Saturday, 31 December 2016

TV

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2016
[Watch it (again) on All 4.]

Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Best thing on TV this Christmas? Quite possibly.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Suicide Squad: Extended Cut (2016)
[#195a in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Not really that different to the theatrical cut, which I watched in November.

Collection Count

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

It's time for the monthly running time update... and it's also, as you may've noticed, the end of the year! So as well as my usual week-by-week monitoring (or month-by-month for the running time), there are figures for how much my collection has changed over the last 12 months. Exciting times.

Number of titles in collection: 1,921 [up 6 this week; up 96 in 2016]
Of which DVDs: 1,193 [no change this week; down 19 in 2016]
Of which Blu-rays: 728 [up 4 this week; up 115 in 2016]

I think that's the first time one of these tallies has gone down over the course of a year! (The discrepancy between number of titles and DVD/BD additions must be due to a mistake from a previous week.)

Number of discs in collection: 4,951 [up 21 this week; up 286 in 2016]
Number of films: 2,121 [up 5 this week; up 128 in 2016]
Number of TV episodes: 7,579 [up 38 this week; up 516 in 2016]
Number of short films: 508 [no change this week; up 43 in 2016]

Total running time of collection (approx.):
366 days, 10 hours, and 37 minutes.
(Up 2 days, 20 hours, and 50 minutes from last month.)
(Up 25 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes from last year.)

Last year's yearly increase was a little over 29 days, making this the first time the year-on-year increase is less than the year before since I started (though it's not as low as it was the year-before-last, so...)

Anyway, see you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 30 December 2016

TV

Peter Kay's Comedy Shuffle
1x07 Christmas Comedy Shuffle
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

The Last Dragonslayer (2016)
[#195 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]
Sky1's big Christmas Day drama, which I'm counting as a film because a) it's feature-length and b) my Tivo says it's a film. It says that about a lot of one-off feature-length TV dramas, but still.

The Tale of Zatoichi Continues (1962)
[#194 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

TV

Celebrity Mastermind
2016/2017 Episode 1 (of 10)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Witness for the Prosecution
Part 1 (of 2)
Part 2 (of 2)
[Watch parts one and two (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Mr. Nobody (2009)
[#192 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

TV

Insert Name Here
2x01 Christmas
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
5x08 Episode 8 [season finale]

Would I Lie To You?
10x10 At Christmas
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Dragon (2011)
aka Wu Xia
[#190 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Our Kind of Traitor (2016)
[#191 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Monday, 26 December 2016

TV

Blankety Blank
Christmas Special
[Watch it (again) on the ITV Hub.]

Grantchester
3x00 Christmas Special
[Watch it (again) on the ITV Hub.]

The Great Christmas Bake Off
Episode 2 (of 2)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

+ Goodbye Bake Off

Films

Partners in Crime… (2012)
[#189 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

aka Associés contre le crime… "L'œuf d'Ambroise" (Partners in Crime… "The Ambroise Egg")

Sunday, 25 December 2016

TV

Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas
Episode 5 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on All 4.]

Doctor Who
36x00 The Return of Doctor Mysterio [Christmas special]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Great Christmas Bake Off
Episode 1 (of 2)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)
[#188 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Fiction

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories - Part V: Christmas Adventures edited by David Marcum
The Ballad of the Carbuncle by Ashley D. Polasek

Oh dear.

Music

Amy Macdonald's Christmas Special
Scottish songstress Amy Macdonald plays a few songs wearing a Star Wars Christmas jumper. Awesome.

this week on 100 Films

Merry Christmas, dear readers! As it falls on a Sunday this year, it remains time for my weekly update on goings on at 100 Films in a Year -- which at least includes a couple of seasonal features among the 4 brand-new reviews that were published this week...


Come Together (2016)
Anderson pitches the tone just right. Rather than making a four-minute festival of sappiness that rots your brain with its generic sugary sentiment, or a music video for a slow breathy cover of a once-famous song, or a long build-up to a cheap punchline, Anderson instead brings his own familiar style to a brief narrative that comes to a surprisingly heartwarming conclusion.
Read more here.


