One thing I know I will not be tuning in for again is Power Snooker. This is ITV 4's attempt at creating a snooker tournament of their very own but it was so terrible I gave up on it after about five minutes. The table looked similar to a pub table, the crowd chanted like they were at a football match, there were timed shots and some balls merited double points if potted in a certain pocket a la Big Break. I half expected John Virgo to walk on at any time and say 'pot as many balls as you can!'
I take snooker tournaments seriously (although not as seriously as I used to) and this Power Snooker cannot be taken seriously to any stretch of the imagination. I actually can't see it surviving past the end of the year.
I'm watching once more those History of Horror documentaries on one of the BBC channels (can't remember which one) that somebody here mentioned last week. I missed the original airings of the documentaries but then watched them all back to back on Saturday night. They are now being shown once a night. The presenter Mark Gatiss is the perfect presenter for such a show because he handles his duties in an interesting and fascinating way and also, because he watched most of the films he mentions when he was younger he knows exactly what he is talking about and occasionally mentions a few recollections of the films when he originally saw them.
After watching the Mark Gatiss documentary on the Hammer Horror films I'm tempted to purchase some of the DVD's. There is a boxset available that contains 21 of the better Hammer Horror films but I think I'll pick certain ones up individually probably starting with the Dracula ones. A former workmate of mine was a massive fan of the Hammer Horror films and I was always intrigued by his recollections of seeing them in the cinema and on TV when he was very young. Up to this point I have only seen one Hammer Horror film and unfortunately is one of their worst - Lust for a Vampire. I have also seen One Million Years B.C but that is not a horror film.
Still enjoying Mad Men s4 on the iPlayer. Crap ton of Marvel cartoons picked up on the cheap of late. Along with Space:1999 from Phil and a backlog of Doctor Who DVD's quite frankly I have enough to last the rest of the year.
I plan to watch some Hammer horror films in the new year. From what I can make out from what people have told me or from what I've seen in documentaries they are all classics. Granted, some are however, classics for all the wrong reasons (the poor 70's films spring to mind).
Been catching up with Primeval through repeats on Sky TV and buying the first season super-cheap on Play.com.
Quite enjoyed the 3rd season even though it seemed to struggle with character exits and newer characters having to bond quickly with the surviving cast. I am surprised the show was'nt cancelled from ITV making cuts, but aparentley Season 4 is ready to air in January and filming on Season 5 is almost wrapped up.
Still enjoying repeated watches of Nativity! after having to wait a year for it to come out on DVD. Still a very standout Christmas film amongst the usual American offerings. Love Actually is probably the only other cinema released UK Christmas movie I can think of.
I am surprised the show was'nt cancelled from ITV making cuts, but aparentley Season 4 is ready to air in January and filming on Season 5 is almost wrapped up.
It was. ITV pulled the plug and the makers shopped it around the US. I believe they actually got a TV movie commitement at one point. And then other behind the scenes stuff happened and resulted in the current situation. At least, as far as I know.
Only one episode of Colditz remains in it's repeat run and I am going to be quite sad when it has finished. (Ten pm tonight will see me tucked up under my sleeping bag in front of the tele for this). It has been excellent vintage British television. Although clearly a fictionalisation of life with Oflag 4C it remains enough contact with real events to give it some added weight - more a sense of fictionalised inmates assembled from multiple real people experiencing events that were experienced by the actual prisoners than things being pulled completely out of thin air (ironically the most fantastical thing in the series - a running subplot about an officer who plans to escape by building a glider and fly out of the castle is not an invention for television. The glider existed, and only the fact that the end of the war was in sight prevented if from flying.
It is remarkably even-handed too - very careful to make clear that whilst most Nazis were German not all Germans were Nazis. Indeed, one of the stronger episodes of the second season was one that focused on the second-in-command, a dedicated party man to all appearances, realisation that his side was going to lose the war and his attempts to slip off the hook of allied justice in advance. He was certainly not a character I could say that I liked (by definition his idelology puts him beyond the pale) but the episode was very effective in making the viewer feel the way that his entire world was falling around his ears.
