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Archive for January 2012

A Good Week…in music and film

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Last week (January 9-15) turned out to be pretty bloody amazing if you like post hardcore reunions, the eccentric films of Wes Anderson and rumours of your favourite band playing your favourite indoor, Butlins-based festival.

Here are a yet more reasons why 2012 is going to be so special.

‘Shut Up and Play The Hits’

With the trailer looking heartbreakingly wonderful, this documentary from the directors of Blur’s ‘No Distance Left To Run’ follows James Murphy in the 48 hours before and after the band’s last gig. Sure to be emotional, it’s bound to be a highlight of the forthcoming Sundance Film Festival.

 

Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

The ‘King of Quirk’ has returned! Seemingly heavily laden with Rushmore-style, if the trailer is anything to go by, this could be pretty special.

 

At The Drive-In

What? Why is everyone on Twitter retweeting a message from At The Drive-In? What? They have reformed? Cue much squealing from me all of Monday night and contemplating whether I should re-stitch my ATD-I patch back on some jeans.

 

Refused

On Tuesday morning: why is everyone talking about Refused? Oh, wait a minute! The squealing then continues…

 

The National at ATP?

With the rumour mill on overdrive over who will have the honour of the curator of the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ bestowed upon them this year, it appears that it could be my favourite band of the last five years, The National. Although maybe not traditional ‘Nightmare’ material, the band wowed crowds when they appeared at the Explosions In The Sky curated event back in 2008 and will undoubtedly do so again.

 

 

Written by because140charactersisnotenough

January 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

Posted in Film, Music, Upcoming

Predictions for 2012: TV

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Like some kind of bloody Mystic Meg, here are my TV predictions for 2012. Please don’t burn me as a witch when they all come true

In the US –

After recycling plotlines and yet more changes in the writing staff, NBC will cancel The Office.

NBC will also consider cancelling 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, but common sense will eventually prevail for the 2012-13, at least.

Everyone will fall in love with The New Girl because if the first nine episodes are anything to go by, it will continue to be brilliant.

 

The second series of American Horror Story won’t be as good, so half way through the season they will use the True Blood technique of just making it ultra, ultra-sexy in lieu of any plot.

Alcatraz will be the new The Event (that being everyone will give up on it after four episodes).

 

There will be yet more supernatural-based dramas for teens – maybe with sexy wizards, warlocks or elves.

A Kardashian channel will be launched – the test card being a picture of Kim’s arse.

There will be a ‘new Friends’ which won’t be a ‘new Friends’.

HBO will make more high quality period dramas, which won’t keep your attention for more than an episode.

Ty Burrell will continue to steal every scene of Modern Family.

 

In the UK –

Nothing on UK TV will be as unintentionally funny as the first 10 minutes of last year’s Appropriate Adult.

Series two of Friday Night Dinner will be phenomenal.

 

The new series of Absolutely Fabulous will be embarrassingly bad.

Charlie Brooker/Daniel Maier’s ‘A Touch Of Cloth’ could go either way.

Anna Friel will be brought in to any drama which needs a teary, but beautiful, woman.

After his divorce is finalised, Russell Brand will return to do a ‘proper TV drama’, shown on E4.

Every TV channel will have a ‘Downtown Abbey’.

No one will openly admit to disliking Sherlock, as it might make them look stupid.

Mrs Brown’s Boys will continue to be huge (but not even the greatest of minds will ever know why).

BBC Three will continue to show humourless shit masquerading as comedy.

After Russell Tovey and Aidan Turner have announced they won’t be back, Being Human will be cancelled after a short season four.

 

There will be more ‘issue-based’ drama on every channel, which will undoubtedly be rubbish.

Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother will knock millions off the Nation’s collective IQ points.

Everyone from The Only Way is Essex will grow ‘too big’ for the show and will have their own spin-off series on Channel 5, DVDs of which will be available from Poundland in early 2013.

