Monday, 30 July 2018

Films

The Garden of Words (2013)
[#170 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death (1969)
[#169 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Articles

Mission: Impossible – Fallout Director Christopher McQuarrie Breaks Down the HALO Jump Sequence
by Jack Giroux (from /Film)

Fallout's HALO sequence is impressive as it is, but gets even more so when you read how much work it was to achieve.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

TV

Lupin the 3rd: Part IV
1x05 The Magician's Left Hand

Films

Body of Lies (2008)
[#168 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Non-Fiction

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who - Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley
Chapter 11 (pages 162-170)

this week on 100 Films

Time for the monthly TV roundup at 100 Films in a Year...





Plus 5 brand-new film reviews too...


The Great Wall (2016)
the 3D is spectacular. Although it’s a post-conversion, the film definitely seems to have been shot with it in mind. The massive scale of the wall allows for both deep scenery shots and extreme height, especially when we follow the class of warriors who dive off the wall to fight while abseiling down it. Then there are the arrows, throwing axes, leaping monsters, exploding monsters…
Read more here.


The LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017)
It’s good in places, most of it ticking along at a level of passable entertainment — but it ticks along for too long, it’s not funny enough, and it can’t bring it all together in the way the other two films did. It suffers most of all from those comparisons, because it’s simply not a patch on the other two LEGO movies.
Read more here.


Mission: Impossible III (2006)
whenever I watch M:i:III I end up loving it more than I think I will — it’s an incredibly proficient, entertaining action-thriller. That I’d still rank it near the bottom of the franchise says more about the quality of the other instalments than it does the film itself.
Read more here.


Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)
Living up to the hype seemed like an impossible mission all of its own. Well, if there’s one thing Ethan Hunt and his IMF teammates can pull off, it’s… a rubber mask. But if there’s another, it’s the impossible — and how!

...the real point of the movie; the thing the trailers and posters and behind-the-scenes videos have all sold it on: the action sequences. Simply, they’re incredible. Cruise’s dedication to giving the audience something new and exciting and awe-inspiring to watch is second to none.
Read more here.


The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)
If the plot sounds like an adventure movie but also a bit, well, weird, then you’ve probably got a handle on The Navigator already. It’s a men-on-a-mission time travel adventure quest filtered through an arthouse sensibility... So, on the one hand, it can play as a straightforward heroic quest, but the sometimes slow pace and occasional presence of symbolism suggest, on the other, a film with greater depths.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Films

The LEGO Ninjago Movie 3D (2017)
[#167 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

This week, it's time for the monthly running time update. This month, the total crosses 400 days. Not a particularly auspicious number, aside from being a helluva lot.

Number of titles in collection: 2,132 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,157 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 975 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 5,436 [up 2]
Number of films: 2,378 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes: 8,104 [no change]
Number of short films: 619 [up 1]

Total running time of collection (approx.):
400 days, 6 hours, and 21 minutes.
(Up 23 hours and 43 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Films

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
[#163 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Podcasts

The Empire Film Podcast
Christopher McQuarrie Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Special

Empire's legendary near-three-hour chat with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie about Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. That's longer than the film itself, fact fans. And I could happily have listened to a couple of hours more. Looking forward to the one they've recorded for Fallout.

Non-Fiction

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who - Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley
Chapter 10 (pages 135-144)

Sunday, 22 July 2018

TV

Legion
1x08 Chapter 8 [season finale]

Films

Iron Monkey (1993)
[#160 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Non-Fiction

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who - Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley
Chapter 10 (pages 117-127)

this week on 100 Films

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


Despicable Me 2 (2013)
This is a film that rambles around a lot in the telling, presumably out of fear that it might ever become boring to hyperactive youngsters. Unfortunately, it almost had the opposite effect on me. The main plot just felt like a shape on which to hang the romantic and Minion subplots, but those subplots just felt like a constant distraction from the main plot. The end result is a film that’s narratively unsatisfying on all fronts.
Read more here.


Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018)
The 31st official Godzilla film from Japan’s Toho studio is the second part of their anime trilogy. Released theatrically in Japan, it’s a Netflix exclusive in the rest of the world — which is probably for the best, because it means we don’t have to pay money specifically for this shite.
Read more here.


If You Meet Sartana… Pray for Your Death (1968)
in contrast to the rough, dusty Spaghetti Western heroes we’re used to, Sartana cuts quite the dash, smartly dressed in a black suit replete with red-lined cape. He may be an out-for-himself money-centric gunslinger just like the rest, but he’s also a cardsharp for variety, which is revealed in a fun sequence when he joins a poker game shortly after arriving in town. Him pulling a fast one on the other players leads to a stand-off and shoot-out, because what doesn’t in this movie?
Read more here.


Rocky III (1982)
much more action orientated than the first two films. Those were almost social dramas that happen to be about someone who boxes, while this is a sports movie through and through. Stallone once confessed he’d run out of ideas after the first two films, which is why this and Rocky IV focus so much on the fights and training. [Nonetheless,] the action and montages are slick and exciting, making this perhaps the most adrenally satisfying of the series to date.
Read more here.


Zatoichi's Revenge (1965)
Repetitious or not, there’s a lot of really great stuff in Zatoichi’s Revenge to mark it out as another superb entry in the series. I feel like I say something along those lines in almost every review, but the series is on a real winning streak at this point
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

TV

Legion
1x07 Chapter 7

Films

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
[2nd watch]
Rewatchathon 2018 #28

So. Good. And Fallout's meant to be even better? Can't wait.

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

Number of titles in collection: 2,130 [up 3]
Of which DVDs: 1,157 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 973 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 5,434 [up 5]
Number of films: 2,376 [up 3]
Number of TV episodes: 8,104 [no change]
Number of short films: 618 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Monday, 16 July 2018

TV

Legion
1x03 Chapter 3

Films

Rocky IV (1985)
[#152 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Rocky VI (1986)
[#152a in 100 Films in a Year 2018]
No, I didn't accidentally skip one (the sixth film is called Rocky Balboa anyhow) -- this is a parody of Rocky IV, with the Roman numerals inverted for comedic effect. Or something. I dunno. It's not very funny, anyhow -- Rocky IV is a better parody of itself.

Non-Fiction

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who - Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley
Chapter 10 (pages 73-81)

Sunday, 15 July 2018

TV

Films

RoboCop (2014)
[#151 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

this week on 100 Films

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


Mission: Impossible (1996)
it’s funny that people used to regard it as unfollowably complex. I’m not saying the plot is straightforward, but if you pay attention then it’s all there. Obviously it can’t be that there were no complicated movies made before 1996, but I guess because at the time it was a summer blockbuster (not enough CGI or superpowers for that nowadays, of course) people didn’t expect to have to think about the story. Arguably it displays the kind of intricacy and complexity we specifically praise in spy thrillers, meaning the film has actually aged very well indeed.
Read more here.


Paddington 2 (2017)
Famous for its untarnished 100% Rotten Tomatoes score after almost 200 reviews (the best critical record of any film ever), Paddington 2 consequently comes with an awful lot of hype attached — perhaps too much for a movie that is, at heart, just a kind-hearted bit of fun about a marmalade-loving bear. But then, in our current climate, such a film is less barely necessary (unlike many sequels) and more a bear necessity.
Read more here.


Red Sparrow (2018)
the whole movie is sort of… seedy, but without owning it. It wants to be about sex and to somehow be honest about that, while also trying not to titillate in any way. It wants to be realistically violent, while merely being nasty in just one or two scenes. Conversely, it also wants to be a grown-up, labyrinthine Le CarrĂ©-esque thriller, but it’s so busy trying to repeatedly fool you that it forgets to properly engage you.
Read more here.


