Sunday 14 June 2015


4x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Dogma (1999)
[2nd watch]

Star Wars - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005/2011)
[3rd watch]

After a three-week interruption (for various reasons), the Star Wars re-watch resumes. Sith isn't as bad as the other two prequels, but it's not really as good as the original trilogy, is it? As for the Machete Order, exactly how well it works hinges on how Jedi plays next week...

this week on 100 Films

Five brand-new reviews were published to 100 Films in a Year this week, and they were...

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)
Some claim the film hinges on in-jokes and references to the numerous Partridge series, but that’s poppycock: as someone who’s never watched one, I didn’t even sense I was missing something. Indeed, even as someone who’s never seen the character’s appeal, I thought the film was hilarious.
Read more here.

The Expendables 3 (Extended Version) (2014)
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sylvester Stallone continues his examination of masculinity and machismo amongst older men in this trilogy-forming instalment of his Expendables franchise. You think I’m joking… because I am. But there is actually an element of that in this latest action-fest, as the leader of the titular band of mercenaries chooses to retire his team of ageing soldiers and replace them with younger models.
Read more here.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The film has the feel of an artisan confection: candy-coloured, precisely designed and constructed, sweetly enjoyable, but with a hidden bite. Something like that, anyway.
Read more here.

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
Despite being a moderately-starry big-budget Hollywood effort, Jack the Giant Slayer feels cheap as chips across the board. For starters there’s the woeful screenplay, with its first-draft-level dialogue and poor construction. [Then,] if you told me any of the CG-driven sequences were from a Syfy miniseries, I’d probably believe you.
Read more here.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Part of the setup is “My Fair Lady with gentlemen spies”, as chavvy Eggsy is reshaped to be an old-fashioned besuited gent, inspired by the story of how Dr. No director Terence Young took a rough young Scottish chap called Sean Connery under his wing and taught him how to dress and behave as a gentlemen in preparation for his star-making role as the original superspy. It’s one of those ideas that you wonder why no one thought of developing into a fiction sooner.
Read more here.

Plus seven archive reviews were reposted on the new blog...

Anne Frank Remembered (1995)
In this Oscar-winning documentary, Jon Blair exposes the ‘untold story’ of Anne Frank. He adds to her words with the perspective of her friends, other people who knew her, and relatives of her companions in the annex... The film also reflects on Anne herself, and what it uncovers is not always positive. Such an honest approach could be contentious, but its attempt to uncover the truth — rather than paint a false saintly picture — is admirable.
Read more here.

Cruise of the Gods (2002)
Though the film pokes fun (fairly good-naturedly) at sci-fi obsessives, the underlying story here is about a man overshadowed by his past. In this Rob Brydon gives a strong performance, and he’s ably supported by James Corden in particular
Read more here.

Dark Floors (2008)
You may remember Lordi, the surprise winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. If that doesn’t help, they were the Finnish rockers all dressed up in monster suits. Here in the UK we gave them our highest number of points. You’d be easily forgiven if you had forgotten them, but clearly someone hasn’t as they not only made this film, someone thought they were big enough to use in its promotion — it’s subtitled “The Lordi Movie” on posters, DVD covers and what have you. Maybe they’re still well-known in Europe. Or Finland.
Read more here.

Hamlet (1996)
It’s the first ever full-text screen adaptation, which means it clocks in just shy of four hours; he unusually shot it on 70mm film, which means it looks gorgeous; and, while he grabbed the title role himself, he assembled around him a ludicrously star-packed cast from both sides of the pond... Even Ken Dodd’s in there!
Read more here.

Hamlet (2009)
[A] notable facet of David Tennant’s interpretation of the character is humour. Hamlet’s madness here is almost unrelentingly funny — even in deadly serious situations, like capture following a murder, Tennant’s Hamlet can’t resist taunting the other characters, keeping the viewer onside by keeping his apparent insanity entertaining rather than scary or darkly intense.
Read more here.

Ministry of Fear (1944)
To say too much about what Ministry of Fear is actually about would ruin it, which I don’t want to do because in fact it’s a great twisty little thriller, a rather Hitchcockian ‘wrong man’ tale with a baked MacGuffin
Read more here.

Mrs Brown (1997)
Period drama focusing on the friendship between Queen Victoria and her Highland servant John Brown, alongside political threats faced by the British monarchy in the 1860s.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.