Friday, 31 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x21 The One with the Vows [5th or so watch]
aka The One with All the Clips About Monica and Chandler's Relationship.

Room 101
14x01 Episode 1

Veronica Mars
3x14 Mars, Bars
3x15 Papa's Cabin

Thursday, 30 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x20 The One with Rachel's Big Kiss [5th or so watch]

Veronica Mars
3x13 Postgame Mortem

Fiction

William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
Acts IV-V
Afterword
Sonnet 1138
[the end]

See yesterday.

There let our heroes rest free from attack,
Till darkness rise and Empire striketh back.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

TV

Death in Paradise
3x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Friends
7x19 The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin [4th or so watch]
aka The One Where Joey Has to Make a Foreskin (Not That Anyone Uses That Word).

Yonderland
1x06 The Idiot King

Fiction

William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher
Acts I-III

aka William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope

I've had this for a while, and with two sequels on the way felt it was really time I got round to reading it.

It's not laugh-out-loud hilarious, which you might believe from some reviews, but it is all good fun -- and surprisingly poetic and deep in places, too. It's clearly been crafted with a love and understanding of both the Bard and the Beard, making it suitable for fans of either.

Plus, R2-D2 -- who speaks in beeps and whistles to the characters, but shares intelligent asides with the audience -- is magnificent.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x18 The One with Joey's Award [4th or so watch]

Veronica Mars
3x12 There's Got to Be a Morning After Pill

Comics

Coffin Hill #1-3 by Caitlin Kittredge & Inaki Miranda

The latest in my array of comics to read, assess, and make a decision about continuing. (You may think there are a lot. You're right. Nearly done, though.)

This one is a genuinely creepy (to me, anyway) witchcraft/horror book. I'd say it falls somewhere between the stools of the others I've been assessing: it's not a definite must-read like Red Sonja or Pretty Deadly, but nor do I feel close to giving up on it like Satellite Sam or Velvet. However, I may just stick out the first arc (which runs to #6) -- that'll be time for another decision on its future.

(Side note: Sonja, Deadly and Coffin are by female writers (and one a female artist too). Sam and Velvet are all male. Dunno if that says anything; might just be coincidence; but there we go.)

Articles

Deconstructing Doctor Who: a fashion expert analyses Peter Capaldi's new skinhead style
by Anna Fielding (from Radio Times)

You probably heard about the BBC releasing a picture of the new Doctor's costume. And you probably think a fashion expert analysing it sounds like an awful idea. But actually, this article was quite interesting. (And better than Digital Spy's version, where someone from a fashion mag said, "we like it!", and not much else.)

Monday, 27 January 2014

TV

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
5x04 (24/1/14 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Elementary
2x12 The Diabolical Kind

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
7x03 (18/1/14 edition)

Comics

Pretty Deadly #1-2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Emma Rios

I kinda wasn't expecting to like this -- I almost didn't buy it, even -- but something, I forget what, convinced me to go ahead and get it... and I'm glad I did, because I really enjoyed it. It's a five-part arc, but these first two feel like a two-part opener -- as noted on Red Sonja, I like it when longer story lines still work in smaller chunks, considering that's how they're put out (you wanna tell a story that needs all six parts at once, release a bloody book).

I've already got the next issue, but I think I'll hold off on it a little. It's already managed what Satellite Sam and Velvet look not to've, and I don't want to rush through it.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x17 The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress [4th or so watch]

Films

Tower Block (2012)
[#6 in 100 Films in a Year 2014]

Second half, via... alternate means.

Comics

Velvet #1-2 by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting

A Cold War-set espionage action-thriller with a kick-ass female hero? Thought this looked right up my street. Unfortunately, after two issues I'm not wholly sold. It's by no means bad, I'm just not quite on board with the characters or where the story's going; and there's always that query from mainstream comics: is there actually enough going on each issue to justify the $3 price tag?

Plus, it's an ongoing -- great for developing and paying off things long-term, but who knows how long you'll have to wait for those answers? A wait can be fine, but more of an issue is: I'm looking to cut my pull list, not keep expanding it -- something's gotta give. Question is, do I give it one more issue to sway me, or just ditch it now?

With such thoughts, this (along with practically-gone-already Satellite Sam) is on shaky ground.

this week on 100 Films

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


Tom Conway as the Falcon, Part II
A summary, linking to the following reviews:


The Falcon and the Co-eds (1943)
The twisty plot is engrossing and the humour entertaining, though I felt more could have been made of the potentially atmospheric remote cliff-top setting. It’s the kind of film where I began imagining how it might be remade to even greater effect.
Read more here.


