Saturday, 31 March 2012

TV

Just a Minute [2012]
1x01 Episode 1
1x02 Episode 2
I used to hate playing Just a Minute on those occasions on which it came up as a game at school, but it's jolly good fun to watch the pros have a go.
[Watch episodes one and two (again) on iPlayer.]

Mad Men
5x01 A Little Kiss Part 1
5x02 A Little Kiss Part 2
It's been a long time coming, but hurrah at last for the return of Mad Men! And a feature-length/double-bill opener, too. You spoil us.

The Voice UK
1x02 The Blind Auditions 2
Not sure if I loved or loathed the continuity announcer introducing this with a reference to its ratings success, but it was certainly unlike the Beeb. Also uncommon: Danny turning round before anyone else once or twice! I know it's only the second episode, but it didn't seem like something he'd ever do. That said, he still spent plenty of songs trying to work out if anyone else was going or not.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Megamind (2010)
[#33 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

This seems to have been lost in the wake of the similarly-themed and well-received Despicable Me (which was released about two months earlier). I've not seen that, but this I enjoyed.

Articles

Game of Thrones showrunners on season 2, splitting Book 3 and their hope for a 70-hour epic
by James Hibberd (from Inside TV at EW.com)

Title pretty much covers what's in this one, then. Interesting though, but with kinda-spoilers for season one.

Collection Count

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

More minor tweaks this week, upgrading a DVD to a two-film BD set.

Number of titles in collection: 1,459 [no change]
Of which DVDs: 1,149 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 310 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,616 [up 1]
Number of films in collection: 1,548 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,449 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 30 March 2012

TV

Pointless
6x31 (27/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Sport Relief 2012
Part 3
The final chunk, including Absolutely Fabulous, QI and Mock the Week, amongst others.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Rules of Engagement (2000)
[#32 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Thursday, 29 March 2012

TV

Archer
3x08 Lo Scandalo
So, instead of episode four, we get episode eight. What? Still, s'a good'un. No idea what they made available on Demand 5 (the title is episode four's, but that doesn't mean the content is), but here's a link anyway.
[Watch an episode of Archer (again) on Demand 5.]

Castle
2x05 When the Bough Breaks
Nice use of music in this one, every time "a certain British secret agent" came up.
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Onion News Network
2x05 Exposed, Brooke Alvarez

Pointless
6x30 (26/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Sarah Millican Television Programme
1x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Sport Relief 2012
Part 2
The 40-minute BBC Two bit, featuring Twenty Twelve and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

TV

Onion News Network
2x02 Missing Baby Kate
2x03 Fantasy Brainwall
2x04 Dead Reporter
Sky Arts have moved quite swiftly on the second series of ONN (the first only concluded in February), though the shift in time slot meant I unfortunately missed the first one. Boo.

Pointless
6x29 (22/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Sport Relief 2012
Part 1
As Sport Relief has become essentially Comic Relief with added sports personalities, so a worthy cause has also become actually worth watching. Highlights in these first three hours include hilarious new sketches from Outnumbered and Miranda.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

TV

Pointless
6x28 (21/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monday, 26 March 2012

TV

Pointless
6x26 (19/3/12 edition)
6x27 (20/3/12 edition)
[Watch the 20/3/12 edition (again) on iPlayer.]

The Voice UK
1x01 The Blind Auditions 1
The BBC's big new talent show was actually pretty entertaining. Thing to watch for: will Danny ever turn his chair round before someone else?
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Articles

The Bigger Picture: Mass Effect 3, Mutant Turtles, and The New Tyranny of the Fan-trum
by Drew McWeeny (from Motion Captured at HitFix)
"we are in the midst of The Age Of Fan-Fiction", argues McWeeny, because fans have too much say in things. I agree wholeheartedly.

