Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Sunday, 26 March 2023

Films

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
[3rd watch]
[#21 in The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge 2023]

Posted some extended thoughts on Letterboxd.

Collection Count

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

Eight new additions this week, but a mix of upgrades keeps the final tally lower. The big one was Doctor Who season 9, which (for the time being) removes two DVDs (it'll be more once some special features turn up on future releases). I also upgraded John Wick 1 and 2 to 4K, so that's two BDs replaced by a 4K set. And I upgraded Red Eye right from DVD (which I only bought, cheap, a decade ago, because a Blu-ray wasn't forthcoming and I wanted to rewatch it. That disc has never entered a player) to its new 4K release (I will rewatch it this time! I will!)

Anyway, that means that, despite this veritable pile of new stuff sat next to me ony my desk, the net change to titles is only +3.

Number of titles in collection: 3,045 [up 3]
Of which DVDs: 1,032 [down 3]
Of which Blu-rays: 2,013 [up 6]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 242 [up 3]

Number of discs in collection: 7,514 [up 11]
Number of films: 3,730 [up 4]
Number of additional cuts: 307 [no change]
Number of TV episodes: 9,575 [up 16]
Number of short films: 1,044 [up 1]

All of which has happened just in time for the monthly running time update...

Total running time of collection (approx.):
535 days, 8 hours, and 49 minutes.
(Up 2 days, 12 hours, and 37 minutes from last month.)

See you next week, faithful reader.

Saturday, 25 March 2023

Films

John Wick (2014)
[3rd watch]
[#20 in The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge 2023]

+ the first hour of the audio commentary by directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch (before I got tired because it was late).

Thursday, 23 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x29 The Final Phase
aka The Space Museum Part Four, the finale. On the whole, this serial certainly lives down to its reputation. Potentially interesting concepts are tossed away after being barely discussed, never mind explored, paired with a half-arsed rote revolution plotline and dull, poorly-performed villains. Yawn.

+ Defending the Museum, a nine-minute extra in which Dalek and Big Finish writer Robert Shearman explains his love for the serial, though even he admits it has good bits that are drowned out by poor execution.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x28 The Search
aka The Space Museum Part Three. The only group more ineffective than the museum-running Moroks are the native Xeron rebels who would seek to overthrow them, if only they... could be bothered trying? There’s the material here for some kind of satire, or at least a spoof, but nobody’s playing it that way.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x27 The Dimensions of Time
aka The Space Museum Part Two — not to be confused with Dimensions in Time. Neither are Doctor Who at its best, and here the title doesn't even mean anything (it has more to do with the previous episode). The serial's reputation is for a nosedive in quality after the first instalment, so I'm not surprised and only expecting it to get worse...

Would I Lie To You?
15x11 The Best Bits [season finale]
Funny: I don't watch any episodes of this for ages, then get so caught up I've had to jump back to a previously-missed "best of" compilation because there are no new episodes yet. On the bright side, while I remembered most of the stories, I couldn't remember whether they were true or not.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monday, 20 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x26 The Space Museum [2nd watch]
Being the first part of The Space Museum, obviously. Also, the only episode of the serial I've seen before: back in the day, I watched this first part on VHS, but for reason(s) forgotten by time, never finished it. I don't intend for that to happen again!

Sunday, 19 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x25 The Warlords

aka The Crusade Part Four — both the serial's finale and the second of its two missing episodes.

As a whole, there's a lot I like about The Crusade, and I enjoy each episode individually. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add up as a whole; primarily, the pace across all four parts is off, and some of the storylines are ultimately too slight or told in a rush. It’s literally less than the sum of its parts.

Audio Drama

Hell Cats
1x03 Turning Pirate
[Listen to it (again) on Audible.]

Saturday, 18 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x24 The Wheel of Fortune [3rd watch]
aka The Crusade Part Three. As I mentioned on Part One, I'm fairly certain I watched this episode on both The Hartnell Years VHS and the later The Crusade/The Space Museum VHS, which means this serial has a different 'watch count' for almost every episode. Doesn't really matter, but still feels daft. (Even dafter would be to 'correct' it by rewatching only certain episodes. I might be barmy, but I'm not that barmy.)

Would I Lie To You?
16x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Podcasts

David Tennant Does a Podcast with…
1x13 Michael Sheen
1x14 Everyone [season finale]

It's been over two years since I last listened to an episode of this! (Actually, I also listened to the James Corden episode at some point, but apparently forgot to log it. Oops!) Never would've guessed it was that long. I didn't stop because I didn't like it — indeed, quite the opposite: I think Tennant is actually quite a good interviewer, creating a casual atmosphere that encourages his interviewee to open up with an honesty you don't usually get on chat shows — I just don't really 'do' podcasts, so only think to listen to it once in a blue moon, when I can't sleep but don't have the awakeness to read or watch anything, or something like that.

