrah for Azarenka going out, but shame for Lisicki.
[Watch Azarenka v Kvitova and Sharapova v Lisicki on iPlayer.]

Articles

10 TV Shows We Wish Got Another Season by Eric Goldman & Matt Fowler
(from IGN TV)
Including shows I definitely agree about, like Firefly, Twin Peaks and Deadwood; shows I haven't got round to yet, like Flight of the Conchords and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; and almost half-a-dozen others too.

Marvel Studios to Start Producing Short Films? by Angie Han
(from /Film)
This seems like a good idea -- a way to test (or just flat out use) second-string characters on the big (or small) screen. The suggested Pixar model -- i.e. putting a short before every feature released -- seems like a very good one.

Wednesday Comics Review: CLiNT #9 Now With Added Jimmy Carr by Rich Johnston
(from Bleeding Cool)
The biggest change to CLiNT #9, in UK shops tomorrow and US shops in a month, is the lack of articles.

CLiNT was always sold as a collection of comics and articles, with an eye on the newstand mainstream market, almost with comics snuck in there... And it was the articles that suffered the greatest criticism, seen as filler, bland irrelevance in many cases...

That’s all gone. And we’ve got 74 pages of comics [and just 4 pages of articles]. That’s a massive jump in terms of comics content. Titan reps have told me that while the magazine hasn’t succeeded as they’d have liked on the newsstand, it’s had a much bigger reception in comic stores, so it may well be that is reflected in the new mix.

Ironically, this is probably the first issue since the first to attract significant media attention (I've seen several articles about it floating around today, anyway), thanks to the presence of a strip "written" by Jimmy Carr (he's actually just provided the story).

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

TV

Archer
2x09 Placebo Effect
This episode should be called Terms of Enrampagement. That flaw aside, it was great; one of my favourite Archer episodes.
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Horrible Histories with Stephen Fry
1x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Mock the Week
10x03 (23/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wimbledon 2011
Including Federer's disappointing loss to Tsonga. I like Tsonga -- indeed, he's my favourite player left as we go into the semi-finals -- but I was hoping Federer would win it this year. Hey-ho.
[Watch Federer vs Tsonga (again) on iPlayer.]

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

TV

James May's Things You Need to Know
1x02 The Universe
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Lee Mack's All Star Cast
1x02 (25/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Sex Researchers
Episode 2 (of 3)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Articles

300 spinoff Xerxes retitled Battle of Artemisia by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
Or, 300 prequel given title Americans can pronounce.

DC Comics no longer 'writing for the trade' by Hugh Armitage
(from Digital Spy)
DC Comics will no longer be structuring its storylines to fit into graphic novel format... Writers have been told to write the story they want to write and not worry about the trade collecting
We'll see how long that lasts -- collected trade paperbacks are incredibly lucrative for comic publishers. That said, if they can turn it back to people buying individual issues it'll earn them even more money.

Friday from the Cheap Seats by Greg Hatcher
(from Comics Should Be Good! at Comic Book Resources)
Much has been written about DC's big September relaunch, but I don't think I've mentioned it here before. Here's a neat piece of analysis though, of which I think the (lengthy, I know) fifth thought is especially pertinent. The way the comics industry is run looks crazy to any reasonable outsider -- some of the biggest, most recognisable characters/properties in the world selling to and aiming themselves at a tiny hardcore fanbase. DC's #1s idea is a start, but I won't be surprised if a more fundamental overhaul of the whole industry occurs in the next decade. The fans won't like it... but, as always, they'll come along anyway.

Is Hollywood Over Its Love Affair With Geek Culture? by Graeme McMillan
(from Spinoff Online)
Reports that movie studios are abandoning this year’s San Diego Comic-Con have started to circulate... But it does raise one important question: Has Hollywood realized that San Diego was always a waste of their time? ... Why? Well, maybe because we’re just not useful enough.
Insightful. It's also something I've been thinking for years, but studios and/or fans only now seem to be waking up to.

Monday, 27 June 2011

TV

How I Met Your Mother
6x17 Garbage Island
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

James May's Things You Need to Know
1x01 The Human Body
If more documentaries moved this fast, we'd learn a lot more. And they wouldn't need to be as long. That said, how much of it goes in at this speed is another matter. Interesting while it's on though.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Sunday, 26 June 2011

TV

Middle Sunday at Wimbledon means no play, which means TV catch-up day for me...