Friday, 23 March 2012

TV

Archer
3x01 Heart of Archness Part 1
3x02 Heart of Archness Part 2
3x03 Heart of Archness Part 3
Archer finally returns to the UK... and the advantage of holding back a week is that I get to watch the opening three-parter in one feature-length chunk. Hooray!
And unlike the US, where this three-parter aired in September before a four-month gap before the rest of the series in January, it'll just continue next week over here. Double hooray!
[Watch Heart of Archness parts one, two and three again on Demand 5.]

Collection Count

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

Number of titles in collection: 1,459 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,150 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 309 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,615 [up 2]
Number of films in collection: 1,547 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,449 [no change]

Plus this week it's time for a running time update, so...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
260 days, 10 hours, and 50 minutes.
(Up 17 hours and 11 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

TV

Let's Dance for Sport Relief 2012
Episode 5 (of 5)
Twenty dances were performed, and now the eight acts judged the best (and, this year, most of them actually were!) fight it out for... well, something... infamy, I guess... Still, there was a deserving winner -- that makes four-for-four in that regard. Better than most talent shows manage.

Pointless
6x25 (16/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

The Last Airbender (2010)
[#31 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]
I'm not prone to hyperbole when it comes to the quality of films -- I hate it when people declare something "the worst film I've ever seen" when it's actually passable or only a little below average -- but this is unbelievably bad.

Comics

Batman and Robin #7 by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
On the one hand, this is just one big long fight; on the other, it's a fitting climax to the story. Looking forward to the next one.

Wolverine and the X-Men #7 by Jason Aaron & Nick Bradshaw
Fun fun fun. I hope AvX taking over all the related books doesn't ruin this for months on end.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

TV

The Book Show
6x09 Episode 9
Shown last December (presumably that was the first showing; it was when I recorded it), this episode focuses on crime fiction, currently hugely popular. Featuring interviews with Anthony Horowitz about his recent Sherlock Holmes novel (the first officially sanctioned sequel by the Conan Doyle estate) and P.D. James talking about her murder-mystery sequel to Pride and Prejudice.
[Watch it (again) on Sky Go, if you're so enabled/inclined.]

House
8x14 Love is Blind
Great episode. Nice return of a lupus in-joke, and a top guest star... who I won't ruin as it's not on Sky1 for over a week.

Films

Legally Blonde (2001)
[2nd watch]
If you've not seen this, it's better than you probably think it is. Not a Great film, but for it's genre/style/target audience, surprisingly good.

Articles

Jenna-Louise Coleman joins Doctor Who
by Chuck Foster (from Doctor Who News)
"Someone you've probably never heard of is the new companion" is the main story reported most places, and therefore the other little nuggets revealed are more interesting. Like that the Ponds will leave in episode five, which features the Weeping Angels, and the new companion is introduced in episode six, the Christmas special; and that that means there are at least 8 episodes to broadcast in the anniversary year, and Moffat has said there'll be an unspecified number coming later; and that the Daleks will also be appearing in the first half of the series; and that the Beeb has described the new series as "14 big, blockbuster-movie episodes", and it's likely to have no two-parters. So that's all quite exciting.

First look at Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl
by George Wales (from Total Film)
"With Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren"


You can go Holmes again
by Mark Medley (from The Afterword at National Post)
A piece from last year about Horowitz's new Holmes novel (see today's TV) that's rather interesting for all the people it interviews besides Horowitz, including the assertion that his is far from the first authorised sequel.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

TV

Pointless
6x24 (15/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

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

Watson & Oliver
1x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) In HD on iPlayer.]

Articles

John Carter flop to cost Walt Disney $200m
(from BBC News)
Ouch. But not exactly unexpected by... well, everyone except the filmmakers, it would seem.
The BBC also have a round-up of notable box office flops -- if John Carter hits that prediction, it will set a new record for the biggest flop ever, 'beating' 1995's Cutthroat Island. That's an impressively long time for a box office record to have stood, actually.

Monday, 19 March 2012

TV

The Mentalist
4x16 His Thoughts Were Red Thoughts
[Watch it on Demand 5 from Friday 6th April. Probably.]

