Sunday 30 October 2011


Have I Got News For You
42x02 (21/10/11 edition; extended repeat)
The coincidence of which editions Alexander Armstrong has hosted in the past few years is quite incredible.

3x25 (18/10/10 edition)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

10x06 Episode 6 [series finale]
So here we are -- after 10 years, 86 episodes, and almost every main character dying (seriously, although two of the original three leads escaped alive, almost every other main character has been killed off), Spooks comes to an end. It long ago fell from the heights of its realism-based early years, if you ask me -- anyone remember the whole episode Danny spent mulling over whether it was OK to assassinate someone? They did that kind of thing in a heartbeat in later years -- it remained a decent enough spy thriller/action series to the end.
Indeed, the final episode was one of the best for a while, with a genuinely tense climax -- the benefit of it being the last-ever episode I suppose, in which Anything Can Happen more readily than in a regular episode. Great cameo in the closing moments too, though it's a shame they didn't use him a bit more. I also think it ended on pretty much the right note at the very end. Job well done, Kudos.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
[2nd watch]
Probably the most-derided of the X-Men films, I actually quite liked this. In part, I'd already heard all the dreadful reviews before I went in, so my expectations were probably suitably lowered. I haven't watched it since that first cinema viewing (two-and-a-half years ago, when it was #23 in 100 Films 2009), and seeing it again on Blu-ray I still don't think it's too bad. OK, it has some awful CGI, a miscast Gambit, bastardised Deadpool, and a pile of clich├ęs, but despite that...


Nightwing #1 by Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows
The final addition to my regular reads from DC's New 52, because apparently it's very good -- well, it is -- and apparently is going to be quite closely connected to what's going on in Batman. Don't know about the latter yet, but as one features someone out to kill Bruce Wayne (not Batman) and this features someone out to kill Dick Grayson (not Nightwing), I can see the potential for a link. Mind you, if they're not connected then these writers ought to talk to each other more.


The Lists: Top 10 scary PG-rated films by Guy Lodge
(from HitFix)
Rather than the regular "greatest horror movie" Halloween list, HitFix instead takes a look at the ten most frightening family 'friendly' movies. And some of them are properly scary too.

Halloween treats from the Ebert Club! by Roger Ebert
(from Roger Ebert's Journal)
That title's completely irrelevant, but still, that's what it's called. Anyway, this is about sweded films -- that's no-budget home-made abridged/parody versions of well-known movies. The term comes from Be Kind Rewind, as I'm sure you'll know if you've seen it (I rather liked it, incidentally), and it's gone on to be quite a big cult -- there's a Swede Fest, for instance, which is what this article is about. There's a very impressive swede of The Avengers trailer there as an example, and you can see just how good it is on the side-by-side comparison.

this week on 100 Films

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

The Damned (1963)
an interesting film, but one that is perhaps somewhat undercut by its age; a kind of ’60s SF that would probably require a distinctly different approach if you were to attempt to make it today. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it has that kind of disconnect from reality that’s markedly ’60s.

The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Many other Disney films have stand-out sequences; things to latch an appreciation on to. The best often have several of these stacked up, in some cases non-stop from start to finish. The Princess and the Frog is missing anything like that, but what it has instead is a very consistent tone, where the musical numbers fit effortlessly into the flow of the story rather than stopping the film for a showpiece.

Plus, as it's Halloween tomorrow, a review of the final Saw film will be available after midnight here.

More next Sunday.