The Present (2014)
The simple story sees a videogame-obsessed boy given a mysterious box by his mother. Distracted long enough to open it, inside he finds a puppy, and… well, the film’s only four minutes long — you’re better off watching it than having me describe the story.
Read more here.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
The first live-action non-saga movie to take us to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, this initial entry in what is sure to be a never-ending series of so-called “Anthology” movies really puts the “War” into Star Wars.
Read more here.


Wizardhood (2016)
So how exactly do you go about making such a huge reduction? Is it just a really, really long “previously on”-style montage? No, thank goodness, it isn’t. What editor Tim Stiefler has produced is less an abridgement and more a complete retelling of the Potter story. His cut doesn’t even attempt to tell whole swathes of the story, instead ditching them entirely. Stiefler has clearly tried to make a film out of this material, not just a long précis of the story.
Read more here.


Also, my 100 Favourites series continued with 1 more posts...


Young Adam (2003)
Part murder mystery, part beat character study, part erotic drama, Young Adam is an enigmatic, moody, conflicted film — in a good way. It presents a grimily realistic view of life and sex, around which writhes a murder mystery that, as it turns out, doesn’t contain a murder and, relatively quickly, isn’t much of a mystery.
Read more here.


And that's #100! It's not over, though, because I'll be posting some kind of wrap-up.


As always, more next Sunday.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

TV

Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas
Episode 4 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on All 4.]

Junior Bake Off
4x13 The Semi-Final
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Mock the Week
15x13 Christmas Special
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Paul O'Grady's Favourite Fairy Tales
[Watch it (again) on ITV Hub.]

Collection Count

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

Well, I say "every week" -- circumstances mean it's been a whole month since my last update. And it being a whole month would normally mean it's time for a running time update, but as tomorrow's Christmas and next week will be the last day of the year, I'm going to push it back 'til then and do my usual year-long counts, too.

But you'd think Christmas had already been with the amount of stuff I've had to add this week -- though that's not as obvious in the final figures because the many additions are offset by having sold a few titles just before I went away. That led to drops across the board, most of which are recovered by the 11 new titles I actually added this week. I wager Christmas is going to look underpowered compared to that...

Number of titles in collection: 1,915 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,193 [down 4]
Of which Blu-rays: 724 [up 6]

Number of discs in collection: 4,930 [up 15]
Number of films in collection: 2,116 [up 3]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,541 [up 58]
Number of short films in collection: 508 [up 8]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 23 December 2016

TV

Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas
Episode 3 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on All 4.]

Junior Bake Off
4x12 Second Quarter-Final
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Live at the Apollo
12x07 Christmas Special
To call this a mixed bag would be doing it a kindness.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
5x07 Episode 7

Fiction

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

Thought I ought to read the one canonical Christmas adventure before getting stuck into the pastiches.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

TV

Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas
Episode 2 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on All 4.]

Castle
7x23 Hollander's Woods [season finale]
Someone clearly thought they might get cancelled... and so carved this episode from a block of cheese, apparently.

Junior Bake Off
4x11 First Quarter-Final
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Fiction

The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories - Part V: Christmas Adventures edited by David Marcum

For them that don't know, this is an on-going collection of traditional Sherlock Holmes stories in support of Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's former home that has recently been restored to serve as a school. Originally it was a three-volume set, which I supported on Kickstarter back in 2015, but that proved so popular they're continuing it at a rate of two volumes per year. I never actually got round to reading the first three so skipped the fourth, but I was tempted back in by this fifth due to its seasonal nature -- which is also why I'm endeavouring to read it now. Thus far, I have read... the introductions. Well, it's a start (literally).

