Wednesday, 31 October 2012

TV

The Great British Bake Off
3x13 Masterclass 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Have I Got News For You
44x03 (26/10/12 edition; extended repeat)
[Watch the extended version (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless Celebrities
3x02 (27/10/12 edition)
"We've had four answers. Three of them have been incorrect. The one correct one... was from a duck."
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

TV

Adam Buxton's Bug
1x07 Episode Seven
1x08 Episode Eight [season finale]

Arrow
1x01 Pilot
The modern, contemporary, urban, all-that-jazz take on DC Comics' Green Arrow. It's basically Batman Begins: The Series (with a different superhero, obviously). Sounds good to me, and this is a fairly promising start.

The Graham Norton Show
12x02 (26/10/12 edition)
aka The James Bond One, featuring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Person of Interest
1x14 Wolf and Cub

Spy
2x02 Codename: Riding High

Articles

Rust and Bone: Marion Cotillard and the spoiler debate
by Tim Masters (from BBC News)

Despite the title implying it's about one film, that's just a topical place to hang a general discussion* of when a spoiler's a spoiler, and at what time becomes OK to discuss a film's (or a TV show's) major plot points. And it's quite good and sensible, actually.

* As you can tell from the fact it's a BBC News article with a credited writer, it's a proper article rather than just a news piece.

Monday, 29 October 2012

TV

Comedy World Cup
1x07 Final [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Cuckoo
1x05 Connie Sings
I love how all of Cuckoo's episode titles sound like they're just the two- or three-word pitch the writer gave for the episode.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Monroe
2x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Suburgatory
1x21 The Great Compromise

Articles

Secrets of the Olympic Opening Ceremony revealed
by James Gill (from Radio Times)

Children’s author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce was the writer of the Olympic Opening Ceremony – a key collaborator with director Danny Boyle in a madcap spectacle that captured the imagination of the world. He talks us through just how they managed it.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

TV

Downton Abbey
3x06 Episode 6
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Dragons' Den
10x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
26x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Birth (2004)
[#87 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Articles

The films that time forgot
by David Thomson (from the Guardian)

"Somewhere out there is an alternative history of film – David Thomson unearths 10 lost works of genius." Including Birth, which is how I came across this list. I also happen to own two other titles from the list on DVD (well, one on BD; and the other is actually available on BD now too) -- perhaps they have become less under-appreciated in the last two years. And having read this, several others are now on my "want" list too. Sadly, despite the numerous links claiming the films are "available from Amazon", most are ridiculously-priced imports.

this week on 100 Films

First off this week, I went to see the new James Bond film, Skyfall. It's brilliant. Full spoiler-y review at a later date, but for now here are my spoiler-free initial thoughts.

Besides that, just one new review was published to 100 Films in a Year this week:


Stepping Out (1991)

Lewis Gilbert is the director of You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker... Here, he tells the tale of a small amateur dance glass, mostly populated by middle-aged women, trained by former big-stage wannabe Liza Minnelli... eclectic is an understatement!

Read more here.


There was a huge pile of reviews new to the new blog though, including the first few Saw films. I'm re-posting my reviews of all of them in the run up to Halloween, so expect the rest next week.

Note that, of the below reviews, Eragon is on Film4 at 1pm, The Simpsons Movie is on Film4 at 3pm, and Scenes of a Sexual Nature is available on BBC iPlayer until late tonight.


Choke (2008)

Choke feels like it exists in Fight Club's shadow; a low-budget adaptation of another of an author’s works after one has been a high-profile success. This is a little unfair — despite the surface similarities, the meat of the film is not an attempt at Fight Club 2 — but the similar feeling and tone it exudes can leave that impression.

Read more here.


Eragon (2006)

Eragon wants to be the next Lord of the Rings / Harry Potter / Narnia, especially with its utter lack of resolution at the end, but it just isn’t. It has its entertaining moments, but it’s also lumbered with huge lumps of bad dialogue, bad acting and fantasy clich├ęs abound.

Read more here.


