Sunday, 5 January 2014


Doctor Who
33x16 The Time of the Doctor [Christmas special; 2nd watch]

This definitely plays better second time round, I felt, when you're not racing to keep up with all the tiny little throwaway details and work out what the blazes is going on. It has some funny bits, some exciting bits, and most of all some emotional bits: the death of Handles, Clara's grandmother's anecdote, and, a little to my surprise, because I only felt it on second viewing, the Eleventh Doctor's final moments.

That said, it's still an almighty mess in other areas. Things we've been wondering about for years are "explained" with half a line of, "that theory you had? Yeah, that's probably it" -- or, to put it another way, not really explained at all. Kovarian & co blew up the TARDIS? OK, thought as much... but how? And when, exactly? And how was it stopped again? Then there was all the stuff in the episode itself, which was a flood of ideas rushed through without due weight or attention, at times.

And don't get me started on the 13th regeneration explanation. There was such potential for story there, and yet Moffat introduces it as a needless obstacle about halfway through, and then around 20 minutes later solves it with a hand wave. It didn't need to be resolved now, it could've waited -- could've waited for someone who had a decent story based around it -- but no, Moffat must manage and control Who's canon, and so he must engineer a way in which he can sort out the 12 regenerations limit a whole two lives early. Grr.

A mixed bag, then. Hopefully Capaldi's reign will signal a fresh start and a return to a more consistent high standard.

3x02 The Sign of Three

I enjoyed that a lot. Seems there were some complaints online about it going nowhere and being unfocused... but it all came together at the end, which is a lesson in watching something through rather than judging it based on the first 20 minutes. Morons. I imagine some will still have objected to the lighter-than-usual tone, but I thought it was both fun and funny, and had a clever reveal at the end too. Top stuff.

[Watch it (again) in HD on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

No new reviews this week -- but a load of posts nonetheless, because the start of 2014 means it's time to look back on the seventh year of 100 Films in a Year!

As ever, multiple posts make up my review of the year just passed; and as per last year, there are now four of them. So in order we have:

2013 in Review, Part 1
WordPress have produced my annual report... Once you’ve read that, the following will make sense: It wasn’t just new posts that grew the archive of the blog: 141 reposts from 2007-2011 helped increase the tally from last year’s 249.
Read more here.

December 2013
Having set out with the goal of watching one super-acclaimed film per month, I somehow ended up with three to get through come December. That didn’t quite go to plan then. Undeterred, I shall be attempting this again in 2014… even though I wound up only seeing 11 of the 12 films I was supposed to. So what were the final two? Well...
Read more here.

2013: The Full List
2013 As It Happened — links to 2013’s monthly updates, with the chronological list of my viewing;
The List — the full alphabetical list of my viewing;
The Statistics — where I really overanalyse what I’ve watched
Read more here.

2013 In Retrospect
With 2013 completed, listed, and analysed, all that remains is a final bit of reflection: of the 110 films I watched, which were the best? Which were the worst? And what new releases did I miss? Plus, this year you can vote for your favourite of my top ten.
Read more here.

Oh, and I said there were no new reviews, but there was an archive one new to the new blog...

Wild at Heart (1990)
it’s filled with mannered performances that can seem cheaper than those in daytime soaps (I presume this is deliberate); characters and plot threads that meander off and seem pointless; plus it lacks the opaqueness that many seem to hold as the key worthy feature of Lynch’s work.
Read more here.

So that's 2013 done! Aside from the 20 reviews I still have to post, that is. Hopefully, more of them next Sunday.