Category Archives: TV

Cumberbatch presents the Apple toilet

cumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch was on Saturday Night Live the other day (probably on Saturday) because he seems to be contractually obliged to be absolutely everywhere at the moment. To be fair, that is quite subjective – we just saw Dr Strange (which I loved), that prompted my wife to re-watch Sherlock, all while I have been re-listening to Cabin Pressure on my commute. So that has been a lot of Cumberbatch.

Anyway. On SNL he did a spoof of the Apple 1984 Macintosh advert and I found it mildly amusing. It’s a Monday, so mildly amusing is about as good as things can get. To be honest, I would quite like a toilet like that – you can have a stand for a book/iPad and flush with ease. Here is Cumberbatch on a toilet. Enjoy.

In case you are a child, here is the original Macintosh 1984 advert:

 

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Planet Earth 2 by Attenborough

earth2A trailer has just come out for Planet Earth II, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The original Planet Earth came out ten years ago and was the most expensive documentary ever commissioned by the BBC and the first to be filmed in high definition. Planet Earth II took 4 years to make, and was filmed in 64 countries and in Ultra-High Definition. All with Sir David Attenborough’s superb and perfect voice talking authoritatively and enthusiastically over it all.

Attenborough and the BBC make the best nature documentaries and I am consequently damned excited. Nearly everything I watch these days is streamed but I still buy the occasional BluRay and increasingly, they are documentaries – mostly Attenborough and Professor Brian Cox documentaries, to be precise. They are just stunning on a big TV and one of the few things that might convince me to go 4K. I can’t wait to watch this and I just hope the BluRay comes out before Christmas. As yet there is no air date, so it seems unlikely.

For more information about Planet Earth II (or 2), plus the chance to see some clips from the first series, check out the BBC webpage.

(Apologies to all DC comic book fans who came here by accident but you should watch this documentary too.)

Here is the beautiful trailer:

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Sherlock Series 4

Sherlock is back! Soon!

Sherlock is back! Soon!

I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and love what they are doing with this new Sherlock version. Sure it’s a bit annoying that there are years between series and that there are only three episodes per series but they are usually superb and are movie length, so I shouldn’t grumble. Also, the stars are selfishly getting more famous every year so the way the series is structured is actually beneficial to their being able to fit it in. According to the internet, Cumberbatch finished filming ‘Doctor Strange’ just days before starting Sherlock series 4.

So the big excitement that has prompted me to write this, is that there is a new trailer. It doesn’t give much away about what will happen but it does show Toby Jones who is going to be a new villain. Sherlock tends to stick to Doyle’s stories, at least so far, and again according the internet Toby Jones updated his online CV and added a character called Culverton Smith. Which implies a story called ‘The Dying Detective’ is in the offing. I won’t ruin it with spoilers.

Not much else is known except vagueness. Moffat and Gatiss have hinted that this series of Sherlock will be much darker in tone with some heavy consequences for the characters. Which I think means someone major will die. They have also implied that there will hopefully be a series 5 and that everyone is on board in theory.  Obviously series 5 will be so far in the future humanity may have collapsed, so I will be excited about that when the time comes.

There is no air date for Sherlock series 4 yet except for 2017. Traditionally, that means straight away – as in January 1st – but we shall see. Here’s the trailer:

 

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Its-Always-Sunny-header-its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-16086951-760-255I’ve moved house and country recently, so have spent the last few months packing and generally getting stressed out. Fortunately, you can pack while watching TV so I have been watching a lot of Netflix – specifically a show called It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The show revolves around four characters who own/work in an Irish pub in Philadelphia. In series two they are joined by Danny Devito who raised two of the characters and may be the biological father of another. The first series is great but when Mr Devito joins up things get greater. All five characters are a bit mental/ shallow/ narcissistic/ sociopathic/ just plain a bit fucked up. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been described as ‘Seinfeld on crack’ which I guess is kind of fair given the shallow cynicism of the protagonists and the ludicrous situations that evolve but they are from a very different social spectrum. In one episode, the crack analogy literally happens when two of the characters – Dennis and Dee – decide to start smoking crack just so that they can get benefits. (To give you some idea of the shenanigans they get up to.)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia treads very close to the line of being offensive but remains continuously funny. Unless you are easily offended and lack a sense of humour, in which case just move along. If you have ever written a letter of complaint about a TV show then don’t watch this and do something more meaningful and less whining with your life. For everyone else, prepare for a treat.

