Sunday, 31 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x12 Boy-the-Earth-Talks-To [season finale]

+ the second commentary on episode 11, by Ian McShane and Paula Malcolmson, which is probably the weakest so far -- lots of pauses, hardly any information. As a set, these tracks have almost been enough to put me off ever listening to a cast commentary ever again!

Films

Paperman 3D (2012)
[#48a in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Wreck-It Ralph 3D (2012)
[2nd watch]
Rewatchathon 2019 #12

this week on 100 Films

As March draws to a close, it was time for the monthly TV review at 100 Films in a Year...





Plus, there were 4 new film reviews...


Black Narcissus (1947)
It’s difficult to sum up and rate my reaction, because I feel like I missed something — not literally (I followed the plot ‘n’ that), but like I didn’t understand something about it. And yet I was engaged throughout, it’s gorgeous to look at, and the final 20 minutes are stunning on every level.
Read more here.


The Highwaymen (2019)
There’s a fair chance you know the story of Bonnie and Clyde, but what about the story of the guys who got ’em? For all the Robin Hood-esque heroism that was conveyed upon them by the media at the time and then cemented in subsequent fictional retellings, they were still murder-happy criminals. The Highwaymen sets out to do its part in rectifying this by introducing us to Frank Hamer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson), a pair of retired Texas Rangers who were reinstated in early 1934 to track down Bonnie and Clyde and put an end to their crime spree.
Read more here.


Skyscraper (2018)
It’s an undemanding 90-minutes-or-so of derring-do, where the scenarios are so extreme and OTT they can’t elicit much tension, but occasionally achieve a modicum of suspense nonetheless. And as so much of it is about doing things at great distances above the ground, it’s highly effective in 3D. One near-miss moment even made me gasp, so it was obviously doing something right with its sense of jeopardy.
Read more here.


You Were Never Really Here (2017)
if the combination of “genre: thriller” and “using a hammer to take out bad men” makes you think the film is about to unleash a low-budget action-fest upon your eyeballs, I refer you back to the writer-director being Lynne Ramsay and my mention of “arthouse idiosyncrasies”. I thought I’d mention this point upfront because I’ve seen others be disappointed by the lack of overt action in the film. Ramsay has instead chosen to keep most of the violence offscreen
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x11 The Whores Can Come
+ the audio commentary by actors Timothy Olyphant and Anna Gunn. As ever, Olyphant is committed to offering no useful information, but the track is at least amusing at times.

Films

The Highwaymen (2019)
[#48 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Collection Count

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

Only one new addition this week. However, I noticed that somehow my Blu-ray count had got completely out of whack, dating all the way back to the start of February! I've now corrected all the posts in between (I think), so all the maths makes sense now.

Number of titles in collection: 2,199 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,134 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 1,065 [up 1]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 24 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 5,700 [up 2]
Number of films: 2,517 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes: 8,427 [no change]
Number of short films: 654 [no change]

Also this week, time for the monthly running time update...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
419 days, 3 hours, and 33 minutes.
(Up 17 hours and 31 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 29 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x09 Amalgamation and Capital
2x10 Advances, None Miraculous

I would say this was as much of a two-parter as the season opener, yet no such labelling this time. It doesn't matter, obviously, it's just the kind of silly inconsistency that bothers me.

Also listened to the commentary on Advances, None Miraculous by John Hawkes and Paula Malcolmson, who are an odd pair to choose as they’re not in this particular episode that much. Maybe whoever was organising the commentaries hoped the commentators would talk more generally about their experience on the show, but so far they've all stuck pretty thoroughly to just discussing what's on screen.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

TV

Death in Paradise
8x08 Episode 8 [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Poirot
11x03 Third Girl [2nd watch]

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

TV

Death in Paradise
8x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Father Brown
7x03 The Whistle in the Dark
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Pointless
The Good, the Bad and the Bloopers
Marking ten years of the quiz show. Ten years! Where does time go?!
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monday, 25 March 2019

TV

Death in Paradise
8x05 Beyond the Shining Sea Part One
8x06 Beyond the Shining Sea Part Two
[Watch parts one and two (again) on iPlayer.]

Articles

The surreally incompetent Not Another Not Another Movie is beneath contempt
by Nathan Rabin (from the A.V. Club)

This was recently added to Amazon Prime Video, so I looked up reviews. It sounds so unremittingly terrible that, perversely, I now want to watch it.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x08 Childish Things
+ the second audio commentary on episode seven, by actors Powers Boothe and Garret Dillahunt.

