Sunday, 13 February 2011


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


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.