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

TV

Class
1x08 The Lost [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Junior Bake Off
4x10 Heat Ten
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monday, 19 December 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

this fortnight on 100 Films

I forgot to schedule a 100 Films in a Year update for last week (while I was away) so instead here's a look back at the last fortnight.

First up, the 1 brand-new review published in that time...


Midnight Special (2016)
The story’s style has made a comparison to Spielberg the go-to, not only for reviewers but for the writer-director himself, who’s labelled the film an homage to E.T. and Close Encounters. You can see that influence, certainly, but it lacks the effortless charm that Spielberg brings to his movies. If this is Spielberg, it’s by way of more indie arthouse fare.
Read more here.


The meat of my posting this month comes from my 100 Favourites series, which this fortnight continued with 4 more posts...


V for Vendetta (2005)
Although dressed up as part of an entertaining action movie, the story’s real topic is the rights and wrongs of government, and our attitudes and responsibilities towards it as citizens. That message feels as relevant as ever after the events of this year. Perhaps it always will — like George Orwell’s 1984, an enduring warning against things going too far.
Read more here.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
while the technical achievement remains impressive today (bearing in mind the limitations of the time) it’s all in service of the characters and the story. Even as you marvel at the visuals, you’re engrossed by the mystery and kept amused by the gags, including clever and witty references to cartoons and film noir.
Read more here.


X-Men (2000)
Its significance to the current movie landscape is hard to underestimate: it took the superhero subgenre... and made it respectable blockbuster fodder, which leads directly to where we are today. And the reason it sparked all that is because it’s a quality entertainment in its own right, mixing superpowered action with weighty themes and top-drawer performances from a cast who are almost all better than this, elevating the material rather than besmirching themselves with it.
Read more here.


X2 (2003)
one trend in the modern superhero era... sequels that are better than their predecessor, upending the accepted order of things. And as with so many things in the current superhero epoch, it started with the X-Men. Personally I’ve always slightly preferred the first movie, but X2 does polish up the action sequences, engages with the series’ thematic subtexts in an effective manner, and adds significantly to the ongoing mystery of Wolverine’s past.
Read more here.


More next Sunday. For real this time.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016

this week on 100 Films

Not many reviews this week on 100 Films in a Year, but it's a busy one nonetheless. First, as it's now December, a look back at — you guessed it — November:




Then, because I'm away for most of December, an earlier-than-usual TV review:




Now it's on to the reviews, of which there were — once again2:


Jason Bourne (2016)
Action sequences ensue, shot with all the ShakyCam you’d expect from Greengrass... I think it’s considerably less bamboozling than when it made its debut in Supremacy 12 years ago — it’s been so copied that we’re more used to seeing it. I think Greengrass has a better handle on the purpose of the style than many of his imitators, however. I’d also argue that the cinematography in Jason Bourne is a smidgen more stable, with shots held a few frames longer, so that it’s even less seasickness-inducing than before. In fact, some shots — even in the quick-cut action montages — are downright pretty.
Read more here.


The Transporter Refuelled (2015)
the action is pretty good, with some impressive car stunts and some neatly choreographed punch-ups. That’s all I expect or want from a movie like this, really, and even though it may not be an exceptional example of the form, the fisticuffs entertained me. I’ve certainly seen far worse. It helps that the over-reliance on CGI seen in the second two Statham instalments has been tempered... all the flips and crashes look to have been done for real.
Read more here.


And finally, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more entries:


The Transporter (2002)
The Transporter is neither big nor clever. In terms of the former, it’s a relatively small-scale, low-key action movie, not some Hollywood extravaganza; and in terms of the latter, it’s a relatively small-scale, low-key action movie, so of course it’s not been pumped full of brains. Instead it’s pumped full of adrenaline
Read more here.


Unbreakable (2000)
Some people view Unbreakable as the start of M. Night Shyamalan’s inexorable quality slide after the debut peak of The Sixth Sense (not that it was his debut). Those people are wrong. Partly because that degeneration doesn’t really start until the final act of The Village; partly because Unbreakable is Shyamalan’s best film. We’ve now had countless big-screen takes on superhero mythology, but none are quite like this.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Films

Wizardhood (2016)
[#186 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

All eight Harry Potter films, edited into a single 78-minute film.