They literally don't make them like this anymore. I am very glad I have had the chance to see this and I can see distinct possibilities that I might pick up the DVD release at some point, because this is an excellent slice of British television.
I spent some of Saturday evening watching Quantum of Solace. I think that is the first James Bond film to leave me so completely and utterly bored. There might have been good action sequences conceived for the film but I can't tell because they seemed to have been edited by someone with a chronic attention span problem and so they just became a jumbled smear most of the time. The rest of it was terribly dull, self-important and tried for a worthiness that belongs in a completely different kind of spy thriller. And in all honesty for all it seems to be trying to "develop" Craig's Bond as a character all it actually does is undo the work of the last ten minutes of Casino Royale and then does it again, only slower.
I think you can probably tell I wasn't terribly fond of it.
Continuing my random action-flick catch-up sessions I have seen what is effectively two unrelated versions of the same film on successive weekends. I kid thee not, The A-Team and The Losers are effectively _exactly_ the same plot - a US Army Special Forces team are made the patsies for someone else's illegal operation and forced to go underground to track down the parties responsible and try and get their lives back. They even have an ending that takes place in the same sort of location.
Makes for an instructive comparison though. One struggles to ring what it can from a restricted budget, papering over the cracks with wisecracks and character banter between relatively thin stereotypical characters but gets away with it through a certain amount of charm and self-deprecating humor. And the other is the A-Team.
Whilst The Losers never quite lives up to what it wants to deliver in terms of spectacle given the limitations of its budget it wins points for trying, and has a cast that seem to be playing quite well to the nature of the material. Any cast that can transition from professional soldiers to making an escape from certain death-by-mercenaries aboard a small, stolen, yellow school bus packed full of rescued child hostages seem perfectly natural are doing something right. (I think my love of heroes who get a hard time before they win through works in the films favour too - they really do earn the "Losers" sobriquet at times but that just makes the moments where they do pull ahead seem more fulfilling).
The A Team on the other hand seems hellbent on updating its source material and making it "of the now" but in the process appears to have thrown out every trace of the original source in the process. In doing an origin story they seem to have missed the fact that the origin of the A Team was not actually relevant or interesting - that is why it is done in the opening credits of the TV show and why it should have been an offhand conversation at the beginning of the film, leading in to the team being hired to do a caper. (The least said about the only character arc in the film being about teaching BA to kill again the soonest mended.). The actual caper that they are trying to unravel seems rather petty as well. It is the sort of high concept thing that somehow feels wasted in this context. I'd almost have preferred to see something a bit more penny-ante but with some sense that they were doing good for other people, instead of just out for themselves. The Flying A Tank sequence was very entertaining though. Shame it appeared to come from a completely different film.
You could almost use the two films as textbook examples of how to approach this plot - one as an example of how to do it with somewhat restricted means, and the other to illustrate what not to do.
I'm having problems with Flash again where the picture pauses every 4 seconds so iplayer usage has ceased again. I'm thinking of cancelling my TV licence anyway when the current one is paid up next month. I lack a TV and have not watched streaming video from the beeb since the Pop visit last September. I'm paying for something I don't use.
Watch ponied up cash, which is why Primeval was able to still be made after ITV canned the show after season 3 (at the time ITV's ad revenues were in the toilet and they couldn't afford drama other than soaps). Part of the deal was that Watch got to premier the back-half of the episodes produced. Without them, you would have no season 4 or 5. They will air on ITV therafter.
Post by andrewbcalculating on May 23, 2011 8:20:04 GMT
Has anyone else seen Zodiac? It was on BBC 2 last night and kept me up until 12.30am, it was very interesting. It's one of those films that makes me paranoid about going out in the dark but I knew I had to watch it as it was so compelling.