125 Years of Wimbledon: You Cannot Be Serious
Odd documentary to commemorate the 125th championships at Wimbledon. Rather than telling the history of the tournament, as you might expect from such a documentary, it jumped back and forth to tell brief famous snippets. Such brevity and disconnectedness also meant some tales weren't very well told. Weird, and slightly disappointing because of it.

Case Histories
1x05 When Will There Be Good News? Part 1
1x06 When Will There Be Good News? Part 2 [season finale]
It's amazing how reliant on coincidences all three of these plots have been. In most writing it would be considered a shockingly huge weakness; in the world of Jackson Brodie and work of Kate Atkinson, I presume (or hope, at least) it's supposed to be A Thing.
Also, lead guest star this episode was Gwyneth Keyworth, who I've previously noticed in a Sarah Jane Adventures story and as the daughter in The Great Outdoors. She was on some list of young actors to watch out for, I believe, and I'd have to agree. One to watch.
[Watch parts one and two (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Castle
1x02 Nanny McDead
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Horrible Histories with Stephen Fry
1x01 Episode 1
Kids' series Horrible Histories has proved remarkably popular and awards-winning, despite being 'buried' on CBBC. So, to capitalise on its consistent word-of-mouth, here the BBC edit together highlights from series one & two, with new links by Stephen Fry, and show them to a primetime Sunday audience. Good idea.
(Sadly they've not series linked it on iPlayer, so I can't direct you to it if you still missed it. Here's episode two, though.)

Lead Balloon
4x04 Off
That cliffhanger would've been a great shock... if the following episode hadn't been quite well promoted already.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Penn & Teller: Fool Us
1x02 Episode 2
As I watched two hours' worth of this only two days ago, I'd intended to save the new episode for a bit longer. But I couldn't resist. Darn it's good.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Scott & Bailey
1x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

this week on 100 Films

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

Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. (2009/2010)
The second new Evangelion film isn’t as straight-up enjoyable as the first. It starts incredibly well, but then it feels like its getting too bogged down in the politics of a world that hasn’t been properly established for us and in the intricacies of some thematic considerations — the latter is especially worrying as it was this that made the ending of the TV series so unsatisfactory

Salt: Director's Cut (2010)
including a comparison to the Theatrical and Extended versions.
Salt’s mystery is one of its strong points. The plot developments are well-paced throughout, shifting our expectations rather than stretching it all for a glut of final act reveals. In this regard... it has twists and follows storylines you wouldn’t expect in a Hollywood summer blockbuster.

Unthinkable (2010)
the vast majority of the action takes place in a deserted high school commandeered as a temporary military base, where Samuel L. Jackson conducts his interrogation in a sort of one-way-glassed torture tank placed in the gym. So there’s no 24-style thrills as people rush around the city/country hunting out bombs — Unthinkable is wholly reliant on the script and performances to draw us into its story, and its debate.

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

TV

Lee Mack's All Star Cast
1x01 (18/6/11 edition)
That was... uh... Oh dear.
And yet I know I'll keep watching the series.

Mystery Science Theater 3000
3x21 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
That was more accessible. Plus, a TARDIS reference! Yay!

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
4x08 (18/6/11 edition) [season finale]

Fiction

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
Thursday: Disappearance Row, Chapters 49-52
That's the end of that section. The next -- funnily enough, called Friday -- is the last. Exciting stuff.

Collection Count

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

This week, a DVD-to-BD upgrade, a new DVD and a BD-to-BD upgrade, which has the effect of making it look like I got a 16-episode 4-disc Blu-ray. Which I didn't. Oh, life!

Also, running time update. Exciting.

Number of titles in collection: 1,326 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,112 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 214 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,312 [up 4]
Number of films in collection: 1,398 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,992 [up 16]

And the running time update...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
239 days, 17 hours, and 41 minutes.
(Up 5 days, 17 hours, and 10 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 24 June 2011

TV

The Graham Norton Show
9x10 (17/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Penn & Teller: Fool Us
1x00 Special
1x01 Episode 1
This magic series began as a one-off special shown back in January, which was obviously popular because a series of it started last Saturday. I've been meaning to watch the first since it aired (with my typical tardiness, obviously), so this is me catching up before starting the series... which I then went straight into because it's so addictive. Love me some magic.
[Watch episode one (again) on ITV Player.]

