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Skins: Series 2
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This season of Skins opens with a two minute dance sequence featuring Maxxie and two extras. Then, five minutes later, there is another dance sequence involving Bill Bailey and a dog. Cutting.
Style over substance has always been the point of this, but the fact of the matter is that not one episode of the second season has been as entertaining as the potential scenes in the (brilliantly edited) shots of the title sequence.
Nicholas Hoult does a decent job as the new Tony Stonem, but characters have been paired up in the most slap-dash fashion here, and storylines are just absurd; always losing focus, and often labouring the point.
The solid cast has been mostly wasted. Dev Patel's Anwar had the potential for a runaway central character in the second season, but instead the 'typical teens' get the limelight, and Anwar is left somehow standing on the side waiting for a comical interlude to become available amongst all the drudge.
Sketch, played by some wicked Welsh girl, is outstanding though. Her episode is probably the best of Skins yet.
Apparently, the entire cast of Skins will be axed for next season, and every two years from now on. Do they honestly think that this will earn them a fourth? Do they think this will keep it "fresh"? Or are they just admitting that they have somehow run out of ideas for the cast they have now, when some of them have such potential that they often carry the whole thing.
I know that this is aimed at teens, and fair play, it's fine for that. But it's just not that good. Sorry.
South Park: Season 6
Easily the best satire in the world today, AND, eleven year in, it's funnier now than it's ever been.
As long as we can count on the world being as crap as it is, we can count on South Park to show us how.
Later... Live With Jools Holland (2CD)
Various - CD
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Okay, obviously this is amazing, and full of excellent artists performing great songs, but honestly now:
Chuck James Blunt and Keane out and shove in Battles or Sigur Ros...
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read
For example, I haven't read this book.
I've been told/am guessing it's about the fact that some books have been so integrated into culture and society that we can successfully and clearly discuss them without having read them. Interesting, really, I suppose.
It's the same with films really. Think Star Wars. Haven't seen it, and still hate it. One could argue that hating it without seeing it is unfair, but everything's unfair. That's what The Bible was about, wasn't it?
I don't know; I haven't read it.
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Not an easy film to take in; but the fact that it's so daring and uncompromising is something that has to be admired.
The young cast is suitably fearless and the dialogue is spot on. The ending will leave an awfully bitter taste in your mouth, mind.
Shark Attack 3
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It would be far too easy to dismiss this as the crud it clearly is.
If you're looking for so-bad-it's-good filmaking, look no further! This is SO rubbish and ridiculous it demands not to be taken seriously from the outset. And because of that, this is highly enjoyable.
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I remember going to see Monsters Inc. in the cinema and watching For The Birds beforehand. An our into the film and I was still chuckling over the fat blobs of feathers pecking away with an irate and dishevelled dementia at their Goliath cousin's feet.
This collection is a informing and entertaining representation of the ever-evolving style and developement that Pixar experiment with as they're producing their full-lengths.
Oscar winner For The Birds is particularly immense.
Thank You For Smoking
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Very underrated film, with great performances.
Reitman actually sent each of the central cast members a letter explaining why their chosen roles were most suited to them. As a result, all of his first choices accepted their roles.
Maria Bello, Aaron Eckhart and Katie Holmes (which might surprise some) are the stand-out performers here. William H. Macy though, is as amazing as ever.
The Postal Service - CD
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Not a bad song on this album. I was amazed that music so inoffensive could actually be enjoyable!
The Sunset Tree
The Mountain Goats - CD
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Uh oh, looks like I must retract my previous statement of, 'I am not a folk fan'...
... because recently I have realised that I am indeed a folk fan - it's just that it is much easier to find an absolutely crap folk album than it is to find a pretty damn outstanding one...
Here's one though.