Thursday, 20 July 2017

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Sunday, 16 July 2017

TV

The Persuaders!
1x15 Someone Waiting

+

Films

Joining the likes of Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in my #100 club, it's...

City of God (2002)
[#100 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]

this week on 100 Films

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


Contact (1997)
Contact is 20 years old this week. I don’t remember it going down particularly well on its release (Rotten Tomatoes backs me up on that: it scores just 62%) and I’ve largely paid it no heed, other than it still comes up now and then. I can’t remember what gave me a sudden urge to watch it last month, but doing so was a bit of a “where have you been all my life?!” experience.
Read more here.


Nocturnal Animals (2016)
Although the story is black as night, it’s a beautifully constructed film — as you might expect from someone with a background in design like writer-director Tom Ford. It’s not just the visually appealing work of cinematographer Seamus McGarvey or the film’s various designers that is so striking, though. The three narrative strands are expertly handled. There’s never any doubt about which is which, even when Ford at times intercuts between all three in one sequence, but he hasn’t resorted to simplistic tricks (like vastly different colour grading, say) to pull that off. It’s subtler, and more effective, than that.
Read more here.


Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
As everyone well knows by now (thanks to it being repeated ad infinitum in the previous Spidey movies), the catchphrase of the Spider-Man franchise is “with great power comes great responsibility”. However, it’s not said once in this film. Instead, it’s threaded through the very core of the film’s story and character arcs. It’s the lesson everyone comes to learn. It’s what Stark is trying to teach Peter by giving him a fancy suit with a lot of its special features disabled, and by discouraging him from biting off more than he can chew. When Peter gets himself in too deep, as he does repeatedly, it always comes close to costing innocent lives. It’s a lesson Stark learns too, though.
Read more here.


War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
This is not a war movie in the sense of it being two hours of epic battles. There’s a set-to at the start (one which reminded me of the opening of Saving Private Ryan without in any meaningful way being a rip off of it), and a big battle forms the backdrop to the climax, but in between the film is something else. Or, rather, somethings else: there are multiple genres one could cite as an influence on the film as it transitions betweens phases of its story. There’s a bit of the “men on a mission” thing going on, with an edge of the Western in there, before it turns into a POW camp movie of sorts, with a healthy dose of Apocalypse Now for good measure.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

TV

Pitch Battle
1x05 Episode 5
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Wallander [British]
4x01 The White Lioness
So, it's over a year since this was on and five years since I watched the last series. Where does time go?! Anyway, this was a particularly good one, with absolutely stunning location photography in South Africa.

Collection Count

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

This week, my collection lands on exactly 2,000 titles. Crikey. When I started this weekly update, almost 8 years ago, I'd only fairly recently crossed 1,000. (I say "fairly recently" -- that first edition counts 1,057 titles, which, based on my acquisition rate over the last 8 years, means I actually passed 1,000 around 5 or 6 months earlier.)

What interests me is how much things have increased -- not just the plain number, but on a percentage basis. For instance, I assumed there would be way more discs in the newer 1,000 titles, due to the proliferation of DVD copies in Blu-ray releases and probably buying more box sets, but that's not completely the case: the number of films and TV episodes have both more than doubled, but the number of discs hasn't. That said, where there was an average of 2.475 discs per title back in 2009, now the average is 2.566, so it has gone up on the whole.

Anyway, here are the actual stats, with the percentage increase since that first edition also included. (I didn't count shorts until later, so no increase stat there.)

Number of titles in collection: 2,000 [up 4] [up 89.21% since 2009]
Of which DVDs: 1,178 [no change] [up 15.04% since 2009]
Of which Blu-rays: 822 [up 4] [up 2,390.91% since 2009]

Number of discs in collection: 5,132 [up 16] [up 96.18% since 2009]
Number of films: 2,225 [up 10] [up 103.38% since 2009]
Number of TV episodes: 7,799 [no change] [up 113.55% since 2009]
Number of short films: 582 [up 1]

Look at that Blu-ray percentage! Mad.

Anyway -- see you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Monday, 10 July 2017

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Films

Jersey Boys (2014)
[#97 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]

Planet of the Apes (1968)
[#96 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]
Blindspot 2017 #7

this week on 100 Films

It's a busy time on the telly right now, so I brought 100 Films in a Year's monthly TV update forward a fortnight to this week...





Plus, there were 6 brand-new reviews this week...


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
I’ve found it quite hard to tell what I thought of Buckaroo Banzai. On the one hand, I can definitely see where it gets its cult appeal, and I appreciate some of the ways it’s being different and boundary pushing. On the other, there’s been a definite backlash to it and I can appreciate where that comes from too — the criticism that some of that “boundary pushing” is merely sloppy storytelling and crazy overacting. There are parts where it’s hard to tell if it was deliberate and quite clever, or just incompetently done.
Read more here.


Blair Witch (2016)
the first Blair Witch was the father of found footage, so it only makes sense to retain the form. However, I’d argue that everything that worked about the original movie did so because of how it was filmed — that the cast had been put in that situation ‘for real’ and the filmmakers were fucking with them. It gave it all a rough plausibility, which is largely what made it scary. Conversely, this Blair Witch feels scripted and constructed from the off. That’s fine for most movies, even found footage ones, but here it stands in sharp contrast to how the original worked, and I think it undermines this movie.
Read more here.