Wimbledon 2011
Including Laura Robson's second round loss against Maria Sharapova. No surprise at the result, but Robson made a stunningly good account of herself.
[Watch Robson v Sharapova (again) on iPlayer.]

Fiction

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
Wednesday: Killing Fields, Chapters 39-43
Thursday: Disappearance Row, Chapters 44-48

Thursday, 23 June 2011

TV

Archer
2x08 Stage Two
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

The Sex Researchers
Episode 1 (of 3)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

$#*! My Dad Says
1x16 Well Suitored
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Fiction

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
Wednesday: Killing Fields, Chapters 32-38
It's been 2½ weeks since I last read any of this. Oops. The end of Chapter 36 is the halfway point, as it goes.

Articles

Torchwood: the UK wait continues by Chuck Foster
(from Doctor Who News Page)
The BBC Press Office have now released details for 9-15 July... Torchwood: Miracle Day does not feature amongst the highlights listed for that week. ... it would currently seem that Torchwood won't begin on UK television until at least a week after its premiere in the United States [and Canada and Australia].
This is getting silly now. And showing it in the UK 10+ days after the US isn't going to do it any favours -- sure, the fanbase who download will be much smaller than the potential BBC One audience, but they're also the ones that really generate word of mouth, online discussion, etc -- ever so important in keeping a series high-profile and popular these days -- and it massively increases the chances of spoilers, both fan-to-fan and in the press. Plus it's generally annoying and sort of disrespectful -- "it's still a British show"? Yeah, right.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

TV

Mock the Week
10x02 (16/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wimbledon 2011
Various bits of Wimbledon today, but mainly the brilliant three-setter between Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm and Laura Robson's first round victory over Angelique Kerber. Didn't watch Andy Murray.
[Watch Date-Krumm v Williams and Murray v Gimeno-Traver (no Laura Robson match) on iPlayer.]

Films

Saw 3D (2010)
[#67 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
I watched it in 2D, but it's still called Saw 3D. Stupid.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

TV

How I Met Your Mother
6x16 Desperation Day
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Luther
2x01 Episode 1
I wasn't sure we'd see the return of Luther, but here it is, in rejigged form as two two-parters. Which would seem to lend itself to the Sunday/Monday broadcast recently afforded Case Histories, but for some reason they've scheduled it across four Tuesdays. Each to their own. Anyway, the rejig they've made so much of in the press running up to the series isn't very significant. Sure, characters are gone and new ones are here, and some of the relationships have changed, but the series still feels the same and functions in the same way. So it's still as awkward, weird, sick, but strangely likeable.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Mystery Science Theater 3000
4x24 "Manos" The Hands of Fate [season finale]
Having enjoyed the MST3k movie last year, I decided to start my viewing of the series with perhaps the most famous episode, in which the Satellite of Love gang riff off one of the worst movies of all time. And it truly is a dreadful movie... and, unfortunately, doesn't seem to give them much to work with. It has its moments as an episode, but there were too many long stretches without notable funnies. Though fans do say not to start newbies with this episode, so...
(Incidentally, MST3k follows Family Guy and Robot Chicken as my... I don't know what, really, but it's filling their void. Sure, they had 22-minute and 11-minute episodes respectively, while MST3k runs 90 minutes per episode, but I watched big chunks of the other two, so it kinda works out.)

Monday, 20 June 2011

TV

Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed
Show Two (of 13)
As I probably mentioned during BBC One's The Magicians earlier this year, I enjoy magic, but I enjoy even more finding out how the tricks are done. Magicians like to claim this ruins the experience because the reveal is too mundane and never as fun as the trick. Maybe this is true for some, or even most, viewers, but personally, I'm too aware the trick isn't what it says it is (obviously) and find it more impressive how they make it seem to be that way. Anyway, that's a long-winded way of saying I love shows like this, which finally tell us how it's all done. And this was a particularly good edition, answering some things I'd been wondering about for a while.
Plus, it's an American show, so it has the bonus of a ridiculously OTT title and a marvellously cheesy voiceover. The narration is so omnipresent I swear it could be classed as an audio description track.
I stumbled across this particular edition on Virgin TV's catch-up; ITV Player online currently has four more (with more to come, I hope). I may have to watch those soon...
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Lead Balloon
4x03 Shoddy
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Sunday, 19 June 2011