Inkheart (2008)

the biggest flaw is that it doesn’t bother to set out the rules, a major oversight in a fantasy movie. The central conceit is that when Brendan Fraser’s character reads a novel aloud, what he’s reading about enters our world — and, in exchange, something is sucked in. But how is it decided what comes out and what goes in? What can and can’t be read? Why not just write your own story to get you out of trouble?

Read more here.


Magicians (2007)

It’s biggest mistake is in casting Mitchell and Webb as two people who’ve fallen out, meaning they spend most of the film apart. They’re funny individually, and they’re each paired off with a more than capable comedy sidekick, but as this is kind of pitched as The Mitchell & Webb Movie, it doesn’t make the most of their talents.

Read more here.


Saw (2004)

Between October 2009 and October 2011, I reviewed every film in the Saw franchise. As Halloween approaches again, it seems a good time to re-post them all to my new blog -- one per day, because I've timed it cleverly. Think of it as a kind of personal last hurrah for the '00s horror staple.

So we begin with undoubtedly the best of the series -- the original.

Read more here.


Saw II (2005)

The games-playing slaughterfest returns in what I’m told is many fans’ favourite entry in the series. Maybe they’ve never seen Cube...

Read more here.


Saw III (2006)

the point at which the franchise finally tips over into the justly reviled “torture porn” category. That’s not to say it’s solely focused on its gruesome deaths — as with the previous two films, there’s a thriller-ish plot to work through as well — but Jigsaw’s traps this time round are shown in excruciating detail.

Read more here.


Scenes of a Sexual Nature (2006)

a half-accurate and half-misleading title for this low-budget British comedy drama. The first half is spot on — the film’s made up of seven unconnected scenes — while the second implies it’s ruder than it is. Effectively, Scenes is seven short two-hand plays stuck together, occasionally intercut for no good reason

Read more here.


The Simpsons Movie (2007)

I’m not a big Simpsons fan, unlike many film critics it would seem — I like the show, undoubtedly, but I’ve never watched it regularly. This might explain why the movie didn’t feel tired to me, as some have described it.

Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

TV

Derren Brown: Apocalypse
Part One (of 2)
In which Derren takes a bit of a git and tries to make him a better person by having him live through a zombie apocalypse. A bit like that infamous, excellent bit from one of his earlier series where he made someone believe they were in a computer game, except for a whole weekend. Fun times.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Merlin
5x04 Another's Sorrow
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Suburgatory
1x20 Hear No Evil

Collection Count

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

This week's additions include a 20-film Woody Allen box set, replacing three titles I already had -- so down go the top totals, while the bottom ones jump up.

Then there's the complete Shrek series on Blu-ray, which sadly isn't quite complete -- it's missing the 3D short (thats included in the Shrek Trilogy DVD set I have) and the two TV specials, as well as several special features from previous releases. But I don't really want two Shrek box sets that are mostly duplicates, so out goes my old DVD set.

Finally, a free 3D BD copy of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I don't have a 3D BD player (or a 3D TV), but I'm banking on this working in 2D. I thought that was always the case -- releases like Hugo, for instance, are only one disc for both 3D and 2D -- but I recently got the Prometheus BD and the 3D disc just comes up with an error message. That's partly because there's a separate 2D disc... but this is specifically the 3D disc of Cloudy..., so I'm slightly concerned it will do the same. We'll see.

And the end result of all that is... higgledy-piggeldy.

Number of titles in collection: 1,496 [down 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,142 [down 3]
Of which Blu-rays: 354 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 3,732 [up 16]
Number of films in collection: 1,534 [up 19]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,686 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 370 [up 3]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 26 October 2012

TV

Elementary
1x01 Pilot
The US answer to Sherlock is, unsurprisingly, not as good. It's not a very good version of Sherlock Holmes fullstop, to be honest, as Sherlockology detailed the other day. As a US cop show it's not too bad, so there's that at least, and Jonny Lee Miller's performance is quite good. Lucy Liu seems to have all the expression Botox can buy though.