Anyway, rather than continue to continue through them in order, I skipped ahead slightly to a particularly interesting-sounding episodes. The interview with Sheen was recorded after Good Omens wrapped filming but before it aired, so long before Staged and the like came along. It's like a little time capsule.

Collection Count

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

This week's additions include something I've had my eye on for ages: a box set of the 3D films David Attenborough made for Sky, back when they had a 3D channel. Plus two new HK action titles from Eureka. One new release that didn't turn up early: Doctor Who season 9. It'll be here next week, though.

Number of titles in collection: 3,042 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,035 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 2,007 [up 4]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 239 [no change]

Number of discs in collection: 7,503 [up 13]
Number of films: 3,726 [up 13]
Number of additional cuts: 307 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes: 9,559 [no change]
Number of short films: 1,043 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 17 March 2023

TV

Comic Relief 2023
Red Nose Day
The Best of the Best Bits
It's years since I last watched a full Comic Relief (2015, this blog tells me). Indeed, as the best bits segment showed to me, I haven't even watched some of the headline sketches from the last few iterations. But this year promised a few good-looking bits, and I think it mostly delivered. Didn't start well, with a next-to-pointless Doctor Who bit (less a sketch, more a single gag), but at least it recovered with (in particular) Ghosts, The Traitors, Baldrick's bedtime story, the Eurovision auditions, and that musical number about Comic Relief history.
[Watch them (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

A semi-random (they were prompted by rankings on Letterboxd) selection of silent shorts, all watched on YouTube.

The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1897)
[rewatch]

The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1895)
[rewatch]

Grandma's Reading Glass (1900)

The Kiss in the Tunnel (1899)

Articles

Ben Affleck on Air, New CEO Gig and Those Memes: “I Am Who I Am”
by Rebecca Keegan (from The Hollywood Reporter)

Only clicked through to read in full what he had to say about working on Justice League, but turned out to be an interesting interview all-round.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

TV

The Wheel
3x10 Episode 10
[Watch various episodes (again) on iPlayer.]

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x23 The Knight of Jaffa
aka The Crusade Part Two, the first of the serial's two missing episodes. The VHS release came with a CD of the soundtracks for those two episodes, so it's possible I've listened to this before; but I've certainly never watched it in any way, so I don't think this can count as a rewatch. Which is kinda weird — to be able to say I've seen half a serial, but mean alternating parts rather than, say, only the first half — but, eh, that's the crazy world of Doctor Who for you.

Would I Lie To You?
16x06 Episode 6
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Comics

2000 AD #2304

Games

The Adventures of Bryan Scott (demo)

Short demo for a Broken Sword-style point-and-click adventure game that's currently running a Kickstarter. The demo all takes place in the hero's apartment, which is hardly the stuff of high adventure, but hey, that's demoes for you. The production values (i.e. art style and gameplay) and plot setup seem promising enough that I've backed the crowdfunding. (Assuming it's successful, the full game isn't scheduled to release until the end of 2025, so don't expect to see me playing it soon.)

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x22 The Lion [2nd watch]

aka The Crusade Part One.

I've long been uncertain whether I've seen The Crusade or not, but (looking into it before starting the serial on the season 2 Blu-ray set) I've concluded I almost certainly watched the version released on VHS in 1999. That included the then-recently-recovered Part 1, the already-held Part 3 (which I'm fairly certain I'd already seen on the Hartnell Years VHS), and narration by William Russell, in character as Ian, to fill us in on Parts 2 and 4.

Anyway, personal admin aside, I rather enjoyed this. Clearly pure historicals aren't popular with a lot of people, otherwise we'd have seen their revival by now (I still find it a little remarkable that, 17 years and over 140 stories into nuWho, they've not even tried the format once), but I find I tend to enjoy them, and this first instalment sets out the serial's stall with all the usual fun: a conflict in progress, the TARDIS team separated, a spot of fighting, a dash of comedy, and cod-Shakespearean dialogue. Lovely.