TV

Case Histories
1x03 One Good Turn Part 1
1x04 One Good Turn Part 2
Having pointlessly killed a dog in the first two-parter, they pointlessly kill a cat in this one. Place your bets for what perishes in the third...
[Watch parts one and two (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Agatha Christie's Marple
4x04 Why Didn't They Ask Evans? [season finale]
Two years after it was first shown in America, 18 months since it was released on DVD, and after having already broadcast all of series five, ITV finally deign to let us see the final episode in Marple's fourth series. Weirdos.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Films

101 Dalmatians (1996)
[2nd watch]
The first -- and, obviously, last -- time I saw this was, I believe, in the cinema when it came out, almost 15 years ago. So that's something...

A Study in Terror (1965)
[#66 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Happy Father's Day

this week on 100 Films

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

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
The film concludes with a hair-raising final sequence. I reckon it must be among the most tense, scary and chilling sequences in all of cinema, certainly that I’ve seen. It’s not so much the performances, or the shadow on the wall, or the screeching music — though they all contribute — as the fear of the actual situation: your home, your personal, private, safe space, being invaded, and the first you know of it is an all-too-solid shadow on the wall, coming up the stairs to get you…

The Thief (1952)
if The Thief is known for anything it’s for its dialogue — as the poster proclaims, “not a word is spoken…!” ...it is a fairly straightforward and archetypal story — while it demonstrates that you can tell a story without dialogue, it might leave one wondering about the possibilities for telling a wholly original or truly complex story that way.

And look here at midnight for my review of the second Rebuild of Evangelion film, Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance..

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

TV

Castle
1x01 Flowers For Your Grave
Channel 5's Mentalist replacement is a good choice -- it has the same tone, but seems different enough to keep it fun. Nathan Fillion is certainly always good value. They've already shown three series in America so there's plenty to catch up on too.
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Films

Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. (2009/2010)
[#65 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Collection Count

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

This week, I add a whole TV series on DVD and upgrade a film trilogy from individual DVDs to a Blu-ray box set, amongst other new acquisitions, so the numbers do all kinds of upping and downing. Love it when that happens.

Number of titles in collection: 1,325 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,112 [down 2]
Of which Blu-rays: 213 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 3,308 [up 21]
Number of films in collection: 1,398 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,976 [up 68]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 17 June 2011

TV

Channel 4's Comedy Gala
C4's second huge comedy event at the O2. I was going to highlight who I thought were the best and worst of the show, but with a whopping 21 acts performing I can't really remember it all...
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

The Graham Norton Show
9x09 (10/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Injustice
Episode 5 (of 5)
So, that was that. Can't say I was terribly surprised by most of the twists, but there were a couple of curveballs in there, even if, despite the occasionally glacial pace, several threads still went underdeveloped.
I reckon Horowitz is angling for a second run too -- not only the open ending, but that needless "created by" credit at the beginning -- not that I'd expect another series to do anything with most of the stories from this tale (which were wrapped up, just not fully explored before they reached their end). Injustice wasn't the best of the current glut of crime dramas on TV, but a second series wouldn't be wholly unwelcome.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
4x07 (11/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Scott & Bailey
1x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Films

Valley of Fear (1983)
[#64 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Thursday, 16 June 2011

TV

Dermot's Big Fat Comedy Gala
Dermot O'Leary presents an hour-long advert -- sorry, behind-the-scenes special -- for Channel 4's second O2 comedy event in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
(Incidentally, I really ought to stop watching so many things a whole week after they were broadcast. Though tell that to some of the unfinished series I haven't watched for months...)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

How I Met Your Mother
6x15 Oh Honey
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Injustice
Episode 4 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Articles

Review: Awkward, uneven Green Lantern packs no punch by Drew McWeeny
(from Motion Captured at Hit Fix)
This is going to surprise some fanboys who have been salivating over the trailers. Personally, I thought they all looked dreadful and this doesn't surprise me one bit. I don't expect it will connect with a wide audience... but then crap makes tonnes of money at the box office all the time, so we'll have to wait and see.