“Christmas in July” Review Roundup
for people who live in places where 25th December falls in summery weather, all the trappings of the festival don’t feel so appropriate. Hence at some point someone conceived of “Christmas in July”. I don’t think it’s celebrated on a specific date, but it turns out there is a “Christmas in July” in London — a great big marketing event... Well, what could be more Christmassy than massive commercialisation? [It] seemed as good a point as any to post this selection of leftover reviews from the festive viewing I enjoyed seven months ago, including...
- Elf (2003)
- Scrooged (1988)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

TV

2018 World Cup
Third Place Play-off Belgium v England
I watched the first half, and it was so monumentally dull I then went off to do something else. I guess I'm over The Football, then... but I'll be watching tomorrow for the Doctor Who trailer.
[Watch it (again) on the ITV Hub.]

Legion
1x01 Chapter 1
1x02 Chapter 2
I'm finally starting this critically acclaimed X-Men spin-off TV series, which first aired almost 18 months ago and recently finished a just-as-praised second season. It's certainly an... interesting start. I'll reserve full judgement until I've seen more -- there's a lot going on here!

Non-Fiction

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who - Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley
Chapter 9 (pages 54-72)

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

As mentioned last time, a bunch more new titles. Five new additions, one of which teams up with one of last week's to replace a box set, hence the low count of film additions.

Number of titles in collection: 2,127 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,157 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 970 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 5,429 [up 7]
Number of films: 2,373 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes: 8,104 [up 22]
Number of short films: 618 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Films

True Romance (1993)
[#150 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]
Blindspot 2018 #7

+ the alternate ending, both commentaries on it (neither of which is close to covering the whole scene, so they could’ve edited them onto one), and about half-an-hour of Quentin Tarantino's commentary on the film itself.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Films

The Incredibles (2004)
[2nd watch]
Rewatchathon 2018 #27

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

TV

2018 World Cup
Semi-Final Croatia v England
Turns out it's not coming home after all.
[Watch it (again) on the ITV Hub.]

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

TV

2018 World Cup
Semi-Final France v Belgium
When I said I was watching The Football now, I didn't expect it to be all the football. Well, I actually only watched most of the second half, so...
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

Attack on Skull Island
by Max Marshall (from GQ)

The mad, true story of how Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was attacked by gang members in a Vietnam nightclub, and how he tracked them down despite warnings not to go after them.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Films

Never Say Never Again (1983)
[2nd watch]
Rewatchathon 2018 #26

Sunday, 8 July 2018

this week on 100 Films

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


Dudes & Dragons (2015)
the gag rate is alarmingly low. The exposition scenes are balanced on a knife edge where you can’t tell if the actors are playing it tongue-in-cheek because it’s supposed to be humorous, or if it’s because they’re reaching for a florid style that they think is correct for a serious High Fantasy movie. Put another way: take those joke-less scenes out of context and you might think they were just am-dram Fantasy.
Read more here.


Manchester by the Sea (2016)
This is not a plot-driven movie. There’s still a story, obviously, but it’s more of a character study about people coping with grief — not in the wailing, all-consuming way you might typically associate with grief being depicted on screen, but in a more subdued, naturalistic manner. In harmony with that, there’s an element to it which is, not irreverent, but certainly mundane — like making calls to funeral directors over breakfast, for instance — and scattered with darkly comic realities.
Read more here.


Passengers (2016)
Sometime in the future, shortly after mankind has begun to colonise other worlds, the spaceship Avalon is on a 120-year journey to a new planet with thousands of colonist-to-be in hibernation onboard. Just 30 years into the trip, the Avalon strikes an asteroid field, causing a malfunction that wakes up just two passengers: Jim (Chris Pratt), a mechanical engineer, and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), a journalist. Faced with the prospect of never reaching the destination they’d set out for, the pair begin to develop a relationship. Or so the trailer would have you believe (and this is where the spoilers come)
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

TV

2018 World Cup
Quarter-Final Sweden v England
Guess I'm watching The Football now...
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Collection Count

Collection Count tracks my DVD/Blu-ray collection via a number of statistics every week.