Holiday

As you read this, I am leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again... except I do know: it's Saturday 17th.

Until then, updates may be sporadic and/or delayed. Not that anyone's likely to care, but I thought I'd point it out just in case.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Films

Come Together (2016)
[#185a in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

The Wes Anderson-directed Christmas short-cum-advert for H&M. Watch it on YouTube here.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

TV

Castle
7x20 Sleeper

The Flash
3x05 Monster

Junior Bake Off
4x09 Heat Nine
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Live at the Apollo
12x02 Episode 2
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monday, 28 November 2016

Sunday, 27 November 2016

TV

Arrow
5x04 Penance

Crisis in Six Scenes
Episode 1 (of 6)
Episode 2 (of 6)
Episode 3 (of 6)
Episode 4 (of 6)
Episode 5 (of 6)
Episode 6 (of 6)
Woody Allen's TV series is basically a long Woody Allen film chopped up into six segments.
[Watch it all (again) on Amazon Prime Video.]

this week on 100 Films

Just 2 brand-new reviews were published to 100 Films in a Year again this week, and they were...


The Good Dinosaur (2015)
While it may take a while to warm up, The Good Dinosaur is ultimately a very affecting entry in Pixar’s canon. It’s by no means a perfect movie, but I do think it’s an underrated one. And, in all honesty, I enjoyed it more than Inside Out.
Read more here.


The Sting (1973)
Although often billed as a caper, sometimes even as a comedy, it actually has more of an edge. I mean, it’s not The Godfather, but it’s not Ocean’s Eleven either. The star power and chemistry of Redford and Newman are what give the movie a buoyancy to overcome the storyline’s inherent darkness, though I wouldn’t say that reaches far enough to regard the film as a romp
Read more here.


At least my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...


Toy Story (1995)
Pixar didn’t strike gold with Toy Story just because computer animation was New. It’s the likeable characters, how they develop and learn, the amusing situations they’re put in, plus some heartwarming messages about friendship. There’s more emotion and character development in these wooden-and-plastic toys generated with pixels in a computer than many a film can achieve with real human beings
Read more here.


Toy Story 2 (1999)
a sequel that is slicker, funnier, more exciting, and more emotional than its forebear. Even if it’s happening more often now, good sequels are still hard to do — trust Pixar to have got there ahead of the pack.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

TV

Class
1x07 The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Grand Tour
1x02 Operation Desert Stumble
[Watch it (again) on Amazon Prime Video.]

Films

Jason Bourne (2016)
[#185 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Collection Count

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

A whole bunch of titles this week leads to some relatively big boosts. It's that time of year -- lots of big releases in the run-up to Christmas. Speaking of which, this will be the last update until deep in December, because I'm going away. The next update may even be post-Christmas, so there'll surely be plenty to mention.

Coincidentally, it's also time for a running time update.

Number of titles in collection: 1,913 [up 5]
Of which DVDs: 1,197 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 718 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 4,915 [up 8]
Number of films in collection: 2,113 [up 5]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,483 [up 6]
Number of short films in collection: 500 [no change]

Total running time of collection (approx.):
363 days, 13 hours, and 47 minutes.
(Up 2 days, 2 hours, and 36 minutes from last month.)

See you next month, faithful reader.

Friday, 25 November 2016

TV

Junior Bake Off
4x07 Heat Seven
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Moonstone
Part 4 (of 5)
Part 5 (of 5)
[Watch parts four and five (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Napoleon (1927)
[#184 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Acts III and IV, including the famous triptych finale.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

TV

The Flash
3x04 The New Rogues

Junior Bake Off
4x06 Heat Six
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Moonstone
Part 3 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Red Dwarf
11x06 Can of Worms [season finale]
Probably the weakest episode of the season, and they save it for last. Shame.