The Falcon Out West (1944)
provides all the Western action it can muster: runaway coaches, shootin’, horseback riding, gentle racism about Native Americans… This is the West of the 1940s, theoretically 50 years or whatever on from The Wild West, but conceptually almost unchanged.
Read more here.


The Falcon in Mexico (1944)
“In our peaceful country, life is very seldom in danger,” states one character halfway through, just one of many instances that might make you think the film was co-funded by the Mexican tourist board. Oh sure, there’s the usual array of thefts and murders that you’d expect from a Falcon adventure, but they’re mostly committed by Americans.
Read more here.


The Falcon in Hollywood (1944)
By this point you should know what you’re in for with a Falcon film: a solid murder mystery plot with some light fun and mischief on the way to its solution. In this one, the plot is actually quite simple to follow for quite a while, making a change from recent Falcons. It’s still an engrossing enough mystery, but clearly told.
Read more here.


Also this week...


Macbeth (1948)
a compromised but interesting adaptation. Welles has chopped and changed the play, cutting scenes, transposing others, assigning speeches to different characters, even creating new ones. This array of modifications scandalised critics at the time, though nowadays it’s much more common, usually to make the works a manageable length. Macbeth is one of the more sensibly-sized plays, however, though I suppose this is the legacy of Welles’ short 23-day schedule.
Read more here.


Plus, new to the new blog...


Air Force One (1997)
Harrison Ford stars as President Indiana Jones — sorry, Jack Ryan — no, James Marshall (that’s it) in this action-thriller from the Die Hard school of moviemaking. Yep, this is “Die Hard on a plane” — except it’s not any old plane, it’s Air Force frickin’ One; and the Bruce Willis character isn’t any old washed-up cop, it’s the frickin’ President of the U.S. frickin’ A. Hells yeah!
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x16 The One with the Truth About London ['Super-Sized' version; 5th or so watch]

The Voice UK
3x03 The Blind Auditions 3
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Films

Tower Block (2012)
[#6 in 100 Films in a Year 2014]

First half, before my rental disc went screwy.

Collection Count

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

Anyone familiar with how these numbers work might think the changes below indicate a DVD-to-Blu-ray upgrade, and normally they'd be right, but not so this week: it's one new Blu-ray, and a Zatoichi DVD I forgot to remove when I got the 25-film box set for Christmas. Oops!

Also this week, it's the running time update. I love that part.

Number of titles in collection: 1,652 [no change]
Of which DVDs: 1,197 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 455 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 4,131 [no change]
Number of films in collection: 1,779 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 6,102 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 406 [no change]

And the monthly running time update tells us...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
296 days, 7 hours, and 58 minutes.
(Up 13 hours and 8 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 24 January 2014

TV

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
1x02 The Tagger
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Friends
7x15 The One with Joey's New Brain ['Super-Sized' version; 5th or so watch]

The Voice UK
3x02 The Blind Auditions 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Comics

Red Sonja #4-6 by Gail Simone & Walter Geovani

Great stuff; this one's definitely staying on my pull list. With A Voice in the Dark also earning its place, my uncertainty about Satellite Sam makes it look more shaky.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

TV

Death in Paradise
3x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off
2x04 Episode 4 (of 4)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Fiction

The Tale of Zatoichi by Kan Shimozawa

The short story that was adapted into The Tale of Zatoichi, translated here by Juliet Winters Carpenter for the Criterion box set of the film series. It's clear where bits of it became the film, but there's also significant differences.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x13 The One Where Rosita Dies ['Super-Sized' version; 5th or so watch]
7x14 The One Where They All Turn Thirty ['Super-Sized' version; 4th or so watch]

When Friends finally came to DVD in the US, somewhere between "most" and "all" of its episodes were extended; controversially, the Blu-ray release only includes the shorter original TV versions... with the exception of four episodes from the middle of season seven. They're still the shorter versions when watched in HD, but the extended versions (in SD) can be found among the special features.

Have to say, nothing jumped out at me as new here, which led me to wonder if these were included on the UK DVDs too... but then goodness knows how long it's been since I last watched them, so it'd be no surprise if I just didn't notice.