Monday, 13 March 2023

TV

The 95th Annual Academy Awards
aka the Oscars. It was a good one this year, I thought: kept to the point, with an almost-unwavering focus on the awards and nominees; just an opening monologue and a couple of stand-up-ish interludes from host Jimmy Kimmel, rather than extraneous sketches no one wants, which I think is the perfect balance (the "no host" ceremonies often feel like they lack something). Plus, an abundance of good and memorable speeches; and even the dull "just a list of thanks" ones were mostly brief and focused, rather than the never-ending sprawl of pulled-from-thin-air names they can degenerate into.

Leverage
5x02 The Blue Line Job

Richard Osman's House of Games
6x35 Week 7: Friday
[Watch various episodes (again) on iPlayer.]

Sunday, 12 March 2023

TV

The Oscars 2023: Who Will Win?
No pre-show or red carpet coverage of the Oscars this year (I think there is some of the latter on Sky Showcase, but I don't get that channel). Instead, here's a preview/predictions show that Sky released a week or so ago, which I've watched as a stand-in. This is usually the kind of stuff they do in the hour before the main show begins anyway, so seemed fitting.

Unforgotten
5x03 Episode 3
5x04 Episode 4
5x05 Episode 5
5x06 Episode 6 [season finale]
[Watch the whole series (again) on ITVX.]

Collection Count

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

Nothing huge to report this week, just a couple of new titles — the never-ceasing drip, drip, drip of new acquistions that has slowly made my collection the ridiculous size it is.

Number of titles in collection: 3,038 [up 2]
Of which DVDs: 1,035 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 2,003 [up 2]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 239 [no change]

Number of discs in collection: 7,490 [up 3]
Number of films: 3,713 [up 2]
Number of additional cuts: 306 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes: 9,559 [no change]
Number of short films: 1,043 [up 1]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

TV

Richard Osman's House of Games
6x34 Week 7: Thursday
[Watch various episodes (again) on iPlayer.]

Unforgotten
5x01 Episode 1
5x02 Episode 2
[Watch the whole series (again) on ITVX.]

Films

Ammonite (2020)

The Duke (2020)

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x21 The Centre
aka The Web Planet Part Six, the finale. This serial might commonly be criticised for its over-ambitious low-rent staging, but I think the production achieved an admirable amount with so little. That it’s all in aid of such a dull story is what makes that effort feel like a waste.

Our Flag Means Death
1x10 Wherever You Go, There You Are [season finale]
[Watch the whole series (again) on iPlayer.]

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x20 Invasion
aka The Web Planet Part Five.

Our Flag Means Death
1x09 Act of Grace
[Watch the whole series (again) on iPlayer.]

Would I Lie To You?
16x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Monday, 6 March 2023

Sunday, 5 March 2023

TV

Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
Netflix's first-ever foray into live broadcasting is this Chris Rock stand-up special, the promo for which relied heavily (as far as I saw) on the fact he was going to talk about The Slap for the first time — the broadcast cannily timed to be just one week before this year's Oscars. Perfect (for viewing figures).

Well, I don't know how good the figures were; the comedy was alright. I'm often not a fan of American stand-up, and Rock is one of its key figures, but I laughed at a few bits and was tickled at others. By far the best material was related to The Slap, though — a couple of references dropped here and there, and then a full-on assault in the final 10 minutes. It's what we came for, and we got what we wanted.

Netflix also teed things up and played it out with half-hour The Show Before the Show and The Show After the Show livestreams. Apparently these won't be available on the recorded version of the special, which is largely fine (the question of archiving media aside) because they didn't offer too much of value.

[Watch it (again) on Netflix.]


Mystery Science Theater 3000
13x08 The Batwoman
I was "a little behind" on MST3K season 13 for a while, but it's now been over six months since I last watched an episode — a combination of trying to devote time to finishing my 100 Films Challenge at the end of 2022, and then just getting out of the habit. So, hopefully I'll now begin to watch them more regularly and finish off the five remaining episodes. I thought this was quite a good one — a clearly-ridiculous underlying film, scattered with decent riffs.

Films

Police Story (1985)
[#18 in The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge 2023]

Comics

2000 AD #2303

this week on 100Films.co.uk

A new month means two things at 100Films.co.uk — first, an overview of the month just passed...





Second, a look at all the films I failed to watch during the last month...





No new film reviews, but hopefully there'll be more next Sunday.

Saturday, 4 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x18 Escape to Danger
aka The Web Planet Part Three, aka The One Where a Zarbi Bumps Into the Camera — a bit of drama, at last.