Here is a brief intro to the characters:

Dennis Reynolds – a good looking narcissist who gets lots of women but there are moments where what he gets up to are a little disturbing. His DENNIS system of getting women for example, is funny but a little unnerving.

Dee Reynolds – Dennis’s sister. She aspires to be an actress but isn’t really very good. She even gets stage fright which causes her to vomit. Which is funny.

Mac – Dennis’s flatmate and self proclaimed badass. His dad is a convicted drug dealer and he can be a bit of a religious gun nut. Good times.

Charlie – used to be a part owner but sold all of his shares for food and stuff. He now works as a janitor and is often seen sniffing the cleaning supplies. He is also semi literate and semi stalks a local waitress.

Frank Reynolds – Dennis and Dee’s legal father and possibly Charlie’s real dad. Great at business but a bit dodgy. At times, very dodgy. (The Devito character.)

I would mention some classic moments but there are just too many. Although the characters are all a bit on the negative/dark side, you kind of like them. They may be semi alcoholic and nearly everyone they meet comes off worse for having done so, but it is so damn funny you forget or forgive most of their behaviour. Where It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia succeeds is getting these strong disparate characters to exacerbate nearly every situation to the point where it is fucking hilarious (and sometimes quite extreme) while remaining believable given their motivations and personalities.

To quote Dennis: “We immediately escalate everything to a ten. … (S)omebody comes in with some preposterous plan or idea, then all of a sudden everyone’s on the gas, nobody’s on the brakes, nobody’s thinking, everyone’s just talking over each other with one idiotic idea after another. Until, finally, we find ourselves in a situation where we’ve broken into somebody’s house – and the homeowner is home.” (I saw that quote on wikepedia and it is a good one, so thanks for that.)

This review has run on longer than I meant it to but I have smiled while writing it. I heartily recommend It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Make sure you keep watching until Danny Devito enters in series two. Then you will be hooked. I am actually a little jealous. Enjoy.

 

 

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Gotham trailer

Gotham TV show

Gotham TV show

The much anticipated (by me anyway) Gotham TV show is on its way. Now there is a trailer. I think it looks pretty good and I remain fairly excited. I just worry a bit because without Batman and the Joker and all the rest, it is essentially just another cop drama. I know Bruce Wayne and Catwoman appear in this as children but children suck and I am a bit bored with origin stories.

Still, I remain open minded and the trailer looks pretty cool. So time will tell. Enjoy.

 

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Fargo Tv show

Fargo Tv series' cast

Fargo Tv series’ cast

I, like most people, loved the movie ‘Fargo’. There is very little not to like about it. Great script, great cast, great atmosphere, etc. When I heard they were making a Tv show based on Fargo I was a bit baffled as to what that actually meant. I assumed it just meant the occasional murder in a very bleak landscape with lots of black humour.

Well, now there is a trailer and I am actually really looking forward to it. It seems to have a great script, great cast, great atmosphere, etc. Which I now realise is what they probably meant by the ‘world of Fargo’ all along. Martin Freeman is doing damned well for himself these days and fair play to him.  Anyway, here you go:

 

 

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South Park: The Stick of Truth Game

SPSouth Park: The Stick of Truth video game is almost upon us and I am damned excited. It looks, as they intended, exactly like an episode of South Park and seems to be chock full of jokes, puerile humour, poo gags and heavy lashings of political incorrectness. It was written and voiced by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, so it should be pretty amazing.  The Stick of Truth has already been released to reviewers and the consensus of every one I read was that it is surprisingly good.

The game  was made by Obsidian, who have made a ton of classic RPGs such as Neverwinter Nights and Fallout: New Vegas. So we are in good hands here. You pick your character class – Fighter, Mage, Thief or… Jew – and you are off, wandering around South Park dressed in lame fantasy outfits.