This was going to be a relatively large update, but then most stuff didn't turn up as soon as I expected, meaning it'll be counted next week instead, spreading things out a bit. So that's nice.

Number of titles in collection: 2,123 [up 3]
Of which DVDs: 1,157 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 966 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 5,422 [up 4]
Number of films: 2,371 [up 3]
Number of TV episodes: 8,082 [no change]
Number of short films: 618 [up 4]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Films

Galaxy Quest (1999)
[3rd watch]
Rewatchathon 2018 #25

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Films

Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
[#147 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]

Articles

10 secrets about movie trailers – from the people who make them
by Thomas Ling (from Radio Times)

An interesting "behind the scenes" type piece about the reality of how movie trailers are made, and why they are the way they are.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Films

Dudes & Dragons (2015)
[#145 in 100 Films in a Year 2018]
aka Dragon Warriors

Non-Fiction

Space Helmet for a Cow: The Mad, True Story of Doctor Who - Volume 2: 1990-2013 by Paul Kirkley
Chapter 8 (pages 27-39)

this week on 100 Films

Pinch, punch, it's the first of the month, meaning it's time for 100 Films in a Year to look back at June...





Also this past week, a TV review covering Luke Cage season two and the Westworld finale...





And in normal business, there were 5 brand-new reviews...


Call Me by My Name (2017)
It’s an effective and truthful depiction of young love — falteringly, unassured, but driven by powerful emotions and burning lust. Although Oliver initially seems hyper-confident, as he opens up to Elio it becomes clear that this is new for him too, and of course Elio’s only young, inexperienced even with girls at the film’s start, so of course love is a new thing to him. So, in some respects it doesn’t matter that the film’s about a gay relationship — the feeling it conjures of young love is universal. Of course, there are many reasons why it matters immensely that it’s about a gay relationship, but those concerns are largely external to the film itself.
Read more here.


Game Night (2018)
It’s the kind of film where I don’t want to say much more than I already have, because obviously the joy lies in the jokes (and jokes are a lot less funny if you spoil them) and the plot developments. At the risk of just reeling off a list of superlatives, I’ll say that what unfolds is fast, inventive, clever, and, above all, hilariously funny. There are more laughs in its opening montage than many modern comedies manage in a whole film.
Read more here.


Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D (2008)
The key to my enjoyment was watching it in 3D, in which it plays more like a theme park attraction than a movie: from the very beginning it has loads of those “sticking stuff out into the audience” hijinks that no one bothers with anymore (indeed, after watching a dozen other 3D movies on my TV, I don’t think I’ve seen anything poke out before). Gimmicky and in your face (literally) though it may be, the effect works, it’s uncomplicatedly fun, and it makes the movie better just because it’s trying.
Read more here.


Perfect Sense (2011)
there’s more emotional power in the montages about senses and what was being lost — the ideas-y stuff — than there is in the character- and relationship-based bits. Those are actually surprisingly clunky at first, with even McGregor and Green — both actors I like a good deal — struggling to make them work. Things do smooth out in that regard, but the romance plot proceeds to conform to a pretty standard shape. Was the sci-fi crisis meant to reflect the relationship, or is the relationship a down-to-earth framework on which to hang a big sci-fi story? I suspect the latter, because it’s the end-of-the-world theatrics that prove more interesting.
Read more here.


The Snowman (2017)
It’s like the whole thing has been almost-correctly-but-not-quite translated from another language. I’m not just talking about the dialogue (though that’s sometimes that way too), but the very essence of the movie — the character arcs, the storylines, even the construction of individual scenes. Like many a Google Translate offering, you can kinda tell what it’s meant to be, but it doesn’t actually make sense in itself.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.