Sunday 28 December 2014


Celebrity Mastermind
2014/2015 Episode 5 (of 10)
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

James May's Toy Stories
Action Man at the Speed of Sound
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Wrong Mans
2x02 Action Mans/Wise Mans [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011)
[#134 in 100 Films in a Year 2014]

this week on 100 Films

Christmas is over for another year -- well, apart from all the remaining special TV entertainment, and no doubt a big pile of leftovers to eat (am I right?)

Still, technically it's over -- and that means the 100 Films in a Year 2014 Advent Calendar came to a close too. Here are its final reviews, plus one other, making five this week:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
the problem with Marvel’s massive shared universe (where the events of one film impact not only on future films but tie-in TV series, etc) is that, watching Cap 2 just seven months after its release, the film already feels like very old news... it now feels like watching a press conference after you’ve read a summary of the key points: there’s probably something to be gained from experiencing the whole thing, but it’s also like a slow-paced unveiling of surprises you already know.
Read more here.

Frozen (2013)
You don’t need me to tell you that Frozen is a phenomenon [but] you don’t actually have to go very far on the internet to find people baffled by its success. Plenty of people think the music is bland, the characters underdeveloped, the moral and emotional arcs not fully thought-through, the visual style a rip-off from Tangled, and more. While they do have some points, they’re also being a tad harsh.
Read more here.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
leaves you with an instant feeling of having seen a top-quality blockbuster, thanks to its likeable heroes, abundant humour, frequent irreverence, uncommonly colourful visual style, retro-cool soundtrack, and so forth. Unfortunately, once you dig underneath that there’s a little too much that’s rote ‘modern blockbuster’
Read more here.

John Carter (2012)
I was expecting, or perhaps hoping, to like it; to find a misunderstood old-style adventure full of entertainment value. It may be an old-style adventure, but that’s beside the point, because whatever it is, I just felt it wasn’t particularly well made: poorly constructed, weakly performed, lazily (and wrongly) assumptive of the audience’s familiarity with the material.
Read more here.

Seven Samurai (1954)
Despite its epic running time, Seven Samurai isn’t really an epic film — this isn’t the story of a war, or even a battle, but of a skirmish to defend one village. How does it merit such length, then? By going into immense detail, by having plenty of characters to fuel its narrative, and by using the time to familiarise us with these people, so that when the final fight comes, we care what happens.
Read more here.

More next Sunday -- when my year-end wrap-up posts will have started, because it'll be 2015!