Sunday 16 December 2018


Best Christmas Ever with Alexander Armstrong
[Watch it (again) on the ITV Hub.]

The Royal Variety Performance 2018
I used to watch this every year but haven't for yonks (this ever-handy blog informs me it was 2012). This year I only watched because it was on shortly after the aforementioned Christmas programme and I got sucked in. And it was actually rather good on the whole, I thought.
[Watch it (again) on the ITV Hub.]

this week on 100 Films

The week began with a special announcement at 100 Films in a Year...

Click the image for more.

After that, 5 brand-new reviews were published this week...

Light the Fuse... Sartana is Coming (1970)
Arrow’s blurb claims this “brings the series to a fine conclusion”; that it “sees Sartana sign off on a high [in] one of the best entries in the series”. I’d almost go so far as to say the opposite — it was one of my least favourite. There’s fun along the way, to be sure, but the plot borders on the meaningless and therefore becomes a tad boring. It’s not a bad film, as this series goes, but it certainly feels like a generic one.
Read more here.

A Monster Calls (2016)
The most immediately striking element of A Monster Calls may be that it stars a giant tree monster with the grumbling voice of Liam Neeson, but this isn’t just a fantasy adventure, it’s a powerfully emotional drama about the pain of impending loss and grief. In this respect it’s not just a good movie, but potentially an important one — I can imagine it being of great help to children who find themselves in similar circumstances
Read more here.

The Shape of Water (2017)
I still can’t quite believe a creature-feature fantasy romance won Best Picture. It remains surreal to see a genre movie conquer the Oscars like that. Even The Lord of the Rings, for all its so-Fantasy-it-defined-the-genre-ness, has a lot of the “historical war epic” in its form (not to mention the genre-transcending cultural impact that film trilogy had), and so its win seems less striking than this out-and-out monster movie. Naturally, The Shape of Water doesn’t actually conform to the commonly-understood connotations of what a “monster movie” is, and therein lies what makes it something fresh, and therefore Best Picture material.
Read more here.

Shrek Forever After (2010)
DreamWorks’ golden-goose animated franchise was running out of fairytales to subvert, so this fourth — and final (for the time being) — movie turns its attention on the series itself... The filmmakers take this as an opportunity to give us a look at how characters might’ve turned out in a Shrek-less world... and it’s in this upending of familiarity that the film finds its greatest entertainment value.
Read more here.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
lives up to the hype, if you give it the time to get there. It's a movie that will satisfy comic book fans in particular, I think, but also anyone who enjoys animation as an artform. This isn't your standard Disney/Pixar/Illumination/etc fare, but a thrillingly-realised vision of what animation can do.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.