The Sarah Millican Television Programme
1x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Sunday, 18 March 2012

TV

Castle
2x04 Fool Me Once
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Dirk Gently
1x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
6x23 (14/3/12 edition)
Category: films directed by Tim Burton. How many I remembered: all of 'em. Go me.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Room 101: Extra Storage
12x08 Episode 8 [season finale]

Top Gear
18x07 (11/3/12 edition) [season finale]
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

Just 1 new review was posted to 100 Films in a Year this week, and it was...

Super (2010)
For all its grounded reality, Super lets loose in the final fifteen minutes, creating a punch-packing sequence that’s the rival of any comic book movie. It’s emotionally-charged action, all the more powerful for its semi-amateur-ness and realistic brutality. It climaxes in a face-to-face between our hero and the villain which is as good as any you’ll find in such a film.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

TV

The Chronicles of Narnia
1x03 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode Three
1x04 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode Four
1x05 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode Five
1x06 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode Six [season finale]
Barbara Kellerman overacts spectacularly as the White Witch. The Aslan puppet, on the other hand, is just spectacular. OK, it wouldn't really stand up in a production today, but for the time it's brilliant.

Let's Dance for Sport Relief 2012
Episode 4 (of 5)
Rowland Rivron probably deserves to win the series... and, by the time this is posted, anyone who watches live will know if he did or not. But not me. Probably not for another week.

Pointless
6x22 (13/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Friday, 16 March 2012

TV

The Chronicles of Narnia
1x01 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode One
1x02 The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Episode Two
Ah, classic BBC children's dramas! They may look cheap today, and filled with child actors spouting RP, but they have a distinct charm all their own. What's quite incredible about this one in particular is that it gets going faster than the more recent film adaptation. Not something you expect of a mid-'80s serial.

The Secret Policeman's Ball
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Collection Count

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

My copy of Tintin has probably arrived today... but I'm away, so won't get it until Monday. Which means there's no change across the board this week. I'm trying to cut back, see.

Number of titles in collection: 1,458 [no change]
Of which DVDs: 1,150 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 308 [no change]

Number of discs in collection: 3,613 [no change]
Number of films in collection: 1,546 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,449 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

TV

Pointless
6x21 (12/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Roger & Val Have Just Got In
2x06 The Gift [season finale]
I love Roger & Val. If that's to be the end (as I've seen rumoured) then it's fitting, but I'd like there to be more.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Watson & Oliver
1x04 Episode 4
Some of Watson and Oliver's returning sketches work, and I'm glad that not all of them appear in every episode... but that Will and Kate one does -- why? It's a one-gag thing. At least the other recurring sketches show some variety, but that one never does. OK, it's not the exact same script every week, but it may as well be for all the different it'd make.
[Watch it (again) In HD on iPlayer.]

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

TV

My Life in Books
2x10 Rick Stein and Fiona Shaw [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
6x20 (9/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Scott & Bailey
2x01 Episode 1
You know a TV series is good when the episode ends and, a) you're surprised it's the end already, and b) you wish the next one was on right away. Great stuff.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Stella
1x10 Episode 10 [season finale]
I've really struggled to buy the whole plot with Stella still being interested in Rob, and this doesn't do it any favours. Still, at least it's been recommissioned -- it's great fun on the whole and you can't go ending forever on a cliffhanger like that!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

TV

Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask
1x06 Episode 6 [season finale]
Russell Kane again?! That's twice in one series. Twice! Of all the people to have back... and in the same series too... Ugh.

House
8x13 Man of the House

My Life in Books
2x09 Sharon Gless and Robert Peston
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
6x19 (8/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Super (2010)
[2nd watch]
This was #71 in 100 Films 2011, almost 8 months ago... but I haven't reviewed it yet, hence the re-watch. It was in my year-end top ten though.

Monday, 12 March 2012

TV

The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff
1x03 Episode 3 [season finale]
That was good. Hope we get more.