The Illusionists
Although The Magicians barely limped to two series, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us only managed one, the main channels still boldly attempt to get magic on TV: BBC One have recently started airing Dynamo's Watch series, and around Christmas ITV had this one-off special. Very good it was, too. Shame this stuff doesn't seem to connect with a wider audience.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Comics

Red Sonja #2-3 by Gail Simone & Walter Geovani

Simone knows how to write a story that works as self-contained issues but also form part of a larger narrative -- I like this. Too many comics are just a graphic novel serialised, and with too little story for the price per issue, so it's nice to read something that gives you a satisfying chunk.


Satellite Sam #1-5 by Matt Fraction & Howard Chaykin

Another one I'm reading to decide whether to continue with or not (and it won't be the last of those).

I was going to do a simple "X meets Y" thing here, but it's a tad more complicated than that. It has the era and 'world' of The Hour, with the complex business speak of Mad Men at its densest, but the speed of Studio 60, mingled with the dark, seedy crime of L.A. Confidential... It's a heady brew, relayed in almost-sketchy black-and-white art.

Not so sure about this one, even after the entire first arc. Well, that's the first arc technically speaking -- although they've called it that, and collected these five issues as the first paperback, and it does come to a fairly big conclusion/twist at the end of #5, it's certainly not a finite story. What kind of long haul is it settling in for?

Articles

Lupin III: The Story So Far
by Andrew Osmond (from Manga)

An interesting potted history of the star of The Castle of Cagliostro, which has the side effect of creating a 'wish list' of things I want to see...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

TV

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off
2x03 Episode 3 (of 4)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Veronica Mars
3x11 Poughkeepsie, Tramps & Thieves

Films

Premium Rush (2012)
[#5 in 100 Films in a Year 2014]

Comics

Red Sonja #1 by Gail Simone & Walter Geovani

The start of Batgirl writer Simone's acclaimed run on the swords-and-sorcery series, which recently completed its first arc. I enjoyed it, which is good because I've already got the next five issues.


A Voice in the Dark #1-2 by Larime Taylor

A 2-part opening story to this ongoing from new creator Larime Taylor, who writes, draws, colours -- indeed, everythings -- every issue by mouth. It's not just Worthy to support a disabled creator, though -- this is an interesting and, for comics, unusual book: almost every character is female, and they look like real women rather than the usual teenage boy's moronic fantasy that the medium usually offers in both art and characterisation. On top of that, it's the tale of a girl coping with thoughts of murder alongside the always-life-changing situation of moving away to university -- sorry, it's American: college.

Anyway, good stuff so far -- I'm looking to cut down the number of comics I buy (as you may have noticed, I've been doing an awful job at actually reading them), but this one I'll keep.

Monday, 20 January 2014

TV

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off
2x02 Episode 2 (of 4)
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Sunday, 19 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x12 The One Where They're Up All Night [4th or so watch]
To get lucky...?

Timeshift
13x07 How to Be Sherlock Holmes: The Many Faces of a Master Detective
A really good overview of the many actors who've played Holmes down the years. Not exhaustive -- there's not time in an hour -- but a good analysis of the major ones. If you missed it, it's on iPlayer until Wednesday night; there are also four web-exclusive extended interview clips, totalling 8½ minutes, on the episode's Programmes page.
[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...


Man of Steel (2013)
Produced by Christopher Nolan and other creatives behind the uber-successful Batman reboot The Dark Knight Trilogy, this is intended to do a similar thing for Superman: a present-day, real-world relaunch. Which begins with a huge sequence on a crazy alien world. Well done, chaps. And that’s before we get into the merits of grounding clean-cut Boy’s Own all-American hero Superman in our ideologically complex modern world. Is that what Superman is?
Read more here.


Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)
"From 1984 to 1994, a perfect storm of people and circumstances changed the face of animation forever."

So declares the title card at the start of this documentary, which covers how in just a few years Disney went from nearly shutting down its animation division to a period of immense critical acclaim and box office success
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

TV

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
5x03 (17/1/14 edition)

Hostages
1x01 Pilot
Channel 4's latest answer to Homeland, apparently, although I began to wonder if it was meant to be a spoof it made me laugh so much. But no, I think it was just daft. And yet you know me, I'm bound to keep watching it -- I mean, it took me almost 30 episodes to ditch Once Upon a Time, and this is only 15.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
7x02 (11/1/14 edition)

Collection Count

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

This week's acquisitions include two titles that aren't out yet (Doctor Who: The Moonbase, out Monday; and Wings, out on the 27th), two recent-archive bargains (a big fancy US edition of Casablanca from a couple of years ago, replacing my old DVD; and Danny Boyle's Trance), and a missed Christmas present (The World's End). Shiny.

