Sunday 22 December 2013


The 12 Drinks of Christmas
[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

Only Connect
8x08 Oenophiles v Bakers
First two times I've ever watched non-celebrity Only Connect, and by some weird fluke all four of these teams will make the semifinals, and both losing teams in these episodes will be the finalists!
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

It's the final full week of the 100 Films Advent Calendar 2013, and the means seven brand-new reviews...

A Field in England (2013)
if you’re searching for any kind of mass acceptance you don’t do it with a black-and-white film about a few blokes in period dress running around a field doing weird, inexplicable things. Though you might top it off with a shoot-out that is arguably one of the year’s best action sequences, something Wheatley and co do do.
Read more here.

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
it's directed by a woman, the first noir to be so. We live in an age where a woman has only recently managed to win the Best Director Oscar... Katherine Bigelow received additional praise in some quarters for taking said award while playing in the "men's world" of the action/war movie, but that's also what Lupino did here.
Read more here.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
O’Toole carries us through all this with the skill of a seasoned pro, and yet this was his first major role. No wonder it made him a star over night. He makes every tweak in Lawrence’s attitude plausible; sells both the supreme self-confidence and crushing tumbles to inadequacy. Whatever else is going on, he draws your attention
Read more here.

The Seventh Seal (1957)
A black and white Swedish movie in which a knight ponders the existence of God while playing chess with Death? Yep, here we have the stereotype of arthouse cinema. Let’s be honest, it lives up to most of those expectations.
Read more here.

Shanghai Noon (2000)
There are two reasons we come to a film like this: action and comedy. Some of Chan’s contributions to the former are entertaining, but they’re by no means his best work. Sadly, the latter isn’t that great either. The film works better for both its leads when they’re apart, and that defeats the object.
Read more here.

Shanghai Knights (2003)
as ever, it’s Chan’s action scenes that are the highlight. They’re inventive, exciting, funny, and the speed and dexterity with which they’re performed is often astounding. Those are definitely the reason to watch.
Read more here.

Sharknado (2013)
a defining film of 2013. The volume of conversation it generated, which achieved the near-impossibility of higher viewing figures for its repeats, is exceptional. So I was determined to give it its due in a full-length review. But I can’t be bothered — it doesn’t merit such attention.
Read more here.

That's all for now. More next Sunday.