Pointless
6x18 (7/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Watson & Oliver
1x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) In HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Serpico (1973)
[#30 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Comics

Action Comics #7 by Grant Morrison & Rags Morales

After that mediocre aside, Morales is back as the series returns to its main story. Maybe it's just because I so disliked the interruption tale, but this is one of my favourite issues yet: the story progress nicely and there's plenty of it too. It feels wrong to have to praise a comic for giving you a good chunk of story -- surely you'd expect a decent amount for your money -- but, really, you do. And the pieces are beginning to come together here too, including the arrival of Superman's suit. Exciting stuff.

Perhaps even better, though, is the backup strip. Again written by Sholly Fisch and superlatively drawn by Brad Walker, featuring beautiful colours by Jay David Ramos with David Curiel, it's called Meanwhile... and again features Steel. While Superman is off in space saving Metropolis residents (Metropolisers? Metropolisians?), Steel helps out in a city that's just lost a great chunk of itself. Half a city being snatched by an alien is a relatively standard-feeling SF plot, but dealing with the real-life consequences of such a thing -- collapsing suspension bridges, failures in electricity and water supply, etc -- is nice. It gets a bit American at the end, with the whole "everyone coming together to help each other" stuff, but that aside it's a great eight-pager.

I was never sure about buying a Superman book -- the character never seems that interesting -- but Morrison and Morales are doing a good job of convincing me otherwise. Might even continue buying Action past the end of this story. Though if it goes the way of that two-parter I won't care.


Detective Comics #7 by Tony Salvador Daniel

Is that the end of that story? Not sure. A decent action-packed edition, anyway, even if most of the plot had to explained by people standing around talking. Or, as this is a comic book, fitting in an unfeasible number of words while doing a backflip or something.


Uncanny X-Men #8 by Kieron Gillen & Greg Land

Last time I said I wouldn't bother with AvX... but then there's intriguing stuff going on, and a five-page preview of Avengers vs. X-Men #0 was kind of interesting too... but oh, it's going to be expensive... Maybe I'll just exert some patience and wait for the collected edition.

Articles

Amy Reeder Is Batwoman No More
by Rich Johnston (from Bleeding Cool)
I was never convinced about them switching artist on Batwoman, and I wasn't hugely impressed when I saw the results, so I can't say I'm upset about this one. Based on the one piece of new guy's art included in the article, looks like he might be a better fit.

PayPal is blocking the book
by Steve Berry (from Behind the Sofa)
Not content with the outcry that followed their last attempt to stop a charitable venture, or with forcing people to destroy valuable antique musical instruments, now PayPal are trying to halt another charitable initiative. Bastards. And they basically have a market monopoly at this point, so it can be very hard to never use them. Bastards.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

TV

My Life in Books
2x08 Alexandra Shulman and Keith Allen
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
[#28 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

The Court Jester (1956)
[#29 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Comics

All Star Western #6 by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Moritat

Fantastic stuff. Packed with plot (so much more story in the same number of pages than you get in most mainstream US comics), with great art from Moritat (it looks scruffy, but if you look closely it's actually loaded with detail and surprisingly precise), and neat ties in to the current storyline in Batman (which I imagine will only get stronger as we approach the Night of the Owls crossover in a couple of months).

Meanwhile, back-up strip The Barbary Ghost (drawn by Phil Winslade) comes to a close. The dialogue is so poor I can only assume it's in some way deliberate, considering how good Gray & Palmiotti are on the main strip; the story is fine.


Aquaman #6 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis & Joe Prado

Bit of an aside here, focusing on 'Aquawoman' Mera, but a good story. Prado (pencilling from breakdowns by Reis) isn't quite as good as the series' regular artist on the whole, but creates some super images and indeed whole pages nonetheless. Plus it's nice to see some US comics creators are still capable of creating good one-and-dones.