Films

Napoleon (1927)
[#184 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Act II. Two more to go.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

TV

The Moonstone
Part 2 (of 5)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Napoleon (1927)
[#184 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Act I only -- this 5½-hour silent epic is going to take another two or three sittings to get through.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Monday, 21 November 2016

Sunday, 20 November 2016

TV

Castle
7x18 At Close Range

Junior Bake Off
4x03 Heat Three
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

The Deer Hunter (1978)
[#181 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

What Do You Mean You Haven't Seen...? 2016 #11

this week on 100 Films

Once again, it's time for 100 Films in a Year to look back at the past month on TV...




Also this week, I published just 2 brand-new reviews...


Enemy (2013)
There’s no denying that Enemy is atmospheric, but the actual story was a bit too elliptical for my taste. It was all going fairly swimmingly until it suddenly stopped just before it appeared to be going to offer answers. That naturally suggests you need to go back and reconsider / deconstruct what you’ve already seen, but it nonetheless makes it feel a bit frustrating, at least initially, and makes reading theories online a virtual necessity
Read more here.


A Knight's Tale (2001)
Renowned for its anachronistic use of rock music, there’s actually not much of that, but there’s plenty of comedy and adventure — too much: it’s a little long... An able cast keep it ticking: Heath Ledger hefts the derring-do and romance, with comic support from Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, and Paul Bettany; but love interest Shannyn Sossamon is clearly miscast.
Read more here.


Also, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...


Three Kings (1999)
Writer-director David O. Russell may have become increasingly acclaimed this decade with Oscar-nominated movies like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle, but for me this is still his best work. It mixes laugh-out-loud comedy with serious points about war and an ultimately emotional storyline, created with a filmmaking verve that is frequently exciting and inventive
Read more here.


Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Memorable Scene: Remote control car, James Bond style. Bond lies in the backseat of his BMW, driving it around a multi-storey car park with his mobile phone, deploying its weapons against a gang of attackers. It was a fun concept back in ’97, but I imagine you could do it yourself with an app now. Apart from the weapons. And the legal implications. So maybe not.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

TV

Castle
7x17 Hong Kong Hustle

Class
1x06 Detained
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
[#180 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Collection Count

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

I thought there'd be a few more things to report this week, but they didn't materialise in the end, so there's just this:

Number of titles in collection: 1,908 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,196 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 714 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 4,907 [up 5]
Number of films in collection: 2,108 [no change]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,477 [up 10]
Number of short films in collection: 500 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 18 November 2016

TV

The Grand Tour
1x01 The Holy Trinity

"Not At All Like Top Gear, Honest" begins... and is very entertaining, too.

And just in case you forgot that Amazon also own IMDb...


[Watch it (again) on Amazon Prime Video.]

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Monday, 14 November 2016

Sunday, 13 November 2016

TV

Class
1x05 Brave-ish Heart
Including a short educational interlude about Sikhism, apparently.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Junior Bake Off
4x01 Heat One
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Red Dwarf
11x01 Twentica

Films

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
[#176 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

this week on 100 Films

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


Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
Holy nostalgia hit, Batman! This animated movie reunites the surviving stars of the enduringly popular ’60s Batman TV series (and spin-off movie) for a new adventure in the style of their classic ones — that is to say it’s funny and colourful, a world away from the Dark Knight version of Batman we’re so accustomed to these days.
Read more here.


Fantastic Four (2015)
What could have been a comfortable 3-star movie, maybe even 4 if it followed through well enough, is dragged down to 2 by studio meddling. Will they never learn? Nonetheless, I actually enjoyed enough of Fantastic Four that, while it won’t be going on the long-list of contenders for the best movies I’ve seen this year, I won’t be putting it on the list for the worst either.
Read more here.