Appetite whetted? Good. Here is a trailer:

Looks fun doesn’t it? If you want a little more South Park: The Stick of Truth trailer action, here is another with a bit of Matt Stone and Trey Parker thrown in at E3.

As far as I can tell, the gameplay is going to be quite standard RPG fare. But done well. So fighting, exploring and looting, with levelling and ability trees and so on. In fact, after watching a few gameplay trailers, it seems to be a turn based fighting system akin to Pokemon or Final Fantasy. Like Final Fantasy battles, you have standard attacks, abilities/magic, items, and the chance to call down powerful beings – except here the beings do funny stuff.

If you are just a fan of South Park, you probably just got bored a bit there where I went all computer game nerdy. If, like me, you like games AND South Park, you can probably see why I am looking forward to this. Not new-Uncharted-game-imminent excited, but excited nonetheless. If you fall into the former camp of just South Park fan, watch the trailer again. If you are in the latter like me, then here is a glimpse of what the gameplay is like. South Park: The Stick of Trutch is due for release on all platforms that matter on the 7th March. Enjoy!

 

 

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Sherlock Holmes Season 3

Sherlock Holmes Season 3

Sherlock Holmes Season 3

Ok, I’ll keep this brief. Like the trailer. #sherlocklives pretty much explains what it’s all about. We knew that anyway as you see him at the end of the final episode of season 2. The big shock here is Martin Freeman’s/Watson’s facial hair. I guess it was the ‘Singular Case of the Movember Murders’ Sherlock Holmes’ story (which was a cracker). Here you go:

 

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Cosmos

When I was a kid, one of my favourite shows was ‘Cosmos’ by the legendary Carl Sagan. It was astronomy with huge inspiring dollops of philosophy. Basically, it made you think. You can watch entire episodes on youtube if you haven’t ever seen Cosmos or Carl Sagan. Unless you’re a creationist or lack any soul, curiosity, or sense of wonder, then you’re in for a treat.

When I heard they were bringing Cosmos back, I was a bit dubious. Apart from Professor Brian Cox’s amazing documentaries (all of which I have on Bluray and astound me with every viewing), a lot of space related shows tend to be dumbed down and chock full of graphics. Both Sagan and Cox bring a sense of wonder coupled with facts, that remain unparalleled (although Hawking’s show and Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole are great too). My concern was who they were going to get to replace Sagan. If they didn’t get the right person it would be crap.

Thankfully the new Cosmos is presented by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Of whom I am a big fan. Not as big as I am of Cox or Sagan, but he’s certainly up there and after this show he might be on a par with them. I hope so. Here’s the new trailer:

Just in case you haven’t ever seen Carl Sagan in action, here is a famous thing he did about Earth. At his suggestion Voyager took a photo of Earth as it travelled further away. It really creates a sense of perspective and gives you an idea of what I mean when I say that he ‘makes you think’. This is bloody genius.

In Saturn’s Rings

This is pretty cool. Some obsessed young fellow, probably single, has spend the last 6 years splicing together actual photos from space missions to make a kind of animated photo flipbook thing so that looks like a movie. Got that? The amazing thing is that they are real pictures and are of an awesome quality. There are a lot from the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, plus some others of galactic bodies which are basically space porn. In case you keep forgetting that these are real there are some handy, if slightly annoying, reminders.

Make sure you click original quality to get the full 4k experience! (The cog thing on the lower right of the video’s screen.)

Pretty cool huh? I know it’s shallow but all of could think of was the title sequence of Star Trek Voyager. Click to about 1:05. Sorry.

 

 

Flight of the Conchords charity video

I love Flight of the Conchords. My wife stumbled on their TV show one night and then persuaded me to watch an episode and I was hooked. If you don’t know it, you definitely should. They are a couple of New Zealanders that started by doing comedy songs – a genre that is usually pretty bollocks but not in this case. The Flight of the Conchords began as a comedy radio show on the BBC and then the genius that is HBO turned that into a TV show in America. The music is brilliant and the sitcom was hilarious. Sadly they have not been on our screens for ages.