Friday Night Dinner
2x03 The Loft
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

The Great British Bake Off
3x11 Masterclass 1
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Have I Got News For You
44x02 (19/10/12 edition; extended repeat)
[Watch the extended version (again) on iPlayer.]

Red Dwarf
10x04 Entangled

Films

Skyfall (2012)
[#86 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Read my initial thoughts on the latest James Bond movie here.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

TV

Hebburn
1x01 Welcome to Hebburn, Pet
This seems to fall into some weird space between very funny and dully predictable. Perhaps it will level out over time. I also thought it felt a bit like a BBC Three Gavin & Stacey, which, considering which show started on which channel, is a bit ironic.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Hunted
1x03 Hourglass
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
1x07 Episode Seven [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

TV

Grand Designs
12x05 The Derelict Water Tower
I think I read somewhere that this was the 100th house Grand Designs has covered (in the Radio Times, in fact), which is pretty incredible really. But they didn't mention that in the programme itself, so I thought maybe it was another episode. Either way, this was a particularly stunning build/renovation, so if it was the 100th it was a very worthy one.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Rolf's Animal Clinic
1x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Films

3 Men and a Little Lady (1990)
[2nd watch]

Goldfinger (1964)
[5th or so watch]
I'll be reviewing this as #85a in 100 Films 2012, alongside the other '60s Bond films, at a later date. I've covered it on here before, back in November 2008.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

TV

Comedy World Cup
1x06 Episode 6
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]


Person of Interest
1x13 Root Cause

Apparently Channel 5 stopped showing this a few episodes back, for no good reason (to reduce the gap between season one and already-started-in-the-US season two I read somewhere, but why take a break mid-season as opposed to end of season?! Bloody stupid). I accidentally switched to downloading it a little while back though, so on I plough.

As for the episode itself... having started with no on-going plot threads, here they bring an apparently-one-off guest star back and kick off a new mystery -- how many do they need now?! Which ones are season-long, which series-long, which just an episode or three? Or are they playing the Downton game of never giving the audience a clue just how long a thread will take to unfurl? Though uncommon, that does have its advantages.

Articles

Sherlockology reviews Elementary
by Sherlockology (from Site)

"Scathing" would be an understatement for this review by the Holmes fansite. I haven't watched the show yet myself (I'd've told you if I had, wouldn't I?), but these seem very well-reasoned and plausible arguments. I can certainly believe it's just any-old US crime drama with Holmesian names tacked on, because that's just what it's always looked like.

Anyway, I'll still start it soon and see what I think for myself.


Skyfall - 10 things you probably didn't know about the new James Bond movie
by David Brown (from Radio Times)

Some interesting snippets of trivia about the latest Bond adventure. Exactly half of them are about just the pre-titles sequence, mind.

Monday, 22 October 2012

TV

Cuckoo
1x04 Ken on E
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Starlings
1x05 Episode Five

Articles

The Best James Bond Novels: Ranking the Fleming Originals
by Jeff O'Neal (from Book Riot)

Quite a good overview of Fleming's 12 Bond novels (skipping the two short story collections or any of the 30 continuation novels & film novelisations), but written from a faintly annoying America perspective. If that sounds jingoistic, skip to #9 ("Bond is so attuned to European sensibilities... seeing [him] in Japan and dealing with a radically different worldview is refreshing, as he is as clueless about the custom of the country as we are in the rest of the novels") or #5 ("Strengths: Felix Leiter, Bond’s friend and opposite number in the CIA, makes the most of his biggest part in any of the novels").

I've not actually read all the novels myself so can't comment fully, but coincidentally I've read the top three and that's not the order I'd put them in.


Top 10 James Bond Opening Credit Sequences
by Rodney Twelftree (from Top 10 Films)

It's complete coincidence that these two Bond top lists have come up on the same evening. Much like the last one, I don't disagree (much, if at all) with the selection, but I would tweak the order.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

TV

Dragons' Den
10x06 Episode 6
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

QI
10x06 Joints (XL edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

Two new reviews were published to 100 Films in a Year this week, and they were...


Knight and Day (2010)

advertised as spy-action-movie spoofery, it should come as no surprise that that’s the kind of film it is... Plenty of reviews and online commenters have expressed disappointment with the film, perhaps expecting something else — sometimes it pays to listen to the advertising, eh?

Read more here.


War Horse (2011)

It might be best to define the film as an epic. It’s a relatively intimate one, focusing in on a handful of characters at a time rather than cutting back and forth between various groups, but the way it does move along several sets of characters, across varied locations, and through a lengthy stretch of time, all command a feeling of a grand story.

Read more here.


And new to the new blog...


The Golden Compass (2007)

[it] received quite the critical drubbing on its cinematic release, and wasn’t a huge success at the US box office either, which has cast doubt on the prospects of the following two instalments ever being produced. Which is a shame, because this is actually a fine family fantasy film.

Read more here.


Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison (1957)

The title may sound like a ’40s rom-com or a ’70s TV sitcom, but it's nothing of the sort. It’s set in the south Pacific in 1944, at the height of World War II, and begins with titular US Marine Allison (Robert Mitchum) washing up on an island that’s occupied only by a novice nun, Sister Angela (Deborah Kerr). With no hope of rescue they must plot their own escape.

Read more here.


The King of Comedy (1983)

Underrated black comedy from the prolific partnership of director Martin Scorsese and star Robert De Niro. De Niro gives an excellent performance as an obsessive wannabe comedian, stalking the host of a popular talk show in his desperation for a guest spot. The depth of his delusion is both hilariously funny and deeply unsettling

Read more here.


Pale Rider (1985)

The mysterious stranger isn’t a gunslinger, or a do-gooder, or the new sheriff, or anything else. He is, on the one hand, a preacher — “surely a man of God is opposed to violence?”, etc. — and on the other, is he even human? Either way, it’s a bit different.

Read more here.


Snakes on a Plane (2006)

It certainly captured the imagination of online geekdom, who knew everything they wanted just from those four words and famously launched a viral marketing campaign for a film they’d not seen. Ultimately, it’s for that reason it will be remembered, because without the evocative title and the reaction it provoked this would be forgotten quicker than Samuel L. Jackson can utter his Oedipal expletive-laden catchphrase.

Read more here.


That Touch of Mink (1962)

It’s also briskly paced and constantly amusing, including some real laugh-out-loud moments. In particular, a punchline delivered by two ladies from a centre for unwed mothers was one of my favourite comedy lines for a good while. (Built as it is on a series of events, it doesn’t bear repeating in print.)

Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

TV

The Graham Norton Show
12x01 (19/10/12 edition)
I will finish watching the last series at some point, but it seemed to make sense to try to get back into the habit by watching the new ones.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Merlin
5x03 The Death Song of Uther Pendragon
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Mock the Week
9x10 (30/9/10 edition) [2nd watch]
Ah, late night Dave. See also: Not Going Out.

Not Going Out
2x06 Dating [2nd watch]
Ah, late night Dave. See also: Mock the Week.

Suburgatory
1x19 Entering Eden

Collection Count

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

After last week's shortfall, this week sees most of the damned things arrive. Indeed, all four of them should've turned up for last week, and none of the other stuff that might've come this week has. Why have etailers got so slow?!

Amongst the stuff that has arrived is Masters of Cinema's Die Nibelungen, a long-awaited release (the restoration has taken half a decade or so) that's officially out on Monday (I intended to watch it in advance, but not got round to it yet).

Also, the Indiana Jones Complete Adventures set, in its limited edition form. That means I really should ditch my old DVDs... but, though all of its extras have been brought over, the 2003 set (of the original trilogy) is a rather pretty one; and as to the fourth film, the vast majority of its bonus content has been ditched for this release. Disappointing. I think I'll hang on to the lot for now.

Number of titles in collection: 1,497 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,145 [up 2]
Of which Blu-rays: 352 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 3,716 [up 10]
Number of films in collection: 1,515 [up 7]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,686 [up 7]
Number of short films in collection: 367 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 19 October 2012

TV

Monroe
2x03 Episode 3
Apparently New Tricks is absolutely trashing this in the ratings, which is a shame because this is quite good while the BBC old timers cop show is actually quite rubbish. Hopefully ITV bear the regular dominance of said competition in mind when it comes to considering whether to recommission Monroe.
[For some reason currently unavailable on ITV Player.]

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
26x04 Episode 4
How can a show filled with such huge irritants (Nick Grimshaw, Conor Maynard, Nancy Dell'Olio) be so funny?!
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

QI
10x05 J-Places (XL edition)
Every once in a while, you wonder if they couldn't've come up with a better episode title...
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Spy
2x01 Codename: Growing Rogue
So glad this is back, it's genius. And for 11 episodes too! Super.
Adam Hills signs a deal with Channel 4
(from The British Comedy Guide)

Who'd've thought a series about the Paralympics would be recommissioned? But The Last Leg went down so well you can see why they'd want to bring it back, and so they are -- hurrah! I imagine it won't be so wholly focussed on sport... probably...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

TV

Comedy World Cup
1x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Hunted
1x02 LB
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
1x06 Episode Six
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Red Dwarf
10x03 Lemons

Films

War Horse (2011)
[#85 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Comics

Saga Chapter One by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

I've been hearing tonnes of praise for Saga for months now, but half ignored it for no particular reason. Inspired to look into it (again, for no particular reason), the description of it as a mature (as in "for grown-ups", not as in "hehehe porn") mixture of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones actually sounded right up my street. Then I discovered you can get this first issue for free on digital comics monopoly Comixology, so I did. Worth noting that it's double the length of a normal comic (more than double what you get in some these days), so it really is an exceptionally good free preview.

As for what it's actually like... Well, it certainly throws you in at the deep end of a complex world with lots of catching up to do. Thank goodness it is double length, because by the end of a typical first issue it's barely got anywhere. There's some intriguing stuff, but there's also a lot of good ol' modern decompressed storytelling, and I don't find the art detailed enough to support that personally. So, intrigued, but also unconvinced.

Additionally, I discovered the paperback collection of issues one to six is available in a "specially priced volume" -- presumably to get you started, then make you pay regular prices for future volumes. Not convinced it's worth spending money to continue though. I shall consider.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

TV

Cuckoo
1x03 Ken on E
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Great British Bake Off
3x10 The Final
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Have I Got News For You
44x01 (12/10/12 edition; extended repeat)
It's only four months since the last series ended?! It feels like forever when it's away.
[Watch the extended version (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

Dredd shows why the 3D film format is doomed… again
by Kieran Turner-Dave (from The Independent)

People have been decrying the death of the new 3D craze for years now, and still it totters along. On the one hand the evidence seems compelling -- see those changes in Pixar grosses -- but there's so much of the industry invested now (not just film production, but TV manufacturers, Blu-ray players and discs, TV channels, and so on) that you wonder if they'll just push through somehow.


Why did it take ten years to block the extradition of Gary McKinnon?
by David Allen Green (from New Statesman)

Or, "What you believe about the McKinnon extradition case is probably false". An interesting and informative read.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

TV

Downton Abbey
3x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Dragons' Den
10x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

From Russia With Love (1963)
[4th or so watch]

Bond from the Beginning Mk.III makes it to its second film. Just 20 to go...

I'll be reviewing this as #83a in 100 Films 2012, alongside the other '60s Bond films, at a later date. I've also covered it on here before, back in June 2008.

this week on 100 Films

One new review was published to 100 Films in a Year this week...


Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

more amiable than its “oh, you didn’t” title might suggest, but that’s about all. Shakespeare certainly has nothing to worry about.

Read more here.


Additionally, new to the new blog were...


Knowing (2009)

There are attempts at giving the characters depth, but these are more about giving them a reason to care about the plot than making them three dimensional human beings. But I’d suggest if you’re watching a film like Knowing with the intention of focusing on the characters rather than the mystery then you’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

Read more here.


Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

packed to bursting with utterly ludicrous — but, consequently, ludicrously cool — action sequences. It’s fast-paced, witty, and endlessly inventive. As the action genre goes, this is pure entertainment.

Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

TV

Merlin
5x02 Arthur's Bane Part Two
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Suburgatory
1x17 Independence Day

Films

Prometheus (2012)
[#83 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Articles

Skyfall Review Round Up! The best Bond film ever?
by Matthew Harkin (from CommanderBond.net)

I guess there was a Skyfall screening on Friday night, because just after midnight Saturday the 'net seemed to be flooded with reviews. The overall impression is very positive, and here's a thorough round-up.

Collection Count

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

Should've been more this week. A helluva lot more, actually. Bit disappointed. Oh well, it'll all turn up next week... probably...

Number of titles in collection: 1,493 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,143 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 350 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 3,706 [up 3]
Number of films in collection: 1,508 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,679 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 367 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 12 October 2012

TV

Mock the Week
11x12 (11/10/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monroe
2x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
1x03 Episode Three
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Thursday, 11 October 2012

TV

Comedy World Cup
1x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Person of Interest
1x10 Number Crunch
Having started with no discernible arc plot(s), they've not only developed them but are really rattling on with them. I wonder if they have some very grand overarching plan, or are just going to burn out by the end of the first season, or start fast and then string things out forever...
[Watch it on Demand 5 from Tuesday 16th October.]

Red Dwarf
10x02 Fathers and Suns

Articles

This Batcave made of 20,000 LEGO bricks is fit for Bruce Wayne
by Cyriaque Lamar (from io9)

This. Is. Amazing. I want one.

More pics & stuff here and here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

TV

Friday Night Dinner
2x01 Buggy
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

The Great British Bake Off
3x09 Patisserie
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
26x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

RoboCop 2 (1990)
[#82 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

Articles

The Entitlement Thing
by Stephen Gallagher (from Hauling Like a Brooligan)

A great piece on the attitude people have towards criticising TV/film/etc now, with specific reference to Doctor Who. If that doesn't quite make sense, here's a choice quote:

And disappointment seems to come very easily to many people, these days, with every new genre piece being released to the sound of sharpening knives. Our culture has become like a birthing pool full of crocodiles. There was a time when the response to new material was to invest in it, meet it halfway, go all the way to find something to love in it. [Now,] the default setting seems to be one of outrage that our specific expectations haven't been met.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

TV

Hunted
1x01 Mort
New spy thriller from the makers of Spooks. Flawed, but quite good overall. Hope it can keep it up/improve. (Despite looking as if it's intended as a one-off serial, they've reportedly signed up a new writer in anticipation of a second run, so we'll go with series-ish episode numbering for now.)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Mock the Week
11x11 (4/10/12 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Suburgatory
1x16 Poetic Injustice

Monday, 8 October 2012

TV

Cuckoo
1x02 Family Meeting
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

QI
10x04 Jack and Jill (XL edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Shoot 'Em Up (2008)
[2nd watch]

I don't do much re-watching of films generally, mainly because I get focused on 100 Films and repeat viewings don't count, but after this was on Channel 5 last night and I posted my old review to the new blog (it was 2008's #66), I felt the urge. And it was as much daft OTT action-comedy fun as I remembered it being, so that was nice.

Articles

Fox Wanted Extended Prometheus Blu-ray, Ridley Scott Said No
by Brendon Connelly (from Bleeding Cool)

That perhaps explains some of the speculation/rumours that the BD was going to contain some form of Director's Cut. I'm looking forward to finally seeing the controversial film now that he Blu-ray's out... just got to wait for mine to turn up in the post...


Masters of Cinema Monthly October 2012 – Fear and Desire, The Blue Angel, Onibaba, City of Women, La Poison and an Interview with Soul Power Director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte
by Craig Skinner (from Bleeding Cool)

The January and February releases from Masters of Cinema were announced today via Eureka's twitter feed, and Bleeding Cool's article has the most thorough coverage (press release, covers, initial extras).

To summarise what that typically unwieldy title already covers (more or less), the Blu-rays are, in January, The Blue Angel (including the simultaneously-shot English-language version) and Kubrick's Fear and Desire (both of which are must-buys for me), and in February, La Poison, Fellini's City of Women, and a Blu-ray upgrade for Onibaba (which are less thrilling for my personally).

For another concise personal take on the titles, see Hope Lies' piece.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

TV

Busy day in front of the telly...

Downton Abbey
3x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Lorraine's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food
1x04 Baking It

Merlin
5x01 Arthur's Bane Part One
I think the popularity of Merlin has caught some people by surprise. It started off OK, a lesser Doctor Who-slot drama, but as the series has grown so its audience seems to have been established -- this season five premiere gained around 6 million viewers according to the overnights, leaving it just behind Strictly and X Factor. It's in the same ballpark as Who these days, rather than a couple of million behind it. I wouldn't argue it's that good, but it is still fun with an increased edge as it's grown older. And as the producers always said they had a five year plan, perhaps getting somewhere fast too.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
26x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Peep Show
4x03 Gym
4x04 Handyman
Remember when I watched the first ever episode of Peep Show and didn't like it so never watched it again (despite what I said)? Yeah. But this was on Dave when I wasn't feeling so well and I just let it happen. And it was quite good, actually.

Person of Interest
1x09 Get Carter
Much like Suburgatory, having to download to catch up got me in the habit and now I've overtaken C5. Oh well.
[Watch it on Demand 5 from Tuesday 9th October.]

Suburgatory
1x15 Fire with Fire

this week on 100 Films

Two new reviews were published to 100 Films in a Year this week.

But before that, October has just begun, so here's the September update.

And with that out of the way, those reviews...


The Negotiator (1998)

As premises go, “hostage negotiator turns hostage taker” is a doozy. You can immediately imagine all the drama to be had from pitting The Best Negotiator In The World against The Second Best Negotiator In The World — he’ll know all the techniques! He’ll… well, mainly the techniques one. But also his colleagues will be working against him — will they be on his side? Or against him? It practically writes itself.

Read more here.


Unknown (2011)

In the film’s special features, producer Leonard Goldberg talks about how, having made thrillers his whole life, when he starts reading or watching them he can usually figure it all out early on, but the novel on which Unknown is based managed to surprise him. Thinking if it could surprise him it might surprise others too, he snapped up the rights, and I must say I think he was right.

Read more here.


And new to the new blog...

Melinda and Melinda (2004)

One might argue that this is a remake of Sliding Doors, but only in a superficial and unsustainable way. Here, two stories are told, both taking the same premise — a Manhattan dinner party is interrupted — but one is told as a tragedy and one is told as a comedy. The only common factor is Radha Mitchell’s Melinda, who takes on a very different role in each tale.

Read more here.


Taken (2008)

remember Man On Fire? The Tony Scott/Denzel Washington one. Well, replace Washington with Neeson and Dakota Fanning’s character with “his daughter” and you’ve more or less got it. Taken is practically a remake, only in Europe, with a happier ending, and an hour shorter. It’s also not as good, but that’s a different matter.

Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week. I'm a bit under the weather at the moment, hence the overnight delay in this post. I doubt anyone noticed.

And there's not much at all to notice this week, either. I would've had Prometheus and the Indiana Jones BDs in the past, but all websites seem to be rubbish at getting pre-orders out early these days; plus for those I went with sites who have always been bad at it, so what do you expect.

In other news, it's the running time update. Big new Bond box set could make a large impact... except it replaces all the equivalent films on DVD. Still, that makes it 4.167% longer anyway...

Number of titles in collection: 1,492 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,143 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 349 [no change]

Number of discs in collection: 3,703 [up 1]
Number of films in collection: 1,507 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 5,679 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 367 [up 2]

And the running time update goes as follows...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
269 days and 40 minutes.
(Down 6 hours and 32 minutes from last month.)

...oh. I must confess, I'm not entirely sure how it's gone down. But that's what it says, so...