I'm going to be away from home for most of next week, so my Deadwood viewing will have to take a brief hiatus. At time of writing HBO still haven't scheduled the new movie, so there should be plenty more time for me to finish the series before that comes along.

Death in Paradise
8x04 A Different Story
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

this week on 100 Films

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


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
Normally I’d explain the plot round about now, but, frankly, I can’t be bothered. It entirely spins out of what transpired in the first movie; having not seen that since it was in cinemas over two years ago, I frequently struggled to keep up, scrounging around in my memory for the ins and outs of a story I didn’t realise I needed to thoroughly revise. That’s to say nothing of all the other stuff it dregs up from the depths of Harry Potter mythology.
Read more here.


Sanjuro (1962)
I found it more readily enjoyable than Yojimbo. It’s got a straightforward but clever plot, plenty of funny bits that don’t undermine the rest, and some decent bursts of action.
Read more here.


Zatoichi and the Fugitives (1968)
The fugitives provide quite the challenge for Ichi, almost defeating him at one point. Naturally, our hero comes out on top in the end: spurred by righteous anger, his final-act slaughter is even more brutally efficient than normal. Having been shot and nearly killed in his first attempt at a climactic showdown, Ichi ain’t messing around the second time. Well, they have it coming. They’re a vicious lot, happily slaughtering innocents on practically anyone’s say-so, at one point even coming this close to murdering a baby. Indeed, this is quite a tonally dark instalment of the series.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x07 E.B. Was Left Out

+ the audio commentary by actors Kim Dickens, William Sanderson, and Dayton Callie, a very laidback and chatty trio. I think Sanderson was trying to do a proper commentary, at least at times, but Callie keeps derailing it.

Films

Escape from New York (1981)
[#47 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Starship Troopers (1997)
[#46 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]
Blindspot 2019 #3

Collection Count

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

Six new purchases this week, including a DVD-to-BD upgrade, a BD-to-4K upgrade, and four fresh Blu-rays.

Number of titles in collection: 2,198 [up 5]
Of which DVDs: 1,134 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 1,064 [up 6]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 23 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 5,698 [up 8]
Number of films: 2,516 [up 4]
Number of TV episodes: 8,427 [up 4]
Number of short films: 654 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 22 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x06 Something Very Expensive

The Twilight Zone
3x24 To Serve Man
The top episode according to IMDb users seemed to pack more of a punch to me, even if it's main success lies in waiting 25 minutes for a killer punchline.

DVD Extras

Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create - Sanjuro
As I watched all of Yojimbo's extras when I watched the film (apart from the audio commentary), here I am settling up with Sanjuro's. Yes, I've been meaning to watch this since I watched that film 9 months ago -- where does time go?!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x05 Complications (Formerly "Difficulties")
+ the audio commentary by exec producer, and director of this episode, Gregg Fienberg.

The Twilight Zone
1x22 The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
With a new revival on the way, Screen Crush published a ranking of all 156 episodes of the original series. I've always meant to watch some, so now seemed like a good time. This was their #1 pick. It was good, though it felt like a familiar analogy I've seen before. Maybe everyone was copying this.

Films

You Were Never Really Here (2017)
[#45 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x04 Requiem for a Gleet

+ the audio commentary on episode three by creator David Milch, which includes a chunk where he explains the thinking behind a scene from the pilot!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x03 New Money

+ the commentary on episode one by Molly Parker and Anna Gunn. Several episodes this season have more than one commentary, so I'm going to be a bit out of sync with those at times.

Films

Upgrade (2018)
[#44 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Monday, 18 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
2x01 A Lie Agreed Upon Part I [2nd watch]
2x02 A Lie Agreed Upon Part II

I always find it fascinating when series that are one long narrative decide to label a pair of episodes a two-parter, because why? Why are these two episodes deemed halves of a whole when every episode is one sliver of the bigger whole? Often it feels like there’s no compelling reason why those two episodes are titled to imply they should be considered as one (though I can’t think of any specific examples right now). As for this two-parter, at the end of the first half it seemed to confirm my suspicion that was the case again, but as part two took shape it became clear it was indeed still dealing with the specific events of part one, rather than things that shape the overall season. So, fair enough.

Plus I listened to the audio commentary on Part I by Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane. Early on, Olyphant notes he’s received letters complaining that their commentary on season one was not informative enough, and so the pair resolve to make this commentary... even less informative. I'd say they succeed, but it's funny along the way.

Films

Brigsby Bear (2017)
[#43 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Samaritan Zatoichi (1968)
[#42 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Sunday, 17 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x12 Sold Under Sin [season finale; 2nd watch]

+ the audio commentary by stars Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane, which is perhaps the least genuinely informative of the season, but once they warm up it is quite irreverently fun.

this week on 100 Films

You could say this is the "last fortnight on 100 Films in a Year" because I didn't post an update last week, but that's because there was nothing to report! In the last week, though, there have been 6 new reviews...