Moneyball (2011)
it’s like turning on a real game of any sport you know nothing about: you can discern some stuff, but the coverage is not being produced for you. At one point it cuts to a match and a caption informs us it’s the “bottom of the 9th”. I’m sure that means something to baseball fans, but I can tell you the rest of us haven’t got the foggiest. Is the “bottom” at the beginning or the end? The 9th what? And is it the 9th of 9 or the 9th of 10? Or is it the fact it’s the 9th that’s significant here? For Moneyball as a movie in its own right, rather than some niche special interest thing, this attitude is a drawback.
Read more here.


The Survivalist (2015)
’70s self-sufficiency sitcom The Good Life meets bleak post-apocalypse drama The Road in this technically-science-fiction dramatic thriller, the BAFTA-nominated debut of writer-director Stephen Fingleton.
Read more here.


The Visit (2015)
Although Shyamalan has always moved in supernatural circles in his movies, he’s not really directed a proper Horror movie before now. Nonetheless, it’s not surprising that his skill set lends itself to the genre. Although the found-footage format is a little forced at times (isn’t it always?), it’s also used effectively to create some nailbiting sequences, putting you alongside the kids as they fear just what the hell is going in. And some of it is pretty darn freaky.
Read more here.


Also, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...


Star Wars (1977)
Lucas almost instantly conjures up a universe that feels wholly-imagined and genuinely lived-in... Throw in an array of likeable and entertaining characters, plus groundbreaking special effects, and you’re on to a winner. The plot may just be a classical hero narrative, but it’s in space and has laser swords — that counts for a lot.
Read more here.


Team America: World Police (2004)
“Matt Damon.”
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

TV

Castle
7x13 I, Witness

Class
1x04 Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Young Adam (2003)
[2nd watch]

Collection Count

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

Even more stuff! And there'll be more next week. And the week after. And...

Number of titles in collection: 1,907 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,196 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 713 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 4,902 [up 5]
Number of films in collection: 2,108 [up 4]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,467 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 500 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

TV

Castle
7x10 Bad Santa

Films

The Pianist (2002)
[#175 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

What Do You Mean You Haven't Seen...? 2016 #10

I accidentally missed doing one of these in October, and I watched #9 right at the start of September, so it's actually been over two months. Time flies!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Films

Love & Friendship (2016)
[#173 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

Collection Count

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

Another (very) late update thanks to there being a massive load of additions and changes this time, including both DVD-to-Blu-ray upgrades and Blu-ray-to-Blu-ray upgrades to muddy the numerical waters. In all, eleven new titles were acquired, one of which will be somehow integrated into another,* and three titles were removed.**

On the bright side, all of this kerfuffle ended up arriving just inside this week (hence the delay), rather than tipping over to next as I had expected -- so it should be an all-round quieter time next week.

Number of titles in collection: 1,903 [up 7]
Of which DVDs: 1,196 [down 2]
Of which Blu-rays: 709 [up 9]

Number of discs in collection: 4,897 [up 13]
Number of films in collection: 2,104 [up 10]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,467 [no change]
Number of short films in collection: 500 [up 4]

See you next week, faithful reader.


* I bought the Spider-Man Trilogy Blu-ray, which doesn't include the Spider-Man 3 bonus disc; so I also bought the original 2-disc release of Spider-Man 3 to get that disc. Now I have to work out how exactly to sell the duplicate, because... oh, it's quite boring, I'll stop there. Point is: I bought the Spider-Man Trilogy and Spider-Man 3 (2 titles), but because I'll put the latter in the former it goes into my collection as 1 title.

** Talking of Spider-Man, I should really be removing my DVDs of the trilogy now. But the DVD releases of Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 2.1 each have over half-an-hour of special features not duplicated on the Blu-ray; the first film has a few bits & bobs not carried over, as well as being a DVD dear to my heart; and by that point, well, it'd be kinda weird to get rid of Spider-Man 3 (and I have it in an Amazon-exclusive special sleeve to boot). So, for now, they all stay. For now.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

TV

Castle
7x08 Kill Switch

this week on 100 Films

This week on 100 Films in a Year began(-ish) with a look back at last month...