Until now! … You probably saw that coming. They have released a new clip and a new song for red nose day and it is as good as ever. If you don’t like this, you are without a soul. Come back Flight of the Conchords!

Oh yes, and support red nose day if you live in a country generous enough to have one. Or at least one that can spare the cash.

In case you want more Flight of the Conchords stuff, or are curious about them, here you go. Man, I’m nice. Here is them on stage at some American show.

Here is their homage to Bowie. Alright man!
http://youtu.be/g8f_XCH3zmM
 

 

Frozen Planet in HD

Run penguin run!

Last night we got back from the pub and were tucking in medium rare steaks wondering what to watch on the TV. This is just the way we live, don’t judge us. Predictably there wasn’t much on, so we turned on the Playstation and clicked on the BBC iPlayer. Annoyingly it wasn’t there instantly, there was a download for new features. I swore and paced and lamented that technology wasn’t yet instantaneous for the 20 seconds it took to download the upgrade and install it.

The first thing I noticed was the change in layout. It wasn’t too bad though and I soon found my way to something worth watching. Frozen Planet
by Sir David Attenborough. This is what I pay my licence fee for, not shite reality awfulness. The BBC, David Attenborough, and documentary, are all words guaranteed to combine into a TV show of epic awesomeness. So I clicked on it and we settled back to be awestruck. Then I noticed an option that was new. You can watch it in HD! I wasn’t sure if my internet connection was up to it but thankfully it was. Obviously it was only 720p, not the full 1080p as no one actually broadcasts in 1080p. Trust me, I work in TV broadcast.

But the picture was still astounding and so was the show. With Attenborough and the BBC you know you are going to see some incredible images and learn stuff you didn’t know. I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the images were so amazing it made me want to weep. You could freeze the show almost at random, print out the picture and could win a photography competition with it. Frozen Planet shows incredible almost alien landscapes and worlds. In this one they go deep under the ice in both the sea and under a volcano at the South Pole. You also see killer whales working together by swimming in formation and suddenly thrashing the water in unison to shatter a small iceberg so they can eat the seal on it. And, well, lots more stuff. I have run out of superlatives.

So IF you live in the UK and IF you have fast broadband and IF you have a playstation (or similar device) and IF you have a Hi Def TV, then you should check it out. Otherwise, I suggest you change your life and buy some new kit and move country. Because you’re missing out. Just watch the trailer below and try and tell me it doesn’t look amazing. You can even watch it in HD.
http://youtu.be/1Fshnu_SwAg

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A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones

Over the past month my life seems to have been filled with George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. It all started when I was in a bookshop in the Science Fiction section (with all the cool kids) and I noticed that the top five bestsellers in scifi were all from Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fireseries. I then read a review of the first book – A Game of Thrones, which was pretty gushing about how great it was. The final thing that happened was mentioning on facebook that Sean Bean drinks in my local pub and suddenly everyone was talking about the Game of Thrones
TV show and its general awesomeness.

So I caved and read the first book and have to say, it was pretty damned gripping. Epic fantasy of epic proportions and not a stupid elf in sight. You can read my review of it here: http://scifiward.com/?p=235

I then watched the entire TV show which was equally epic and extremely well done. I love these big budget TV shows and the added fact that it’s HBO is always a mark of quality. The cast was superb and even though I knew what was going to happen it was thoroughly enjoyable. Perhaps all the violence and unnecessary nudity did it for me, who knows. Boobs and gore, you can’t go wrong.

I then read the second bookwhich was also epic and awesome and am currently eagerly awaiting the second series.

What Martin has done is write some very convincing (mostly) characters that you start to empathise with and you end up wanting to know what is going to happen to them. That’s why it works so well on TV and in book form. The main thing that concerns me though is that books four and five are apparently a bit dull. This puts me in a quandary because if I read book three – which is actually two massive books for some reason – then I will feel the need to read books four and five. Especially if it turns out that the final two books are exciting.

As you may have gleaned from the book review on my scifi site, it isn’t without flaws. But it is bloody good fun and I won’t hesitate in recommending it. The TV show or the books. Enjoy.

 

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Too much TV causes Death!