Written by because140charactersisnotenough

January 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Posted in TV

Films of 2011

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Drive

The pink-neon title sequence; the brooding, skull-kicking lead wearing a white satin jacket; the heavily 80s influenced music – so much of Drive shouldn’t work, but it’s  hands-down the film of the year. With the moody night-time glow of the LA cityscape and slow-burning shots of a contemplative Driver all punctured by jump-out-your-seat moments of ultra-violence, it’s a thrilling watch.

 

Julia’s Eyes

After her stunning turn as a grieving mother in The Orphanage, Belen Rueda puts in another solid performance in this Spanish thriller. As she battles failing vision and her world slowly disintegrating around her, she must uncover the truth behind her sister’s apparent suicide. Nicely paced, with a couple of clever twists (although the main one is quite obvious), it shows that yet again the Spanish are masters at the horror/thriller genre.

 

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest

Although the pace of Hornet’s Nest may be slower than the other two films, it is no less bold and brilliant. As charges against Salander are dropped after a taut court case, her exacting of revenge on her half-brother in a frantic cat-and-mouse game provides a very satisfying conclusion to the Millennium trilogy.

 

Bridesmaids

Despite being touted as the ‘The Female Hangover’, Bridesmaids proved to be more than just one hilarious diarrhoea joke.


Another Earth

Was it a dream? Was there ever ‘Another Earth’? When did ‘Earth II’ become a mirror of Earth? What does the final scene mean? The gloriously haunting Another Earth throws up a multitude of questions (each frustrating) but it is this type of investment that you give to the film, trying to decipher meaning long after the credits have rolled, which proves it to be a very worthy watch.

 

127 Hours

When you consider that a large part of the film involved James Franco essentially immobile in a cave, Danny Boyle pulled off nothing short of a bloody miracle making 127 Hours such a thrilling, if not sometimes a little uncomfortable, watch. The use of Sigur Ros’ ‘Festival’ as Ralston makes his escape is cinematic magic.

 

Animal Kingdom

Jacki Weaver puts in a tour de force as Janine Cody, the seemingly benign (if you forget about her mouth kissing her adult sons) but later chilling matriarch behind an Australian crime family.

 

Blue Valentine

Raw, unflinching and brilliantly played by leads Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine is the rarity in cinema. Cleverly stitching lines between those first pangs of infatuation to the drudgery of a decaying and one-sided relationship later down the line, the film is a difficult but original watch.

 

Black Swan

Inception handed their ‘2010 What The Fuck Is Happening Award’ to Black Swan this year. Portman’s frail ballerina, stunted by her over-bearing mother and crippled by paranoia and Kunis’ overtly sexual, mega-minx are both deliciously brilliant in Aronofsky’s acclaimed psychological thriller.

 

Submarine

With Richard Ayoade’s directorial style sitting somewhere between Hal Ashby and Wes Anderson, Submarine is both quirky and expertly presented. More importantly, it goes some way to show that the UK film industry could be more than just ball-achingly terrible Richard Curtis films or maudlin domestic dramas.

 

True Grit

Of course Jeff Bridges’ Rooster Cogburn is largely unintelligible with his heavy cowboy drawl, but the Cohen’s homage to the original is a thoughtfully paced and beautifully shot. And Hailee Steinfeld’s voiceover fits the film perfectly.

 

Still to see which could make the 2011 shortlist –

Shame

The Artist

Tintin

Day In A Life

Senna

The Guard

Never Let Me Go

The Ides of March

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Written by because140charactersisnotenough

January 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm

On Repeat: PJ Harvey – Good Fortune

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Nearly 12 years on from the release of PJ Harvey’s  fifth album ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’, I am still very much in love with every last tiny nuance of that album, but Good Fortune is the song that I go back to each time.  It is one of my ultimate pick-me-up songs that I love to play loud and sing along (by that I mean honking in and out of time with the music) to with the wildest of abandon.

A great accompaniment to the optimism a new year brings.

Written by because140charactersisnotenough

January 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm