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.