Sunday 30 December 2012


Celebrity Mastermind
2012-13 Episode 2 (of 10)
2012-13 Episode 3 (of 10)
[Watch episodes two and three (again) on iPlayer.]

James May's Toy Stories
Flight Club
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Little Crackers
3x04 Nutcracker
3x05 The Autograph
Being, respectively, Caroline Quentin's and Alison Steadman's. (And I must add, it's a complete accident I watched these in 'order' and following on from watching two and three on Friday -- they're listed randomly on Virgin's catch-up and so I've been choosing them randomly.)

10x14 Jingle Bells (XL edition)
If for any reason anyone persists in watching the 30-minute edition, they really do miss out on some quite interesting stuff.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Stiff Upper Lips (1998)
[#96 in 100 Films in a Year 2012]

this week on 100 Films

The 100 Films 2012 Advent Calendar came to an end this week and... golly, was Christmas less than a week ago? Feels forever!

Anyway, that means two brand-new reviews were published to finish that off, and they were...

Cowboys & Aliens: Extended Director's Cut (2011)

It’s still an action-adventure summer blockbuster, but with pretensions at times to be a Western drama. I think that’s the fundamental problem with the entire film, and probably why it feels slow... One wonders if these particular writers, versed in the art of the blockbuster, don’t really know what they’re doing.

Read more here.

Skyfall (2012)

I had been intending to write a sort-of commentary on Skyfall, talking through my opinion of the film on a scene-by-scene basis. But then I thought it a bit too distant to write now. And then I sat down and it happened anyway. So here is a 4,400 word (yes, really) natter through the film in broadly chronological order, but taking asides to discuss particular elements in their entirety.

It contains whopping great spoilers about almost everything, just in case you hadn’t guessed.

Read more here.

With the advent calendar over, I've returned to reposting old reviews. Also new to the new blog, then, were...

Alice in Wonderland (3D) (2010)

Burton has created a sort of "Alice 2", crafting a new plot from the novels’ elements... Consequently, this new Alice positions itself freshly in two ways: one, as “Burton’s version”, and two, by following in the footsteps of the specific side of the filmic fantasy genre started by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

Read more here.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Despite the modern stylings, dark themes and attention-grabbing characters, much of the film unfolds as a procedural whodunnit like, for instance, the Wallanders, complete with piles of red herrings and last-minute twists.

Read more here.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

One solution to the sequel problem is to “make it personal”, and that’s exactly what we get... A journalist and his girlfriend working for Mikael are murdered and Lisbeth is suspected of the crime. It’s somewhere around here that the coincidences begin to pile up. It makes perfect sense as a plot in itself, but in bringing Mikael and Lisbeth back together it doesn’t work.

Read more here.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (2009)

The final third of the film is dominated by a series of immensely satisfying courtroom scenes in which the defence trounce the opposition, not through American-esque grandstanding but through a quiet and thorough application of facts and truth. You can see the satisfaction bubbling under Lisbeth’s almost-static face as the prosecution unknowingly hang themselves

Read more here.

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

I saw a trailer for How to Train Your Dragon a few months before release. I thought it looked to have basic animation and a too daft tone. I wrote it off, expecting the kind of animated movie that would be slagged off as a Pixar-wannabe… My impression from the trailer was massively wrong. How to Train Your Dragon is, as everyone else has likely already impressed upon you, brilliant.

Read more here.

More next Sunday.