Woody and Buzz Lightyear as Badass Action Figures
(from Live For Films)
Title says it all:

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

TV

Archer
2x07 Movie Star
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Injustice
Episode 3 (of 5)
Some TV series have to be sliced right back if Hollywood latches on to them for an adaptation (see: State of Play), but I could imagine this quite comfortably squidging down into a two-hour version. Still two episodes to go, mind, but so little has happened that it doesn't feel over halfway through.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Mock the Week
10x01 (9/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

$#*! My Dad Says
1x15 Ed Goes to Court
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Articles

Duke Nukem's PR threatens to punish sites that run negative reviews by Ben Kuchera
(from Opposable Thumbs at Ars Technica)
It's a little startling that the idea of blacklisting outlets that give negative reviews seems to just be an accepted part of gaming PR. It's things like that that prove it's an industry still not half as grown-up as it likes to think it is.

Lee Mack 'winces at early Not Going Out' by Morgan Jeffery
(from Digital Spy)
I thought early Not Going Out was funnier and more original than the recent series have been, probably for the reasons Mack dislikes it. Oh well.
(Also, I think I missed at the time (back in April) that it's been commissioned for two more series. Even if it's not as good as it was, this is still good news.)

Oscars to allow five to ten 'Best Picture' nominees by Simon Reynolds
(from Digital Spy)
'Best Picture' nominees will now need to receive at least 5% of first-place votes from AMPAS members to make the cut, meaning between five and ten movies will be nominated.
Good plan, thinks I. Also adds to the fun of predicting the Oscars -- "how many nominations will there be this year?", etc.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

TV

Injustice
Episode 2 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Lead Balloon
4x02 Dead
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Law Abiding Citizen: Director's Cut (2009)
[#63 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Articles

No full series for Doctor Who in 2012 by Chuck Foster
(from Doctor Who News Page)
[BBC1 Controller] Danny Cohen says there won't be a full series of Doctor Who in 2012, but a special run for the anniversary in 2013.
So goes the report. Not entirely sure what I feel about this; depends a little on exactly how many episodes we see in 2012 and what exactly a "special run" in 2013 means.

Monday, 13 June 2011

TV

Injustice
Episode 1 (of 5)
New five-part thriller by Anthony Horowitz, which was shown one-per-day last week. Last time ITV had a five-part Horowitz-penned drama in one week it was a bit rubbish, but Injustice gets off to a more promising start bit doesn't hold a candle to recent high-quality output in the genre (the likes of The Shadow Line, for instance), with it's irritatingly clich├ęd characters and leaden expositional speeches, but it holds promise in some of it's mysteries. It remains to be seen if certain elements have relevance or if that's just a side effect of he odd/sluggish pace.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Robot Chicken
3x16 Boo Cocky
3x17 Bionic Cow
3x18 Monstourage
3x19 President Evil
3x20 Chirlaxx [season finale]
And that's that done too. Now I need to find another comedy series to fill my lazy late nights...

Articles

Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau: 'Iron Man 3 will be tricky' by Tara Fowler
(from Digital Spy)
on how the release of The Avengers will affect Iron Man 3... "I guess in comics you can say that it's an individual storyline and you can break it off into a group," said Favreau. "But in movies, it's hard not to take into consideration what just happened. What are you gonna say? 'They all just lost their cell phones and you can't get help?' So it's going to take a lot of ingenuity to make it make sense to a mainstream film audience"

Sunday, 12 June 2011

TV

Case Histories
1x01 Case Histories Part 1
1x02 Case Histories Part 2
Adaptation of Kate Atkinson's novel -- she's having a good month! Pretty decent, though the best thing about it was the cute little dog owned by the sisters... so why did they kill him off?! Poor doggy.
For the interested, the official BBC site (linked above) has a tonne of articles about the series, many more than they normally bother with.
[Watch parts one and two (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Articles

The Artist Uggie wins 2011 'Palm Dog' by Mayer Nissim
(from Digital Spy)
They have an award for the best dog in a film at Cannes! That's brilliant!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