Justice League #6 by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

One of the complaints that used to be levelled against classic Doctor Who six-parters (still is, of course) is that even the best of them started strong, meandered for a few episodes going nowhere, then finished things up in the last episode. Decompressed storytelling seems to do the same to comics: after several issues where barely anything happened, Justice League rushes to wrap it all up in a final bound. And in 24 pages of story, there are no fewer than nine splash pages -- four of those taken up in two double-pagers. It's not been a bad story, but it would've been stronger if it had been shorter or spent less time treading water in the middle.

And Green Lantern seems like a bit of a dick. Why do some comics fans like him so? No wonder the film failed...

Meanwhile, the extra pages of sketches and whatnot at the back are replaced by a six-page back-up drawn written by Johns and drawn by Carlos D'Anda. It looks pretty enough, and finally begins to explain that mysterious woman who's popped up in the background of several New 52 comics (including all the #1s), but in majority it's the kind of opaque over-mysterious storytelling that locks out newcomers. Even if it's all a mystery to old readers too, you feel these are characters you're meant to know (but don't) talking cryptically but in a way you're meant to understand (but don't).

It's blatantly setting up a future Big Story in Justice League, but we'll presumably have to wait at least a little while for it as there's a different story with a different artist up next, presumably to allow notoriously-slow artist Jim Lee to catch up.

this week on 100 Films

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

Catwoman (2011)
Included on releases of Batman: Year One, Catwoman is an action-orientated short starring Catwoman (obviously) chasing down gangster Rough Cut because two of his goons tried to shoot a puddytat. OK, there’s more to her motivation than that, but that’d spoil the ending.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

Faintheart (2008)
It’s about battle re-enacters; or rather, it’s a Brit-rom-com that uses battle re-enacters as its USP. “Brit-rom-com” should give you a fair idea of the territory we’re in, although this has a geekier edge than most, which plays to the sensibilities of someone like me.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

The Gruffalo's Child (2011)
The CG animation retains the original’s “is it claymation?” feel, though the wintry setting allows the animators to really show off with some truly stunning snow. Most of the film goes for an appropriately cartoony style, but the various types of frozen water on display could pass for the real thing.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

RED (2010)
just one in a recent array of tongue-in-cheek action films; films that aren’t strictly comedies but aren’t wholly serious either, meaning they can push their action sequences to ludicrous extremes and get away with it. They’re also a lot of fun and I love them. I love a gritty and serious Bourne as much as your next man, or a traditional action film too, but there’s also room for films that are daft, fun, knowingly silly rather than just ridiculous.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

More next Sunday.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

TV

Top Gear
18x06 (4/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Comics

Six tales from Gotham City today...

Batman #6 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo
Snyder's telling a great Batman tale overall, but it must be said that not much happens this issue; it's the last act of the last issue's story, really -- just a long fight ending in a double cliffhanger. Ah well.

Batman and Robin #6 by Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason

Batman: The Dark Knight #6 by David Finch, Paul Jenkins & Joe Harris
Middling... which is as good as TDK gets. It still outsells Batman & Robin, which I can't help but feel must be down to the quality of their namesake films.

Batwoman #6 by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman & Amy Reeder
New (to Batwoman) artist Reeder has a pleasant cartoony style, but it's nothing compared to the work Williams III was doing before. Oh well. They've replaced intricately-designed art with an apparently intricate story, following six characters across multiple time periods. Be interesting to see how that pans out.

Nightwing #6 by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows & Geraldo Borges

Resurrection Man #6 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Fernando Dagnino
Nice one-and-done set in Arkham Asylum.
Every non-Batman book seems keen to get in on the Gotham City action at the minute: after All Star Western moved Jonah Hex there, I, Vampire just did a two-parter in Batman's city, and now there's Resurrection Man too; and that doesn't include the mass of non-Batman Bat-family books. Wouldn't be surprised if there's even more I'm not aware of. But hey, Batman's always popular, so why not.