I read an alarming article the other day. According to a recent study by the University of Queensland, every hour spent watching TV reduces a viewer’s life expectancy by 22 minutes. I then read another comment in the paper that 6 hours of TV a day massively reduces lifespan. It’s possible that the latter read the former…

My desk

When I’m not living in Asia working as a brilliant yet shallow journalist, I am in London working in the incredibly shallow TV industry. What’s worse, is that my job consists of being the final person to check the TV channels before they are beamed to your lovely houses. I literally watch TV for a living. I describe it here: My Futuristic Job.

It is alarming when I consider that I am, for example, doing a 60 hour week right now. That means 22 hours less life just this week. The only time at work when I’m not staring at a screen is when I’m having a cigarette break which cuts off  even more lifetime. I’m fucking doomed! I’ve worked in TV for over 20 years. If you then factor in my time-off spent watching TV or playing games or staring at a computer monitor and you can only come to the conclusion that I’m remarkable for still being able to walk around.

Another few hours and this is me.

Fortunately this is more to do with the associated slobby lifestyle rather than the number of screens you watch or the actual number of hours spent watching them. If you eat a salad and have the occasional walk, you’ll be fine. I’m sure you are aware of that or you wouldn’t have read this far on your lifesucking monitor and would have run screaming for the park. Presumably the people who did the study were aware of that too as they sat hunched over laptop screens staring at pointless data and coming to nonsensical conclusions.

So what’s my point? My point here is that these sorts of studies are pointless. Saying that the sort of person who watches TV is likely to eat more shite and excercise less and is therefore likely to die younger is stupid. Sure some people will barely move for days and live off butter but their life expectancy does not equate to all TV viewers. If some people get drunk, go home and beat up their partners, you shouldn’t conclude that based on statistics, drinking alcohol leads to a 10% increased chance you will hit your wife. Some people are just wife-beating dicks who can’t hold their liquor.

I don’t know why reading this study pissed me off so much. It could be the panic it caused me when I read the headline while at work watching TV. As it happens, I do think people watch too much TV but the main damage done is to their spelling and literacy. (In case you read my site regularly, there is a difference between a typo and an inability to tell the difference between your and you’re, so get off my case). Balance your entertainment. This is purely about being sedentary and having a bad diet. Lazy arsed researchers have just gone for an easy target – TV. Their conclusions could just as easily be that reading a book for an hour takes 22 minutes off your life. Or every hour working in an office or writing life altering philosophy. Or even researching stuff.  

So feel free to watch TV. Just eat a carrot for every hour that goes by. Read books and go for a walk. Perhaps to the pub for a lovely iron-rich Guinness. Just ignore time wasting studies that foresee your death. Certainly don’t read these studies while eating pies on your couch or you’re going to die really soon.

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Apple worship

Bow before Apple!

I saw a cool documentary the other day, called ‘Secrets of the Superbrands’ on good old BBC. It was actually pretty interesting given that I generally don’t care about brand names. Perhaps it was because the journalist, the slightly goofy looking Alex Riley, doesn’t care about brands either. I watched it though, because this episode was about technology and I care deeply about lovely, lovely gadgets.

There was one segment on Apple that I genuinely found a bit scary. It was at the opening of one of their shops. This particular one was the store in Covent Garden. Now keep in mind that it is just a shop that sells Apple stuff. That’s all. Yet people had flown in from all over the world and queued up to 24 hours just to be at the opening. They didn’t get anything, they just wanted to be there. Then the staff start cheering and whooping and hi-5ing all over the place and everyone seems to get into a religious frenzy. It really is like a weird cult. One of the happy ones obviously, not a kill yourself and be rescued by aliens type cult. It was pretty weird and quite frankly, very un-British.

I should state at this point that I have nothing against Apple at all. I have both an iPhone and an iPad and love them dearly. If a better phone came along though, I would buy that. I bought the iPad because I wanted something that was light, could easily fit in my bag, had internet connectivity everywhere, and a battery life of 10 hours. If a better device came along, I would buy that instead. I hate netbooks though, they are hard to write on.