The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
we’re introduced to Melanie (Sennia Nanua), a young girl who sits in a concrete bedroom treasuring her photo of a kitten. Then soldiers enter and, at gunpoint, strap her to a chair, before wheeling her to a classroom with similarly restrained children. It’s just the beginning of a fantastic first act, full of atmosphere and intrigue as this world is rolled out before us. The less you know the better, though the chances of going in so cold that it’s a total mystery are sadly slim. If you’re intrigued enough already to check out the movie on my recommendation alone, stop reading now! Go watch it! If not…
Read more here.


Inferno (2016)
Inferno is a bit silly. Not utterly silly, but silly in the kind of way the previous Dan Brown movies have been silly — pretending they’re taking place in a plausible real world, when they’re not. The kind of silly where a villain leaves a trail of clues for someone to follow and make sure his scheme is executed, rather than, I dunno, putting a timer on it. The kind of silly where apparently the World Health Organisation is some international enforcement agency with gun-toting special ops units and the power to override local police.
Read more here.


Road Games (1981)
The film's low-budget roots and exploitation-derived genre tag may give the impression it’s a slasher movie or something, but nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, it could best be described as Rear Windscreen, because fundamentally it’s the same story: our hero spies on a guy from a distance because he thinks he saw him commit a murder, but is it all in his head? Where Hitchcock staged that impressively in a single confined location, writer-director Richard Franklin opens it up to the whole Australian outback.
Read more here.


Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (2016)
I liked Sully a lot while it was on. It’s well made (though sadly not available in its IMAX format for home viewing), Hanks is always watchable, the supporting cast are good too, and the headline incident is effectively staged, including the post-landing rescues. It’s a heartwarming story of real-life drama and heroism, with a punch-the-air-type moment when Sully is vindicated.
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

TV

Pitch Battle
1x04 Episode 4
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

'71 (2014)
[#95 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]

Collection Count

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

At one point I thought this was going to be a quiet week... then loads of stuff turned up. There were three brand-new acquisitions; a Blu-ray box set that replaces three individual DVDs; and two DVD-to-Blu-ray upgrades where I'm yet to decide if I'm ditching or keeping my DVD copy (so those subtractions may happen next week).

That works out as changes to every stat:

Number of titles in collection: 1,996 [up 3]
Of which DVDs: 1,178 [down 3]
Of which Blu-rays: 818 [up 6]

Number of discs in collection: 5,116 [up 16]
Number of films: 2,215 [up 12]
Number of TV episodes: 7,799 [up 15]
Number of short films: 581 [up 15]

See you next week, faithful reader.

Friday, 7 July 2017

TV

Automata
1x01 The Neon Rose
1x02 Mice Plans
1x03 Confirmation Day
1x04 Anointed
1x05 Just Murder [season finale]
I'd love to point you towards where you can see this, but it's currently exclusive to its Kickstarter backers (like me!) It's good though. Impressive production values, likeable characters, decent story, interesting world being set up. I hope they get to do more.

Films

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
[#94 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Sunday, 2 July 2017

TV

Pitch Battle
1x03 Episode 3
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Big (1988)
[#91 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]

this week on 100 Films

July has reached us this weekend, so it was time for 100 Films in a Year to look back at June...





There were also 3 brand-new reviews published this week...


Baby Driver (2017)
the main thing the film has attracted attention for is the driving. Done for real by stunt drivers with not a lick of CGI, that knowledge means it packs a viscerally real punch. But it’s not just snobbery: this is genuinely breathtaking action, slickly planned, masterfully performed, magnificently shot and edited. It’s this year’s Fury Road — a kinetic action spectacle made with skill rather than hand-waiving fast-cuts.
Read more here.


Dragon (Wu Xia) (2011)
when the action does kick in, it’s fantastic. With the combat directed by star Donnie Yen, these sequences are expertly and inventively choreographed dust-ups. It’s stylishly directed by Peter Chan — classy, but also thrilling, exciting, and sometimes innovative; and the whole is majestically shot by DP Lai Yiu-Fai
Read more here.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
When J.K. Rowling wrote the seven-book Harry Potter series, she didn’t just make it all up as she went along — it was well planned in advance. And she didn’t just envisage a seven-book story, either — she built a whole world, including a massive history that is only fleetingly referred to in Potter itself. It’s part of that history that the five-film Fantastic Beasts series is setting out to explore. (Despite sharing a title with a short tie-in book Rowling once wrote, Fantastic Beasts isn’t somehow an adaptation of that tiny tome, despite what some pithily moronic internet commenters who think they’re funny would believe.)
Read more here.


More next Sunday.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

TV

The Americans
5x13 The Soviet Division [season finale]

Doctor Who
36x12 The Doctor Falls [season finale]
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Films

Transformers: Age of Extinction 3D (2014)
[#90 in 100 Films in a Year 2017]

Collection Count

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

Five acquisitions this week, including two lovely multi-film box sets (Sinbad and Marx Brothers), a DVD-to-Blu-ray upgrade, and that rarest of things nowadays: a new purchase on DVD.

Number of titles in collection: 1,993 [up 4]
Of which DVDs: 1,181 [no change]
Of which Blu-rays: 812 [up 4]

Number of discs in collection: 5,100 [up 11]
Number of films: 2,203 [up 10]
Number of TV episodes: 7,784 [no change]
Number of short films: 566 [no change]

See you next week, faithful reader.