Friday, 9 March 2012

TV

Dirk Gently
1x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Let's Dance for Sport Relief 2012
Episode 3 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

My Life in Books
2x07 Phil Davis and Rosie Boycott
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
5x08 (3/3/12 edition) [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Roger & Val Have Just Got In
2x05 Poem for Uncle Jack
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Room 101: Extra Storage
12x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Sarah Millican Television Programme
1x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Collection Count

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

Just one new title this week, but it's a good'un: Game of Thrones season one. Specifically, this Amazon-exclusive version. Mmm, bonus-bonus-disc-tastic.

Number of titles in collection: 1,458 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,150 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 308 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,613 [up 1]
Number of films in collection: 1,546 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,449 [up 10]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

TV

The Graham Norton Show
10x17 (24/2/12 edition)

Films

The Other Guys (2010)
[#26 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Stepping Out (1991)
[#27 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]
From the director of You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker... a film about middle-aged ladies tap dancing.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

TV

10 O'Clock Live
2x04 (29/2/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Castle
2x02 The Double Down
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

The Mentalist
4x15 War of Roses
[Watch it on Demand 5 from Friday 30th March. Probably.]

My Life in Books
2x06 Kate Silverton and Chris Addison
Several of Chris Addison's choices sounded particularly interesting, I thought.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
6x17 (6/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

TV

Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask
1x05 Episode 5

Pointless
6x16 (5/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

If you like 'banter', you are an idiot
by Tom Chivers (from the Telegraph)
This is not a tirade against rudeness. I am all in favour of rudeness, of bawdiness, of insult and mockery and obscenity. They're all brilliant things, when done well. But "banter" isn't. If you insult someone, you expect them to be insulted; if you are rude, you expect people to be offended. "Banter" is apparently a free pass: I can insult you, but you're not allowed to be insulted, because "it's only banter". I can be obscene, but you can't be offended, because "it's only banter". No.
Great article.

Terra Nova Cancelled By Fox: Chernin Series Will Be Shopped To Other Networks
by Nellie Andreeva (from Deadline)
Good coverage of the life and death (and potential resurrection) of Terra Nova.

Monday, 5 March 2012

TV

The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff
1x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic
1x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
6x15 (2/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Stella
1x09 Episode 9

Watson & Oliver
1x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) In HD on iPlayer.]

Comics

The Amazing Spider-Man #677 by Mark Waid & Emma RĂ­os

Daredevil #8 by Mark Waid & Kano

Two-part story in which Spider-Man and Daredevil team up to prove the innocence of one of Spidey's foes/friends. Good stuff, better than that continuity-laden DC pair-up I read yesterday. Both parts are by Daredevil's regular writer, which seems to have meant the tale primarily forwards the ongoing plot in Daredevil -- up my street, as I read that regularly and don't read ASM.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

TV

Castle
2x03 Inventing the Girl
Don't know what they showed on TV on Friday, and only episode two is on Demand 5 online, but this was the episode available in HD on Virgin Media catch-up. Both two and three are there in SD. Weird. I doubt they'll put up episode two in HD now, or next week, so SD it will be.
[Watch episode two, The Double Down, (again) on Demand 5.]

Films

The Lady Eve (1941)
[#25 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
[#24 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Comics

Action Comics #5 & #6 by Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert

Morrison takes a break from the ongoing Action Comics storyline (I believe while regular artist Rags Morales catches up) to tell a two-part tale about a future Superman saving something or other and blah blah blah. This is a great example of why comic book readership struggles to broaden: it's thoroughly wrapped up in ancient continuity and characters you know nothing about who are treated as if they're intimately familiar. The opening section of #5, picking up on a thread from #3 to finish the tale of baby Superman being sent out from a destructing Krypton, is the best bit.

Also: two short back-up strips written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by ChrisCross. The first, Baby Steps, shows the Jonathan and Martha Kent as they try for a baby in the run up to finding one in a crashed spaceship. It's quite good. The second, Last Day, is about Clark Kent's last day in Smallville before heading off to college. Aside from horrid art, it's fine.

this week on 100 Films

As I mentioned, this past week has seen 100 Films in a Year turn five years old. To celebrate the occasion, I've run a series of posts looking back at some key films from the past five years.