When this laptop (the one I’m on right now) dies, I will very probably buy an iBook.  The problem I have with the Apple brand is its fanboy base of smug Mac lovers. I am sure it is a better computer but there is no need to be that into it. I don’t mind people who like Macs because ‘they just work’ or ‘have always used them’ or need them because they are good for graphics or editing. I have heard they are a joy to write on too. What I don’t like are people who love all things Apple and look down on you with disgust or pity for having a PC. The reason I have always had windows-based PCs is because you get higher specs for the same money. More bang for your buck. I also used to play a lot of games and games on a Mac are shit. There are hardly any, presumably because Mac owners are doing such important things.

I always liked the Charlie Brooker analogy when he said that Macs were like the Imperial Destroyers in Star Wars whereas Windows PCs were like the Millenium Falcon. You can just add things and random bits to PCs and they sort of work if you bang them occasionally. Thing is I just want a laptop for writing or watching films or doing stuff on the internet. The days of opening up the system and adding new cards and memory are done. I guess I have joined the Empire. I just don’t want to be brainwashed by it.

Here is the first part of the documentary. Watch it all or skip to about 5:30. Watch it and be afraid.
http://youtu.be/h0dUuHo58UE

 

 

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30 Rock

30 Rock

Apologies for not having written for so long but I worked like a demon for a week, then it was my wife’s birthday and the accompanying hangover. In addition to this, I have become mildly obsessed with 30 Rock.

The series is written by and starring Tina Fey and is based on her behind-the-scenes experiences of when she worked as head writer for Saturday Night Live on NBC. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for a live comedy sketch show on NBC. So it’s probably based on a lot of truth and is very, very funny.

I was going to say that where it truly shines is in the characters and the dialogue, but then that pretty much goes for every sitcom. I was trying to think of my favourite character. They are all fairly stereotypical but therein lies the fun. The writers are all geeky and make lots of SciFi references and Star Wars jokes (which actually makes them cool), the main actress is appearance obsessed, the main star is mental and on medication, and the big boss is a Republican who thinks of nothing but money and power.

The big boss is played by Alec Baldwin and is just superb. His character also has some of the best lines. Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) is the main anchor of the show and is awesome. She is neurotic but intelligent, funny and likeable. There are a lot of other memorable characters such as the religious but keen page, ex-boyfriends, and so on.

I had heard good things about 30 Rock and am glad I finally got round to watching it. It just pisses me off that Tina Fey is the same age as me and actually pulled her finger out and wrote some brilliant stuff as opposed to get drunk, going travelling and meaning to write.

I feel a sitcom penned by me coming on. 10 Camden, or something. The story of a struggling writer with an annoyingly successful career in TV that takes up all his time. It will be brilliant.

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The Human Centipede

WARNING! DO NOT READ THIS. THIS IS DISTURBING! IF YOU READ THIS HAVING JUST IGNORED THAT WARNING AND THEN WANT TO COMPLAIN YOU CAN’T, BECAUSE YOU ARE A MORON WHO WAS WARNED.

Until I make my millions, I am forced to work in the TV industry. It was an awesome job at first but now it is growing increasingly tedious. A lot of the trials and stresses come from the material we are forced to watch. I work for the BBC, the Syfy channel, Disney, Discovery, music channels and more. With such a broad scope, the 12 hours of TV I have to watch can be a bit hit and miss.

Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus. Who wouldn't want to see this?

Sometimes it can be a daft but strangely fun film like ‘Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus’, sometimes it can be an awesome documentary about space or war, sometimes it can be Micky Mouse. At one place I am supposed to watch three channels of cartoons and three channels of soft porn. Which slowly but surely breaks your brain.

An example of the trials I stoically endure occurred the other night when I was working at the Syfy Channel. I got in and did all my checks and work and then settled down to watch the movies. The first was ‘Evil Dead’. The legendary Sam Raimi directing the always awesome Bruce Campbell in a low budget horror. With chainsaws and zombies. Absolutely brilliant. Gory, cheesy, B-movie fun.Evil Dead. Sheer genius!

The next film was different. It was called ‘The Human Centipede’. Quite frankly, it was awful and disturbing. I think the most disturbing things are: someone thought it up, then wrote it, then directed it, found actors to be in it, somehow got people to pay for it, and finally managed to get it on the Syfy channel where I had to watch it. The horror.

Here’s the premise. Two young, attractive, fairly stupid American girls are on their way to a club in Germany. Their car breaks down on a remote road. They wisely decide to leave the car and wander aimlessly through the woods at night. They see a house and head toward it. The door is opened by one of the scariest looking Germans you have ever seen. They ask if the insane looking man can phone up a car rescue service and if they can come in. The obvious psychopath asks, ‘Are you alone?’ They wisely inform the nutter that they are alone and lost and tourists and then follow him in.

They then get drugged and wake up in the basement. There’s already a guy there strapped to a bed but the Mengele wannabe decides the guy isn’t right and takes him out and kills him. He then pops out and comes back with a drugged and bound Japanese guy. Which is apparently pretty easy in remote Germany. It is once he has returned that one of the girls tries to escape. In fact, she decides to make a run for it while he is in the room, as opposed to all the opportunities she had before. Brilliantly she manages to get out but then returns to try and get her friend. I tell you this not to ruin the film, which is impossible, but to warn you of the sort of intelligence displayed in the film.

The German mad doctor fellow turns out to be an expert in separating Siamese twins. Unfortunately he is also insane and secretly wants to join people together. By the ass to mouth method. Apparently the film is 100% medically accurate. What they mean is that it is possible to stitch someone’s mouth to someone’s arsehole and make them eat their crap. Which is probably possible. After about an hour of this tedium, the three get turned into – THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE!

The 'science' behind the premise

The 'science' behind the film

If you have read this far, then you have pretty much experienced all the film has to offer. This film is awful. The script is dire but it often is in films like this. It isn’t particularly scary or gory. It isn’t clever or interesting. It really doesn’t seem to have anything going for it apart from the main grossout idea. The ‘Evil Dead’ is gorier and cheesier but it has a certain amount of charm and is well directed and has Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw and an evil hand. Compared to a shock film like the first ‘Saw’ movie ‘The Human Centipede’ just comes across as stupid and pointless. The original ‘Saw’ was a horrible idea, but it was clever and watchable. This just isn’t. I love horror films and thought this was pointless.

If this hasn’t been enough to put you off, here is the trailer. It is probably better than the film and you will get nothing more from the film in the way of shocks or entertainment. I just don’t want you, dear reader, to waste your life watching this. I, at least, get paid.

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Hole in the wall TV show

Holy shit. I just turned on the TV and thought: “I haven’t watched terrestrial tv on a Saturday evening for years, I wonder what it’s like these days?” Astoundingly, it’s even worse. Fucking awful in fact. I tuned in half way through a show called ‘Hole in the wall’. Which I’m thankful about as it means I missed half of it. Here’s the premise: A contestant stands at the edge of a pool and a polystyrene wall with a variety of holes cut out move toward the contestant. If the stupid sap manages to mimic their body to the pillock shaped hole they win points. If they don’t, they get pushed by the wall into the pool.

That’s it. Really. If that’s not bad enough, the people involved are ghastly. I think they might be celebrities. I’m sure one was Annabelle Croft – a tennis player I lusted after about 20 years ago. She’s an English tennis player, so not many would have heard of her. I have no idea who the others were but I was generally led to believe they were well known. Maybe they are scientists or philosophers or something. The presenter was a strange looking man with a bizarrely long face. He reminded me of Charles Grodin (from Beethoven and Midnight Run) after his head had been squashed from the sides. He looked like a happy horse and kept doing strange spins and turns, so I think he might be a dancer or something.

Anyway, it was fucking awful. There’s my review. Here’s a clip, which might even make you chortle. Probably will in fact, because it’s actually quite funny. But then imagine half an hour of it. And despair. I’ll give Saturday night on normal TV another 10 years.

Legend of the Seeker

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A simple lad unaware of his destiny lives out his life in the middle of nowhere. While he’s popped out his family are killed by an evil ruler’s henchmen. He is led by destiny and a hot chick in white to flee to safety. He meets an old wizard guy who gives him a magic sword and informs him that his family weren’t actually his family and that he has special powers and a role in life where he’s destined to fight for good.

Oh hang on, that’s the plot of Star Wars – let me consult my notes. Nope, my mistake, it’s also Legend of the Seeker’s plot.

Actually I’m being unfair here. It’s also the plot of a million things.

Legend of the Seeker is an epic new fantasy series that incongruously appears on the Sci Fi channel. (It isn’t Sci Fi!) That doesn’t really matter. While watching the pilot I spent the whole time thinking “Wow, it’s like everything I’ve seen before”. Being a fair-minded chap, however, I thought I’d give it a chance and watch a few other episodes. And I have to say, it got pretty good. It even gets quite dark at times. I’ve only seen the pilot and a few episodes but if you are into fantasy (and in this post LOTR world, that’s a lot of people) you will like this.

The series is based on a series of books called The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. This obviously means some saddoes are lamenting the slightest change from the worshipped text but as the author has been heavily involved in the script, it has shut a lot of them up. It also means some of the narrative is pretty compelling.

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Baffled hero, hot chick in white, guy from Mad Max

The cast, (as all good TV casts are,) are all pretty attractive. Except for the wizard fellow. The lead character, Richard Cypher, looks permanently baffled and angry but is pretty watchable. The lead lady, who’s a kind of magic nun called Kahlan, is very watchable in her tight white dress. The wizard fellow is played by a guy I have always liked and seen in a million movies and shows but always remember as the mental guy with the flying machine in the Mad Max movies.

The bad guy sounds vaguely English and the whole thing is filmed in New Zealand, so it really has all the necessary elements for success. New Zealand’s countryside must be riddled with attractive fantasy actors wandering around in the same way the Canada’s woods are full of rubberized humanoids.

The action isn’t quite up to Lord of the Rings standards but is watchable and fairly exciting. A little too much of the theatrical sword-clearly-missing the-body-and-sticking-out-the-other-side fighting style but there are some enjoyable enough sequences. He can even split arrows with his lightsaber. I mean sword.

In all, stick through the hackneyed plot of the pilot and you are in for an enjoyable series. Of course, I’ve only seen three episodes and it could be dire later but so far each episode has improved. If you like fantasy, I really can’t think of anything better on TV. I actually find myself looking forward to the next episode, which for someone whose job consists of watching TV for 12 hour stints, means it’s pretty damn watchable.

Angry hero, hot chick in white.

Angry hero, hot chick in white.

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Knight Rider 2008

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Knight Rider 2.0 man! New car, new cast, new rocking theme tune. The original was a fun, if somewhat shallow, series following the adventures of a smooth talking, hard hitting ladies’ man (played by the Hoff), and a futuristic talking car called Kitt. While it could never be described as brilliant, it was fun.

The new series is much the same, except there is a bigger cast and they are all better looking. Including the car. I actually quite liked this new version although I doubt I’ll ever go out of my way to watch it but if it was on, its very watchable.

The main guy is actually pretty likeable this time. Which is an improvement. He’s supposed to be the Hoff’s son, so he has some pretty big shoes to fill! The main person in charge (after a few episodes) is a hot chick who may or may not get it on with him at some point. But obviously will. There is also a hot Chinese chick who shows her stomach a lot and a geeky guy who plays a geeky guy who played the geeky assistant to the president guy in Battlestar Galactica.

KITT is predictably quite cool and can do all sorts of modern type stuff with computers and head-up displays and nanites and EMP weaponry and so on. Plus it impresses women.

I’ve only seen a couple of episodes and it was fun. Consequently I think it may be cancelled by now. Why do modern networks never give shows a chance? I watched this on Sci Fi Uk and it is considerably better than the shite on what’s going out right now on my Russian channels – season nine of Walker Texas Ranger (yes nine seasons of this Chuck Norris crap) and season six of Hercules (which is quite good fun too, but hardly superior).

They cancelled Firefly too and are now on my list. This being cancelled is a shame but that was a crime.

If you can catch it, it’s worth a watch. Especially if you like men or women or cars or action. The Hoff even appears in the pilot.

The new improved better looking cast and car.

The new improved better looking cast and car.

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