TV

Have I Got News For You
41x09 (10/6/11 edition; extended repeat) [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Mentalist
3x24 Strawberries & Cream Part II [season finale]
Holy moly, that was a good ending! Where does it go from here though? We'll have to wait ages to find out. Damn you television, with your seasons!
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood
Part 2 (of 3)
Part 3 (of 3)
It's hard not to be angry with the way the industry and press treated Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, as documented in the middle part of Paul Merton's typically interesting series about the rise of Hollywood, though it comes as no surprise to learn William Randolph Hearst was one of the chief villains.
The final part, meanwhile, details the end of the silent era and the birth of sound, amongst other things. Merton doesn't make a point of it, but it's a little depressing for those of us who like silent cinema how many of the classics on display here are unavailable on DVD, even after about a decade and a half of the format's existence.
[Watch parts two and three (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

Leicester City Council 'not ready' for zombie attack
(from BBC News)
This whole article is excellent -- as The Kids say, "ROFLMAO".

Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions Announces Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Mattel's Major Matt Mason, Green Day's American Idiot by Karen Chu
(from The Hollywood Reporter)
You might think they're turning Gaiman's novel into a film, but oh no:
set to produce a six-season, open-ended series, American Gods, for HBO, based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel... Each of the six seasons will be of 10-12, hour-long episodes with a budget of around $35-40 million per season, targeted to debut on the cable powerhouse in 2013 at the earliest.
Well, crikey.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Collection Count

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

A complete five-season TV series adds some big boosts this week.

Number of titles in collection: 1,324 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,114 [up 3]
Of which Blu-rays: 210 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,287 [up 27]
Number of films in collection: 1,396 [up 3]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,908 [up 68]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

TV

Archer
2x06 Tragical History
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Scott & Bailey
1x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

$#*! My Dad Says
1x14 Corn Star
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

TV

Robot Chicken
3x06 Endless Breadsticks
3x07 Yancy the Yo-Yo Boy
3x08 More Blood, More Chocolate
3x14 Robot Chicken's Half-Assed Christmas Special

Films

X-Men: First Class (2011)
[#60 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

Articles

BBC confirms fourteen new episodes of Doctor Who by Chuck Foster
(from Doctor Who News Page)
Hurrah! One would assume this means a Christmas special plus a regular thirteen-episode series, but rumblings seem to suggest it may mean something else...

First Conan Doyle novel to be published by Emma Saunders
(from BBC News)
Written before he created Sherlock Holmes, the first novel penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is to finally be published for the first time. This bit of the article amused me:
Rachel Foss, lead curator of modern literary manuscripts at the British Library, is set to publish The Narrative of John Smith this autumn. She said it had been part of the British Library's Conan Doyle collection since 2007 and realised it would make a good publishing project.
So, how long did it take them to realise an unpublished novel by an immensely and enduringly popular novelist would make a "good publishing project"?!

Monday, 6 June 2011

TV

Have I Got News For You
41x08 (3/6/11 edition; extended repeat)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Robot Chicken
3x01 Werewolf vs. Unicorn
3x15 Tubba-Bubba's Now Hubba-Hubba
3x02 Squaw Bury Shortcake
3x03 Rabbits on a Roller Coaster
3x04 Tapping a Hero
3x05 Shoe

Fiction

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver
Tuesday: Death in the Sand, Chapters 25-31
Picking this back up after an accidental near-week-long break. This time: a twist! Ah-ha! While it's moderately effective, it also makes the whole escapade feel like an aside and so much padding... but maybe it has some as-yet-unrevealed significance. We shall, of course, see.

Articles

How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online? by David McCandless
(from Information is Beautiful)
The revolution in downloading music is often painted as being great for artists and consumers alike, but this infographic handily shows how it isn't great for artists at all. And that's not to do with whether or not they can strike it rich like superstars of old (or new), but whether they can even earn minimum wage. The answer, as you might've guessed, is "not easily".

If the internet gave free back rubs, people would complain when it stopped because its thumbs were sore by Charlie Brooker
(from Comment is free at guardian.co.uk)
Similarly (because it's launched from people moaning about music service Spotify), Brooker on how people moan about stuff that is ridiculously free/cheap on the Internet; or, "kids today don't know how good they've got it".
I ranted about precisely this on Twitter the other day – using that precise line about back rubs – and a couple of people told me to shut up because I was annoying them. Since Twitter is a) free and b) only displays commentary from those you chose to follow, this, too, is madness – like tailing someone down the street only to complain about the tune they've chosen to hum.