Then, just 2 brand-new reviews were published...


Cool World (1992)
It’s not a fundamentally bad story at a conceptual level, but its execution is a jumble, and the twisted Cool World is an unpleasant place to have to spend time. The darkness of the story is actually toned down from Bakshi’s original concept... but only so much: it’s still full of sex, references to sex, and general depraved behaviour.
Read more here.


The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
It’s even worse than the first one, because it’s boring. Some bits and bobs may actually be improved (some of the direction is slicker; Bella’s terrible voice over is reduced), but goddamn, it’s so dull. So little actually happens. It feels like it’s probably setting things in place for whatever’s to come next for an entire movie.
Read more here.


And The Guest made its UK TV premiere, so I wrote about that...




And finally, my 100 Favourites series continued, also with 2 more posts...


Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man! Spider-Man does whatever a spider can — spins a web any size, catches thieves just like flies. Is he strong? Listen bud, he’s got genetically-modified blood. Wealth and fame he’s ignored, action is his reward… though he’s having doubts about if it’s worth it. With great power comes great responsibility, and neither sit well with a kid who wants a normal life.
Read more here.


Spy Game (2001)
“You don’t just trade these people like they’re baseball cards! It’s not a game!”
“Oh, yes it is. It’s exactly what it is. And it’s no kid’s game either. This is a whole other game. And it’s serious and it’s dangerous. And it’s not one you want to lose.”
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

TV

Arrow
5x01 Legacy

The Great British Bake Off
7x11 Class of 2015 [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Stranger Things
1x08 Chapter Eight: The Upside Down [season finale]

Films

The Witch (2015)
[#171 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

aka The VVitch: A New-England Folktale

Sunday, 30 October 2016

TV

Class
1x03 Nightvisiting
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Stranger Things
1x04 Chapter Four: The Body
1x05 Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat

Would I Lie To You?
10x08 Episode 8
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

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


The Big Short (2015)
The narrative is laden with concepts that are so complicated even people within the industry don’t properly understand all of them (however did the market fail?!), but the movie nonetheless attempts to explain them in an accessible way. It’s half successful: you kind of understand them at the time, about enough to follow along, but the chances of remembering them later are next to naught.
Read more here.


Christine (1983)
about as scary as… well, I was trying to think of something soft and fluffy that hasn’t ever been used in a horror movie, but that list is increasingly short. But you get my point: it’s not scary. Its 18 certificate is earned by an abundance of very strong language — which, according to screenwriter Bill Phillips, was added for that exact purpose
Read more here.


Cover Girl (1944)
Gene Kelly... provides two decent dance numbers: the first alongside Rita Hayworth and Phil Silvers, the second alongside himself, double exposure allowing his shop-window reflection to leap into the street. Otherwise the songs are forgettable, despite the fact it won an Oscar for its score
Read more here.


Doctor Strange (2016)
the story is familiar — but you can say that about most superhero movies, especially origin films. It’s only a problem if you think movies are entirely about their plot. What Strange offers to accompany this through-the-motions narrative is its visuals, and oh, what visuals they are. You’ve likely seen some of it in the trailers — the folding cities, which look like Inception run through a kaleidoscope. Certainly, their complicated detail and intricacy leaves Nolan’s movie in the shade.
Read more here.


The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (2016)
If you suffered through The Rocky Horror Glee Show, as I did, you’ll know it was a travesty. Is this even worse? Well, that’s a bit like someone forcing you to eat a dog shit and a cat shit before asking you which tasted nicer. That’s a little unfair: the Glee version was meritless; this one has a couple of minor plus points — so maybe it’s like someone making you eat a very small shit while occasionally showing you a picture of a sexy half-naked person. But unless someone forces you to choose between only this and Glee, there’s no earthly reason to do this particular Time Warp again.
Read more here.


Also, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...


