Sunday 28 October 2012


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.]


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


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.