The Monday Muse: Too many movies by ghostof82
(from Musings of the Ghost Of 82)
Sometimes I feel like I’m hitting some kind of saturation point regards movies. There’s just too many of them, too much availability, too much access. Feels like there’s too many new films coming out and too many old films that I want to watch again, and too little time.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

TV

French Open 2011
Men's Final: Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Behind the Magic
With Part 2 imminent, I figured it was about time I cleared this off my V+ box. Surprisingly interesting (for a TV-broadcast promotional making-of).

How I Met Your Mother
6x14 Last Words
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Articles

A Good Man Goes To War - UK Press reaction by Chuck Foster
(from Doctor Who News Page)
"Not so positive" would be my summary, based just on these quotes.

Review of A Good Man Goes to War by Patrick Mulkern
(from Radio Times' Doctor Who Blog)
A witty and insightful look back at the mid-season finale.

this week on 100 Films

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

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
this version is certainly more Hollywoodised. Some hate it, and I can see their point… but it is fun, and it’s plain to see why men and women alike have fallen for Hepburn’s Golightly. A more sordid adaptation of the book might be interesting, but that doesn’t negate the unique qualities of the film.

Funny Face (1957)
a surfeit of excellent humour, choreography, cinematography, light satire of both the fashion world and the intellectual world… Indeed, dishing out said satire in both directions means the film never comes across as either snobbish or anti-intellectual… it takes fair jibes at both equally.

Sabrina (1954)
Then there’s Humphrey Bogart… At least his character is pretending to fall for [Hepburn] in order to get her away from his wastrel brother. But it actually feels very mean-spirited — Sabrina is likeable enough that we dislike his machinations. Which means that there’s no truly supportable lead character.

As these are three Audrey Hepburn films there's also a little summary post here.

Plus May finished in the middle of the week (in case you didn't notice), so there was the regular monthly update.

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

TV

Doctor Who
32x07 A Good Man Goes to War [mid-season finale]
Answers! But also, many questions!
And on that note, Doctor Who returns later this year. I believe someone said September...
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Doctor Who Confidential
6x07 The Born Identity [mid-season finale]
That episode title still doesn't appear on the BBC website's episode guide. I'd assumed it was spoilersome, but... well, it's not really, is it.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Mentalist
3x23 Strawberries & Cream Part I
This aired as a two-hour season finale in the US; here, Channel 5 have decided to split it in two. Boo. They made a two-hour season finale out of two completely unrelated episodes either last year or in season one (I forget; maybe both), but when it's an actual two-parter... tsk.
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
4x06 (4/6/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Robot Chicken
2x16 Drippy Pony
2x12 The Munnery
2x11 Adoption's an Option
2x17 Day at the Circus
2x18 Lust for Puppets
2x19 Anne Marie's Pride (aka Donkey Punch)
2x20 Book of Corrine [season finale]

Friday, 3 June 2011

TV

Archer
2x05 The Double Deuce
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

The Graham Norton Show
9x07 (27/5/11 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood
Part 1 (of 3)
Merton's a solid documentary maker, and here he tells the story of the beginnings of Hollywood -- how did America come to dominate the film world, why in the middle of nowhere in California, etc etc. Very good.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

$#*! My Dad Says
1x13 The Better Father
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Collection Count

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

This week my DVD total lands on 1,111. Which doesn't really mean anything, it's just... well, you can see what it is...

Number of titles in collection: 1,320 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,111 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 209 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 3,260 [up 4]
Number of films in collection: 1,393 [up 4]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 4,840 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

TV

Lead Balloon
4x01 Pig
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Mentalist
3x22 Rhapsody in Red
[Watch it (again) on Demand Five.]

Scott & Bailey
1x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Films

Jonah Hex (2010)
[#59 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

DVD Extras

The Inside Story of Jonah Hex
Featurette on the Jonah Hex Blu-ray that takes a quick look at the history of the character in comics.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

TV

The Culture Show
The Sounds of Hugh Laurie [special]
Laurie seems to have been everywhere promoting his album -- we've already had a whole hour-long special in ITV's culture series, for instance -- and here one of the Beeb's culture strands sits him down for a brief chat with a couple of singsongs. Nothing hugely new or hugely revelatory after all those other appearances, but nice enough.

The Shadow Line
Part 4 (of 7)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]