Number of titles in collection: 1,652 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,198 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 454 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 4,131 [up 7]
Number of films in collection: 1,779 [up 3]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 6,102 [up 4]
Number of short films in collection: 406 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 17 January 2014

TV

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
1x01 Pilot
E4's latest US acquisition... which is also showing on Channel 4, albeit in a somewhat later slot the next day. Showing it on Channel 4 at all = confidence. Showing it on Channel 4 second and almost buried = wary. Well, I thought it was good -- and it just picked up two Golden Globes earlier this week, so I'm not alone.
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Death in Paradise
3x01 Episode 1
Hm. Kris Marshall's character works, but it was a bit of an unceremonious dispatching of Ben Miller. Surely a couple of minutes with him and the gang before we went off to the fateful reunion would've been nice, at the very least?
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Monday, 13 January 2014

TV

Celebrity Mastermind
2013-14 Episode 10 (of 10)
Accidentally skipped episode 9. Oops. But then, according to the BBC Programmes page, this isn't on until Friday, whereas it was available on Virgin Media's iPlayer. Perhaps it wasn't my fault, then.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Friends
7x08 The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs [5th or so watch]
7x09 The One with All the Candy [5th or so watch]
aka The One with the 50 States Game and The One Where Rachel Writes a Silly Version of Tag's Personnel Assessment That He Nonetheless Sends to Human Resources.

Veronica Mars
3x08 Lord of the π's

Films

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2009)
[#2 in 100 Films in a Year 2014]

DVD Extras

No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 123

In several regards more interesting than the film itself, this half-hour making-of shows the extraordinary amount of research, planning, and complex filming that went into the production of what is, ultimately, quite a straightforward thriller. Waste of good effort? Maybe...

Fiction

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Volume I: Mr Norrell, Chapter 5

Articles

The Magnificent Forty-Seven
by Stephen Turnbull (from Manga)

A professor of Japanese Studies (and the film's historical advisor) on why 47 Ronin has been unfairly maligned by reviewers. "It must be a hard life being a film critic when you can’t just have fun!"

Sunday, 12 January 2014

TV

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
5x02 (10/1/14 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Sherlock
3x03 His Last Vow [season finale]
Well well well, that was neat: "ah, there's the cliffhanger... oh no, there's the cliffhanger... no, THERE'S the cliffhanger!"
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Veronica Mars
3x07 Of Vice and Men

Fiction

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Volume I: Mr Norrell, Chapters 1-4

Been meaning to read this for years (I have a nice box set of the novel in its three volumes as individual paperbacks (apparently 'worth' over £450!) which is from 2005, so about 9 years to be precise), and the TV version that's on the way has inspired me to get started.

I'm only 61 pages into its 1,004-page length, but it's great so far -- enticing, intriguing, and surprisingly funny and witty, in a very dry way. The adaptation has a lot to live up to already, but if it can it will be very exciting.

this week on 100 Films

Firstly, this week on 100 Films in a Year saw me announce a new year of What Do You Mean You Haven't Seen...?, my challenge-within-a-challenge to watch a film a month that I really should have seen by now.

You can learn about this year's selection here, including what the 12 films are, as well as the ridiculous process used to select them.


Otherwise, only archive reviews were (re-)published this week, but there were three of those...


Let the Right One In (2008)
Let the Right One In isn’t your typical vampire movie. If you’ve somehow managed to avoid hearing anything about it in that time, I encourage you to watch it before reading more — it’s hard to discuss any of it without spoiling at least some. Knowing it’s a vampire movie is too much, to be frank — it’d be grand to be able to see this completely cold.
Read more here.


Let Me In (2010)
it’s so much the same that one’s thoughts naturally gravitate to the occasions where it does differ. This may be doing the film a disservice, but I’m tempted to say “serves them right” for remaking it so damn fast and making it so damn similar. Some have asserted that it’s the same film for those who can’t handle reading subtitles. It’s not that bad, but you can see where they’re coming from.
Read more here.