So no reviews this week, but instead you can read some lists. See if you can guess to what these quotes refer...

The 5 Worst Films
It’s not just bad, it’s impressively bad — how do you make a film this shoddy? Of course there always has and always will be bad writing, bad acting, bad directing, but how do you create something with so little awareness of how to tell a story? It baffles me.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

The 5 Most Overrated Films
I didn’t really get either of them. I don’t think they’re bad films, but I struggled to get what they were for, and I certainly didn’t like or enjoy either... Maybe I need to take the time to re-evaluate them, but I’ve already seen one of them two or three times and I’m not sure I can face it again.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

The 5 Most Underrated Films
There are many films Scorsese is praised for, and deservedly so, but having watched Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and more in the past five years, I think this is my favourite... apparently “Scorsese has called De Niro’s role… his favorite of their collaborations.” What better endorsement?
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

The 5 Best Films
So influential its name has become an adjective... There are many imitators, but few have done it with such conviction. Add beautiful cinematography, music and performances and you have a masterpiece.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

My 5 Favourite Films
I haven’t seen this since the cinema, so maybe there’s a degree of nostalgia in my love for it. Or maybe it’s just a great action-thriller... At the time I asserted it was one of the greatest films ever made, and IMDb’s Top 250 continues to bear that out: it’s currently 8th.
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

And finally, a little different...

7x7 Link Award
here’s something I was kindly awarded by Colin of Riding the High Country... [I must nominate] one of my posts that I personally think best fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece
Read more on my new blog or my classic blog.

And that's that. Normal service resumes next Sunday.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

TV

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
5x07 (25/2/12 edition)
Including a list of the 100 highest-grossing films since the year 2000. Grand, what fun! Except whoever their idiot researcher has managed to include all of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels twice. Seriously. And that didn't make 103 possible answers -- they left three out in order to inaccurately include Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 alongside Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. What bloody idiots. I think I might complain.
You wouldn't get that on Pointless.

Pointless Celebrities
2x02 (3/3/12 edition)
With Brian Blessed! Love Brian Blessed.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Stella
1x08 Episode 8

Top Gear
18x05 (26/2/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Friday, 2 March 2012

TV

The Graham Norton Show
10x16 (17/2/12 edition)
Despite only seeing him on Jonathan Ross last week (in real life they were four weeks apart, but I'm different amounts behind on both), Daniel Radcliffe was completely unrepetitious. That's some good guesting.

Let's Dance for Sport Relief 2012
Episode 2 (of 5)
"Iain, you've been on that very stage, who could forget that incredible performance?" Me.
Honestly, I have no idea what he did. I didn't even recall he'd been on, and now they come to mention it I kind of remember he was. But I've not got the foggiest what he did. I could probably look it up somewhere, but as they've chosen not to tell us, I can't be bothered.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

My Life in Books
2x03 Anna Chancellor and Nicky Haslam
2x04 Tim Rice and Russell Grant
2x05 Pam Ayres and Don Warrington
[Watch all three episodes (again) on iPlayer.]

Room 101: Extra Storage
12x06 Episode 6
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Collection Count

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

Couple of small boosts this week, not all that exciting.

Number of titles in collection: 1,457 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,150 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 307 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 3,607 [up 4]
Number of films in collection: 1,546 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,439 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

TV

House
8x12 Chase
After episodes last season (or was it the one before?) focussing on Cuddy and Wilson, now it's the turn of one of House's few remaining original cast members. (Have they done one about Foreman? I forget.)

My Life in Books
2x02 Natascha McElhone and Chris Hollins
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
6x14 (1/3/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Roger & Val Have Just Got In
2x04 Pam's Collage
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Music

Lungs by Florence + the Machine
Well, here's one I should've gotten round to years ago. But I didn't. It was good.