Deadpool 2: Super Duper $@%!#& Cut (2018)
It runs almost 15 minutes longer than the theatrical cut... The Blu-ray’s scene selection menu offers an indication of which chapters feature new material, and the answer is “most of them” — those 15 minutes are spread relatively thinly throughout almost the entire film. There are a handful of wholly new scenes (as many as ten, depending how you count it), most of them quite short (one is under nine seconds), a couple of extended fight sequences, and then lots of added lines here and there. Plus there’s a smattering of gags that have been changed for alternatives.
Read more here.


Free Solo (2018)
“Anyone can be happy and cosy. Nothing good happens in the world by being happy and cosy.” So says Alex Honnold, the subject of this documentary, when discussing the different approaches to life of his girlfriend, who he thinks wants to be “happy and cosy”, and himself, who seeks perfection in extreme endeavour. It’s as succinct a summation of his attitude to life as any in this Oscar-winning documentary.
Read more here.


Mandy (2018)
Mandy is today’s premiere on Sky Cinema, which feels like an ill fit to me. Maybe I’m being unfair, but I always feel like Sky Cinema (and by extension its viewer base) is much more focused around mainstream blockbuster kind of movies, especially for a Saturday premiere. Instead, it feels like Mandy should be making its TV debut on Film4 at about 11pm in the middle of the week. I can see some tuning in expecting a violent revenge action-thriller and giving up after a few minutes of its particular weirdness. For those on its wavelength, however, it’s an experience (and it’s definitely an experience) that’s thrilling in very a different way.
Read more here.


NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Princess Mononoke's original Japanese trailers emphasise that it’s “13 years after NausicaƤ”, which intrigued me, because director Hayao Miyazaki had made plenty of other films in between. But, having watched the earlier movie, the connection and similarities become clear: NausicaƤ features an ecological message, a threat from nature that isn’t, industrial humans (with a female general) being the actual villains, innocent townsfolk that need saving, a princess who’s the only one who understands, and a boy from a different kingdom who helps her. They’re not identical, of course, but there’s a lot of overlap…
Read more here.


Princess Mononoke (1997)
Miyazaki has imagined a very lyrical and meaningful story, about nature vs industry, and their possible coexistence. The theme isn’t exactly subtle in the film, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t well portrayed. He’s populated the narrative with interesting characters, too. There’s little easy right or wrong here, with those on all sides coming across as nuanced individuals, with complicated relationships.
Read more here.


Triple Frontier (2019)
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but I think some of the commentary dismissing it as mere standard fare has done it some disservice. As a heist/action movie it’s more than competent, with some turns and developments that keep it surprising and fresh, and visuals that reward seeing it on the best-quality screen you can.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x11 Jewel's Boot is Made for Walking [2nd watch]

Films

Downsizing (2017)
[#41 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

The Italian Job (1969)
[#40 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

The Italian Job (2003)
[2nd watch]
Rewatchathon 2019 #11

The original Italian Job is so gloriously '60s — irreverent, mischievous, anarchic — but I do enjoy the blockbuster slickness of the remake as well.

Collection Count

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

This week's additions include the latest Doctor Who: The Collection box set release, covering season 18. For the first time in this range, it allows me to ditch the DVD copies of every story in the season (as they go about these re-releases they're moving some of the old special features around, so I'm hanging on to some DVDs just in case they never finish the project and I still want those extras). For similar reasons, it also allows me to get rid of a DVD that was rereleased in a different Blu-ray box set, meaning the net total of TV episodes actually goes down a little.

I also acquired two new film Blu-rays, which altogether sends the numbers into the following tizzy of varying ups and downs...

Number of titles in collection: 2,193 [down 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,135 [down 4]
Of which Blu-rays: 1,058 [up 3]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 22 [no change]

Number of discs in collection: 5,690 [up 3]
Number of films: 2,512 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes: 8,423 [down 3]
Number of short films: 654 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 15 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x10 Mister Wu [2nd watch]

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x07 Bullock Returns to the Camp [2nd watch]

Films

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
[3rd watch]
Rewatchathon 2019 #10

Monday, 11 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x06 Plague [2nd watch]

Films

Free Solo (2018)
[#36 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Shaft (2000)
[#37 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]
Would it've been cool if they'd gone ahead and called this Shaft 2000? I feel like it would've. Maybe by the year 2000 the idea that sticking 2000 on a title would make it cool was over, I dunno, but I feel like it would've worked. (And because they didn't, by this summer we'll have three movies called simply Shaft that all actually exist in the same continuity. Madness.)

Sunday, 10 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x05 The Trial of Jack McCall [2nd watch]

+ the audio commentary by actors Brad Dourif and Robin Weigert. It was only sporadically illuminating again, bit I kind of feel I've committed myself to watching them now.

Films

Crocodile Dundee (1986)
[2nd or so watch]
Rewatchathon 2019 #9

Skyscraper 3D (2018)
[#35 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Saturday, 9 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x04 Here Was a Man [2nd watch]

+ the audio commentary by actors Molly Parker and Keith Carradine. It starts off even more reticent than Milch’s on the pilot, but there are a couple of interesting nuggets.

Films

Mandy (2018)
[#34 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Collection Count

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

Number of titles in collection: 2,194 [up 1]
Of which DVDs: 1,139 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 1,055 [up 1]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 22 [up 1]

Number of discs in collection: 5,687 [up 2]
Number of films: 2,510 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes: 8,426 [no change]
Number of short films: 654 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

TV

Deadwood
1x01 Deadwood [2nd watch]

With a continuation movie finally on the way sometime soon ("spring" is the official date and, well, it's already March), it's about time I did something I've been meaning to do for a very, very long time: finish Deadwood -- which begins by rewatching what I'd seen before, i.e. season one and the first episode or two of season two. Frankly, I thought it got off to a bit of a slow start, and it's remarkable how dated it looks (it is almost 15 years old, mind), but we'll see.

I also listened to the audio commentary on this episode by creator & episode writer David Milch, which was sometimes interesting but rather patchy. It was also riddled with spoilers for later in the season, some of which I fortunately remembered from my previous viewing, some of which I didn't. Oh well.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Films

The Matrix (1999)
[5th watch]
Rewatchathon 2019 #8. I can't remember when I last watched The Matrix, but it's not logged on here, so it's been at least 11 years. It still holds up, of course.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Films

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
[#30 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

this week on 100 Films

After a few fairly quiet weeks at 100 Films in a Year, it's kind of a busy one! Firstly, now that it's March, my look back at February...





There was also my monthly TV review...





And 2 new film reviews were published too...


Green Book (2018)
White people tell black people all about racism (again) in this year’s surprise Best Picture victor... The reaction to Green Book has been an odd one. It was initially well received, winning the People’s Choice Award after its premiere at TIFF, and racking up acclaim from both critics (a Certified Fresh 79% on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (8.3 on IMDb, which places it 128th on their Top 250 list). But the more widely it’s been seen and discussed, the more the tide has turned, especially as a more diverse audience has come to it.
Read more here.


Serenity (2019)
Sorry, Browncoats — this has nothing to do with Joss Whedon’s sci-fi classic. But if you’re instead worried this might supplant that in the general consciousness, never fear: despite coming with the pedigree of a cast headlined by Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway (plus Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou, and Diane Lane), and a quality writer-director in Steven Knight (the man behind Locke and Peaky Blinders), this Serenity is a dud of epic proportions. I mean, the fact that, even with those names involved, it’s being dumped in the UK as a Sky Cinema Original should tell you something…
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

TV

Friends
1x01 The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate [many-th watch]

Can't believe it's over five years since I last started a watch-through of Friends! And this isn't even that, just an episode watched at random by accident. May need to do a full rewatch soon, though...

Films

Swimming with Men (2018)
[#29 in 100 Films in a Year 2019]

Collection Count

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

This week, a trilogy box set gets upgraded from Blu-ray to UHD, which would normally mean more discs, but my previous set is so old it has digital copies on discs, one per film, so the UHD discs just replace those in the count. On the other hand, another trilogy box set gets upgraded from Blu-ray to UHD, adding both UHD discs and special features discs in the process. With two brand-new regular Blu-rays and a DVD-to-Blu-ray upgrade as well, the number of new titles is five, but the final count looks like this...

Number of titles in collection: 2,193 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,139 [down 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 1,054 [up 3]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 21 [up 2]

Number of discs in collection: 5,685 [up 11]
Number of films: 2,509 [up 2]
Number of TV episodes: 8,426 [no change]
Number of short films: 655 [up 1]

Oh, and it's already time for a monthly running time update! Feels like only the other day I was doing the last one of these...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
418 days, 10 hours, and 2 minutes.
(Up 23 hours and 34 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 1 March 2019

TV

British History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley
1x03 The Jewel in the Crown [series finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Insert Name Here
4x05 Harry
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

QI
16x13 Phenomenal
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]