Make/Remake: Let the Right Me In
The most recent example of this speedy-remake phenomenon is Swedish vampire drama Let the Right One In, remade by the recently-relaunched Hammer Films as Let Me In. Or, if you prefer, “re-adapted”, as they’re both based on a 2004 novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. A film of a Swedish novel produced by a British company set in America with a US cast & crew? Globalised indeed.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

TV

Friends
7x07 The One with Ross's Library Book [5th or so watch]

Veronica Mars
3x06 Hi, Infidelity

The Voice UK
3x01 The Blind Auditions 1
I've never disliked The Voice, but I think this line-up of coaches has clicked much better than the old one. It certainly felt more fun to me, anyway.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Fiction

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton

This short story is said to be a key inspiration for tomorrow's final episode of Sherlock, for reasons beyond just the name of the villain. So I thought I'd read it.

You can read it, too, on Wikisource (and I'm sure other places, if you prefer).


His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes [the end]

This short story is also said to be a key inspiration for tomorrow's episode, for reasons beyond just the title. So I thought I'd read it too. It's harder to see what they'll have used from it, but that's half the fun.

And, of course, you can read a version of it on Wikisource (I happened to notice it's in American, as I'd wager Charles Augustus Milverton is as well).

Collection Count

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

This week, a few post-Christmas treats -- i.e. things I wanted and didn't get, or sale bargains. Coming soon (i.e. in the next week or two): 2014 new releases.

That's "new releases for the year 2014", not "I've ordered 2,014 new releases".

Number of titles in collection: 1,648 [up 3]
Of which DVDs: 1,198 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 450 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 4,124 [up 4]
Number of films in collection: 1,776 [up 3]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 6,098 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 406 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 10 January 2014

TV

Celebrity Mastermind
2013-14 Episode 8 (of 10)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins
7x01 (4/1/14 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Veronica Mars
3x05 President Evil

Articles

Steven Moffat on Sherlock movie: "How does it make it better?"
by Morgan Jeffery (from Digital Spy)

"The Doctor Who special we did, The Day of the Doctor, we put in the cinemas and on that weekend it came number two at the American box office," Moffat said.

"That's a TV programme - number two at the American box office for the weekend it came out, with limited distribution. That's television handing cinema its own arse!"


Veronica Mars Is on the Case in the First Poster Reveal
by Bryan Enk (from Yahoo! Movies)


Click to enlarge.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

TV

Celebrity Mastermind
2013-14 Episode 6 (of 10)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Veronica Mars
3x03 Wichita Linebacker
Guest starring the Lone Ranger!

Yonderland
1x05 Closing the Portal
"I'm going to leave this world forever!" No you're not, there's three more episodes left. Why do shows do that?!

Films

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
[#1 in 100 Films in a Year 2014]

Here we go again...

Monday, 6 January 2014

TV

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown
5x01 (3/1/14 edition)
[Watch it (again) on 4oD.]

Celebrity Mastermind
2013-14 Episode 4 (of 10)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Friends
7x03 The One with Phoebe's Cookies [4th or so watch]
7x04 The One with Rachel's Assistant [4th or so watch]

Veronica Mars
3x01 Welcome Wagon
With the movie out in March, it seemed like it was time to crack on with the third (and final) season.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

TV

Doctor Who
33x16 The Time of the Doctor [Christmas special; 2nd watch]

This definitely plays better second time round, I felt, when you're not racing to keep up with all the tiny little throwaway details and work out what the blazes is going on. It has some funny bits, some exciting bits, and most of all some emotional bits: the death of Handles, Clara's grandmother's anecdote, and, a little to my surprise, because I only felt it on second viewing, the Eleventh Doctor's final moments.

That said, it's still an almighty mess in other areas. Things we've been wondering about for years are "explained" with half a line of, "that theory you had? Yeah, that's probably it" -- or, to put it another way, not really explained at all. Kovarian & co blew up the TARDIS? OK, thought as much... but how? And when, exactly? And how was it stopped again? Then there was all the stuff in the episode itself, which was a flood of ideas rushed through without due weight or attention, at times.

And don't get me started on the 13th regeneration explanation. There was such potential for story there, and yet Moffat introduces it as a needless obstacle about halfway through, and then around 20 minutes later solves it with a hand wave. It didn't need to be resolved now, it could've waited -- could've waited for someone who had a decent story based around it -- but no, Moffat must manage and control Who's canon, and so he must engineer a way in which he can sort out the 12 regenerations limit a whole two lives early. Grr.

A mixed bag, then. Hopefully Capaldi's reign will signal a fresh start and a return to a more consistent high standard.


Sherlock
3x02 The Sign of Three

I enjoyed that a lot. Seems there were some complaints online about it going nowhere and being unfocused... but it all came together at the end, which is a lesson in watching something through rather than judging it based on the first 20 minutes. Morons. I imagine some will still have objected to the lighter-than-usual tone, but I thought it was both fun and funny, and had a clever reveal at the end too. Top stuff.

[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

No new reviews this week -- but a load of posts nonetheless, because the start of 2014 means it's time to look back on the seventh year of 100 Films in a Year!

As ever, multiple posts make up my review of the year just passed; and as per last year, there are now four of them. So in order we have:


2013 in Review, Part 1
WordPress have produced my annual report... Once you’ve read that, the following will make sense: It wasn’t just new posts that grew the archive of the blog: 141 reposts from 2007-2011 helped increase the tally from last year’s 249.
Read more here.


December 2013
Having set out with the goal of watching one super-acclaimed film per month, I somehow ended up with three to get through come December. That didn’t quite go to plan then. Undeterred, I shall be attempting this again in 2014… even though I wound up only seeing 11 of the 12 films I was supposed to. So what were the final two? Well...
Read more here.


2013: The Full List
Containing:
2013 As It Happened — links to 2013’s monthly updates, with the chronological list of my viewing;
The List — the full alphabetical list of my viewing;
The Statistics — where I really overanalyse what I’ve watched
Read more here.


2013 In Retrospect
With 2013 completed, listed, and analysed, all that remains is a final bit of reflection: of the 110 films I watched, which were the best? Which were the worst? And what new releases did I miss? Plus, this year you can vote for your favourite of my top ten.
Read more here.


Oh, and I said there were no new reviews, but there was an archive one new to the new blog...


Wild at Heart (1990)
it’s filled with mannered performances that can seem cheaper than those in daytime soaps (I presume this is deliberate); characters and plot threads that meander off and seem pointless; plus it lacks the opaqueness that many seem to hold as the key worthy feature of Lynch’s work.
Read more here.


So that's 2013 done! Aside from the 20 reviews I still have to post, that is. Hopefully, more of them next Sunday.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

TV

Celebrity Mastermind
2013-14 Episode 3 (of 10)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Elementary
2x10 Tremors

Friends
7x02 The One with Rachel's Book [4th or so watch]

Articles

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
by Alexis C. Madrigal (from The Atlantic)

A long but fascinating article on the technology used at Netflix to predict exactly what sorts of films a user likes, to a degree so maddening that their computer probably knows you better than you know yourself.

Plus, the Perry Mason bit at the end is engrossingly bizarre.

Collection Count

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

After the big Christmas update last time, just one straggler from the very end of last year. We'll see if the next few weeks turn into a post-Christmas lull or a post-Christmas buy-up-everything-I-didn't-get fest.

Number of titles in collection: 1,645 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,197 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 448 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 4,120 [up 1]
Number of films in collection: 1,773 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 6,098 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 406 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 3 January 2014

TV

Celebrity Mastermind
2013-14 Episode 2 (of 10)
Missed episode one. Oops.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Friends
7x01 The One with Monica's Thunder [4th or so watch]
We got the Friends Blu-rays for Christmas, and this is the point we've chosen to switch to them. It does look rather extraordinary -- the D is certainly H.

Yonderland
1x04 The Ultimate Prize

Thursday, 2 January 2014

TV

Agatha Christie's Marple
6x03 Endless Night [season finale]
Well, I found that to be a bit... slow. OK, by that I mean dull. It's not a Marple story originally, so she was somewhat shoehorned in; and the plot wasn't that engrossing -- there wasn't even a mystery until about an hour in! "Endless night" indeed.
There are rumours this will be the last-ever episode. Let's hope not. The post-millenial iteration of Miss Marple has never been up to the high standards of the Suchet Poirot, but it deserves more than this.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

QI
11x04 Knits & Knots (XL edition)

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

TV

Gangsta Granny
Every bit as good as last year's excellent Mr Stink. Keep the Walliams adaptations coming, I say!
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Mock the Week
12x13 Christmas Special
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Sherlock
3x01 The Empty Hearse
Well... hm.
Based on Twitter, some loved it and some hated it; others were just disappointed. I'm somewhere between all three. I thought it indulged too much in soap opera elements at times, letting character rule story; but it was largely funny and entertaining, and at times clever, so I can let some of the off bits slide. Not the series' best episode, by any means, but equally far from its worst.
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]