Sideways (2004)
“If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any fucking Merlot!”
Read more here.


The Sixth Sense (1999)
M. Night Shyamalan gets such a bad rep these days, it’s easy to forget how great his breakthrough movie was... even before that ending, it manages to mix plausible emotional drama with scenes of chilling everyday horror, crafting something that is undoubtedly a genre movie but also not out of place in a list of Best Picture nominees.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Collection Count

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

Slightly delayed again this week thanks to a big set turning up on Saturday afternoon that I then had to include.

Of note this week: I've hit exactly 700 Blu-rays. Next week: I'll probably pass 1,900 overall titles.

Also, it's the monthly running time update. Yay!

Number of titles in collection: 1,896 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,198 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 700 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 4,884 [up 12]
Number of films in collection: 2,094 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes in collection: 7,467 [up 15]
Number of short films in collection: 496 [no change]

Total running time of collection (approx.):
361 days, 11 hours, and 11 minutes.
(Up 18 hours and 16 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

TV

Castle
7x04 Child's Play

The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice
3x09 Episode 9
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Stranger Things
1x01 Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers
Finally getting round to what may be the most talked-about show of the year. It's an intriguing start, but it's got a long way to go to justify the hype.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Films

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
[#167 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

The Transporter Refuelled (2015)
[#166 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]

this week on 100 Films

It's the time of the month for 100 Films in a Year to look back at recent TV...




Also this week, I published 4 brand-new reviews...


Caesar Must Die (2012)
On the surface, this is a documentary about the inmates of Rome’s high-security Rebibbia prison — many of them with mafia connections — putting on a performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. However, it becomes clear fairly quickly that it’s all been staged... The question becomes: is that a problem? Because while it isn’t a documentary, it also is a documentary.
Read more here.


Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Unlikely stories can make great movies, or at least fun ones, and if this isn’t the former then it’s largely the latter... Boasting a typically witty script from Aaron Sorkin, and a cast (including Philip Seymour Hoffman) capable of delivering it, it makes a potentially grim topic surprisingly entertaining
Read more here.


Lost River (2014)
there’s definitely some magical realism going on... Adult fairytale would be another term for it; there are slices of some form of Gothic, too. To put it another way, it’s definitely Lynchian. Other directors may have been an influence on Gosling as well, but it specifically brought Blue Velvet to mind for me, without in any palpable way being a clone of that movie.
Read more here.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
very ’70s in its bleakness; also in being about someone sticking it to The Man, and The Man winning. We often conflate such qualities with realism — “it’s not all happy, it must be more like real life” — but I wonder if Cuckoo’s Nest is actually too on the nose as an indictment of the system.
Read more here.


Finally, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...


Serenity (2005)
the real star is Whedon’s screenplay. Packed to the gills with the literate, witty dialogue he’s famed for, it also manages to be emotionally affecting, make points about governments and their power, engage with themes of belief and the importance of freedom, and weave in a subtext that reflects the real-life story of Firefly’s death and rebirth — though Whedon claims that last one was an accident.
Read more here.


The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
exactly the kind of movie primed to emerge as a consensus favourite: it has drama and darkness, but also humour and optimism, and elicits emotions across the spectrum — it’s neither too grim to depress people into not enjoying it, nor too sentimental to make them do that mock “throwing up” noise some people do when things get really schmaltzy.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

TV

Black Mirror
2x02 White Bear

Class
1x01 For Tonight We Might Die
The new Doctor Who spin-off has a strong start here. It's basically The Sarah Jane Adventures multiplied by Torchwood, but with a good set of characters to help enliven that familiar format. Similarly, the bit where it tips its hat to all the other TV shows with a similar basic setup is funny, but does make you wonder how it might fare in the longer run. We'll see -- it's earnt a chance.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Great British Bake Off
7x09 Patisserie Week
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again
[#165 in 100 Films in a Year 2016]
Coming to Sky Cinema over here next Friday, when I'll review it.