While a normal US TV season lasts between 22 and 24 episodes, we only get 13 instalments of Bones – Season 7. The reason is that Emily Deschanel rudely decided to have a baby. While her being up the duff was written into the show, she gave birth partway through the season’s shooting schedule, and by the time she returned there was only time to make 13 episodes. It just goes to show how important she is to the series, as normally pregnant women getting written out of a show for a few episodes when it’s time to drop the sprog, but here things had to stop to make way for the appearance of Deschanel junior. [Read more…]
Before Modern Family came along, a lot of TV pundits were all ready to pronounce the death of the US sitcom. Then the series came along, became a darling of the critics and found huge audiences too. It’s managed to keep up the quality through its first three seasons, so that just a few days ago it picked up five Emmys.
It’s a great show, where strong writing and good direction come together with one of the best casts ever assembled for a television show. The acting really is top notch (it’s notable that when Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet won their Emmys for the show, they had to beat out four of their castmates, who were nominated in the same categories) and it’s not just the adults, as the kids are all great too. Much of the time with sitcoms, you’re sort of having to forgive the younger cast members their lack of comic skill, but here they’re all great – even four-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays Lily, has her moments. [Read more…]
There’s a little bit of every different kind of horror in The Pact – supernatural, psychological, slasher and haunted house, amongst other. Expanding his successful short film, Nicholas McCarthy concocts a horror that offers little new except mixing up horror tropes from all over the map into something that sets out to put the audience on the edge of their seats. It sometimes works, but it’s all a bit too spare to fully succeed.
Following the death of her mother, Annie reluctantly returns to her childhood home, where she expects to find her sister, Nichole. However her sis has gone missing. Initially Annie assumes her sibling has slipped back into drug addiction and that’s why she’s nowhere to be seen. However soon strange things begin to happen in Annie’s mother’s house, which seem supernatural in origin. These events begin to dredge up the past, both from Annie’s history and her mother’s. [Read more…]
One of the by-products of this year’s Cultural Olympiad and the Summer Of Shakespeare was the BBC’s ambitious plan to bring the Bard’s Henriad tetralogy (sorry, it’s Shakespeare and therefore long words are compulsory) to the screen. Under the title The Hollow Crown we get Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part 2 and Henry V, which cover one period of British history from the rise of Henry IV and the usurpation (another good long word there) of Richard II, through the reign of Henry’s son, Henry V.
While the three Henrys tell one interlinked story with many recurring characters, Richard II is a bit of a play on its own, even though it deals with some of the same people. It’s also probably the least known of the plays, often regarded as one of Shakespeare’s more difficult texts, but as Rupert Goold’s two-hour take on the tale proves, it’s also one of the richest. [Read more…]
A lot of directors get labelled as being ‘one of a kind’, but in the case of Hal Ashby it really was true. With his hippie spirit and amazing eye for human connections, he made wonderful films like Harold And Maude, Shampoo, Coming Home, Bound For Glory and Being There. However it all started with his debut movie, 1970’s The Landlord.
A young Beau Bridges stars as Elgar Enders, a 29-year-old from a very well-to-do family who’s been feeling increasingly stifled living at home with his overbearing mother. He buys a house on a run down, inner city street, with the plan of getting the tenants out, doing it up and helping with the gentrification of the area. However he soon finds the tenants aren’t interested in leaving, and Elgar begins to find a new life there far from the one he grew up in. He even starts to date a mixed-race woman, something his mother is less than impressed by. [Read more…]
The people behind Bereavement certainly studied their horror films before they made the movie. Psychotic, nutty ritualistic killer? Check. Creepy kid? Check. Young women who don’t wear bras screaming and being slaughtered? Check. Liberal sprinklings of blood and guts? Check. Generic but slightly sinister titles? Check. But while it may have all right ingredients, it’s not a completely satisfying concoction.
Teenager Allison (Percy Jackson’s Alexandra Daddario) moves in with her uncle (Michael Biehn) and his family after her parents die. While she’s hoping her new rural high school will allow her to continue her interest in sports, they’re not that interested in female athletes. Because of this she takes to jogging along the area’s remote roads. [Read more…]
Sometimes it’s difficult not to feel slightly sad at the end of a film when you know that with a slightly bigger budget and some expert help and guidance on the script and direction, it could have been something really, really good. Unfortunately while the guts of something smart, entertaining and sharp is present in in the urban thriller Victim, it’s all a little underbaked and doesn’t quite hit the spot.
Young woman Tia’s (Ashley Madekwe’s) father has done well for himself and managed to get off the mean street of London, but she heads into the urban sprawl to live with her cousin, Davina. Tia meets Tyson (Ashley Chin), a young man who’s gotten involved in crime due to desperate family circumstances. He’s trying to keep things afloat as he attempts to ensure his smart younger sister get the education she deserves and deals with his mother’s massive gambling debts. As Tia and Tyson’s relationship develops, he attempts to break away from the cycle of crime and violence he seems to be trapped in. However escaping isn’t all that easy, leading to a crime that brings things a little too close to home. [Read more…]
From the 1950s to the early 80s, the British film industry had a thriving sideline in almost ridiculously wholesome family entertainment. Much it came through the Children’s Film Foundation, but other companies got in on the act too, and through one of those we got 1973’s Digby The Biggest Dog In The World. Thanks to showings on TV it became a bit of fave for several generations of kids, but bizarrely it’s been unavailable on DVD for years. It’s particularly strange as while a lot of old kid’s entertainment is now horribly outdated and won’t work for modern children, Digby will still be enjoyed by youngsters and so it’s been a bit of an omission to have it out of print. [Read more…]
Someone must think the Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe are good, as they’re allowed to keep making films. After the likes of Super Troopers, Beerfeest and Broken Lizard’s Stand Up comes The Babymakers. It’s got a talented cast and a decent premise, but unfortunately it screws things up from beginning to end.
Tommy (Paul Schneider) and Audrey (Olivia Munn) are a married couple who decide they want to have a baby. There’s a problem though, as for some reason Tommy’s sperm is rubbish and more interested in swimming in circles than inseminating eggs. This wasn’t always true though, as to pay for his wife’s engagement he got paid to donate some healthy sperm. [Read more…]