Mystery Science Theater 3000
Tom & Crow’s Unsupervised Year-End Review Revue
The final livestream of the season is a clip-filled whistlestop recap of the first year of the Gizmoplex. As well as trailers for all 13 episodes of season 13, plus a selection of highlight clips, it also covered other goings-on — things like game nights, classic episode remasters, and aftershow interviews. At 40 minutes it was a pretty quick and fairly concise recap, but that's a good thing really — seeing as it was primarily a selection of trailers for and clips from things most viewers will have already seen, making it much longer could’ve been excruciating.
[Watch it (for free) on the Gizmoplex.]

The Wheel
3x09 Episode 9
[Watch various episodes (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Operation Mincemeat (2021)

Collection Count

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

A week later than expected, but it finally happened: I passed 2,000 Blu-rays! I remember when I first started buying the format, I thought it would never surpass my DVD collection — my intention was to buy selectively; to keep buying on DVD stuff that didn't 'merit' HD. Ah, na├»ve times. The market, and my taste, has changed quite a bit since then — although we still see some relatively-major studio titles get DVD-only releases, while the boutique labels are putting out Blu-rays (or even 4Ks) of incredibly niche stuff. Funny old world.

That said, I did buy a DVD this week; but it was of a BBC serial from the 1970s, so fair enough. (Classic Doctor Who looks remarkably good on Blu-ray, free from DVD compression and lovingly upscaled, but you can't expect that for every old recorded-in-SD programme.) So, my DVD collection briefly grows again, but I wouldn't be surprised if my next "landmark" is that finally sinking below 1,000 titles. It's shrunk by an average of 25 titles a year over the last five years (although 2022's decrease was notably lower than 2021's, which was notably lower than 2020's), so maybe sometime in 2024 or 2025...

Number of titles in collection: 3,036 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,035 [up 1]
Of which Blu-rays: 2,001 [up 3]
— of which Ultra HD Blu-rays: 239 [no change]

Number of discs in collection: 7,487 [up 3]
Number of films: 3,711 [up 3]
Number of additional cuts: 305 [up 1]
Number of TV episodes: 9,559 [up 8]
Number of short films: 1,042 [up 1]

This week's additions also include the Criterion box set of the Infernal Affairs trilogy. The films are restored with new special features, so I'm sure it was worth buying, but in terms of the stats counted here, it's such a one-for-one upgrade on the old trilogy Blu-ray set that it doesn't register anywhere. If they'd put it out on 4K... but, alas, no.

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 3 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x17 The Zarbi
aka The Web Planet Part Two. Whereas the first episode felt like it was deliberately set at a leisurely pace, this one just feels like it’s playing for time. It’s not the production ambition that’s the problem here — it’s easy to forgive ’60s Who its shonky effects; they’re par for the course — it’s the lack of an interesting story.

Films

Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
[#17 in The All-New 100 Films in a Year Challenge 2023]

Audio Drama

Hell Cats
1x02 A New Life
I guess because Audible has its roots in audiobooks (which I presume just run through the entire book beginning to end), this has no opening or closing credits on individual episodes, which is a bit of a pain when the next part just starts playing automatically.
Anyway, this episode was some more scene setting, albeit with some proper piratical action at the end, and the promise that our heroines have now met.
[Listen to it (again) on Audible.]

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

TV

Doctor Who
2x16 The Web Planet

Carrying right on with season two again, this time into one of Doctor Who's most notorious serials: The Web Planet (obv).

The things that make it infamous don't really crop up much in this first instalment. Instead, we get the Doctor and Ian going for a stroll while Vicki has a lie down and Barbara does some spring cleaning. It’s a bit of a slow starter, this one…

On the bright side, the slower pace allows for an entire scene where Barbara and Vicki just chat about Vicki’s upbringing and the gang’s previous adventure in Rome. It’s the kind of thing that some might regard as a time waster, but it also feels uniquely ’60s Doctor Who — in later eras the serials are so much more discrete, and the modern show often feels too frantic for such detail. I rather liked that.

Podcasts

Radio Free Skaro
895 The Exit Interview
The "exit" in question being Chris Chibnall leaving Doctor Who. This near-two-hour episode (I can't say I listened to all of it, just Chibnall and the discussion after) includes an hour-long chat with Chibnall, recorded at the recent Gallifrey One convention, ranging over his entire era — as one of the hosts summarised, the conversation "touched on topics like promotion, budgets, writers' room, Jodie Whittaker, the amazing Covid video that they made, Disney+..." and more. As a fun who loves the nitty gritty of production detail, it's a fantastic interview; indeed, I'd've happily listened to more. Such are time constraints, though. (The above link also includes a full text transcript, FYI.)
[Listen to it (again) on YouTube.]

Comics

2000 AD #2302