See you next week, faithful reader.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

TV

Comedy World Cup
1x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Dragons' Den
10x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Monroe
2x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
1x05 Episode Five
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Films

Dr. No (1962)
[4th or so watch]

50 years ago yesterday, Dr. No hit cinemas and a phenomenon was born. What more appropriate to watch on James Bond Day (well, just after it) than this?

I'm also hoping it'll be the start of a complete re-watch of all the Bond films, now on Blu-ray. I've tried twice before (once covered in part on this very blog) but not yet made it all the way through in a reasonable period of time. Third time lucky…

And therefore, all going to plan, I'll be reviewing this as #81a in 100 Films 2012, alongside the other '60s Bond films, at a later date. This is also one of the ones I covered on here before, back in June 2008.

Friday, 5 October 2012

TV

QI
10x03 Journeys (XL edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Vexed
2x06 Episode 6 [season finale]

Thursday, 4 October 2012

TV

Arrested Development
1x06 Visiting Ours
1x07 In God We Trust
1x08 My Mother, the Car

Once Upon a Time
1x21 An Apple Red as Blood
1x22 A Land Without Magic [season finale]
Well that's that then. Wait, this got recommissioned?! How?!
I jest -- of course I knew it had been recommissioned (it's already started Stateside). The "how" still stands though.

Mock the Week
11x10 (27/9/12 edition)

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
1x02 Episode Two
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Red Dwarf
10x01 Trojan
Hurrah for the Dwarfers' long-awaited return! It's three-and-a-half years since even Back to Earth, never mind the 13 since the cliffhanger-ended Red Dwarf VIII... not that I imagine we'll ever see that resolved.

Music

Skyfall by Adele

Technically this is out later (in a few minutes after this is posted, actually), but it was played on radio earlier today.

After one listen... it's quite good, rather Bond-y, a change of pace from the last two. Takes far too long to get going though -- hope that's where they make the inevitable cuts for inclusion in the title sequence. It's always best when the title appears on screen when it turns up in the lyrics, and as this is the first film for 10 years to have the title in the lyric...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

TV

The Great British Bake Off
3x08 Biscuits
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Person of Interest
1x08 Foe
I suppose Alan Dale had to turn up at some point. Makes a change for him not to be set up as a recurring character.
[Watch it (again) on Demand 5.]

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

TV

Once Upon a Time
1x20 The Stranger

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
1x01 Episode One
Or #pogdogs, as per the hashtag that was displayed on screen five times in 22 minutes.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Suburgatory
1x14 The Body

Monday, 1 October 2012

TV

Cuckoo
1x01 The Homecoming
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Family Guy
10x23 Internal Affairs [season finale]
10x22 Family Guy Viewer Mail #2
BBC Three finished this season of Family Guy last night. The new season began in the US last night. Not everything makes it over here promptly yet then, I guess.
And they showed them the way round listed above, which does seem to make more sense. It was the second one I was watching for, because it contained (essentially) Family Guy If It Was British. Which was... alright. The bit from Stewie's point of view was better.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
26x01 Episode 1
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Once Upon a Time
1x19 The Return

The Rob Brydon Show
3x03 Episode 3

Music

The 2nd Law by Muse

This is out today, though it's been available to stream since last week sometime. I've had it since Saturday but only got round to it now. It's Muse's first album for three years, since the pretty brilliant The Resistance. It's more... shall we go with eclectic. Not bad, just less convinced.

Articles

M Is For Music
by Andrew Ellard (from Noise to Signal)

Long but great survey of Bond title songs and scores, and their relationship to one another. Published before Quantum of Solace so sadly not bang up-to-date, but that still leaves you with 21 films to read about.


Review of Muse: The 2nd Law
by Simon Jay Catling (from The Quietus)

Criticising an album for being overblown while writing the most overblown review ever is some kind of irony. Also, it cites the album's influences as including "Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, Gustav Holst's Mars The Bringer Of War, the James Bond theme tune [and] Queen" as if that's a bad thing. Weirdo. Kind of a fun read, but I fairly thoroughly disagree with it.