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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 16/04/2010 - 07:07

Music fans are in for a genuine treat this evening as BBC4 comes up trumps yet again for its Friday music programming. The star of the station is Nick Drake and you're getting not one but two documentaries for your licence fee. Kicking off at 9pm is The Songs of Nick Drake: Way to Blue - concert footage from the Barbican of other musicians interpreting Drake's compositions. This isn't as dull as it sounds - Drake died way too young in 1974 but is still a major influence on today's musicians and this is a good introduction to his place in the rock 'n' roll canon. At 10.30pm, Nick Drake: A Skin Too Few profiles the man himself.

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 15/04/2010 - 09:59

It's not often the nation comes together for that rare event known as "event TV" these days. But it's a fair bet that millions will be tuning into The First Election Debate on ITV1 at 8.30pm. The three main party leaders - Brown, Cameron and Clegg - will be going head to head, live in a studio, with Alistair Stewart chairing. Some of you may have caught Tuesday's behind-the-scenes taster on BBC2 but even if you didn't you're probably aware that this is going to be a rather stage-managed event. Negotiations among the Lib-Dems, Labour and Tories have taken months to be hammered out - Brown gets first dibs on where to sit because of his visual problems, while

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The Heavy: Interview with Gary Stretch and Lee Ryan

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 14/04/2010 - 20:55

By Doug Cooper

Gary Stretch and Lee Ryan were in London this week to publicise their new movie The Heavy. I had a 10-minute slot with them at the Soho Hotel. They were both very chatty and enthusiastic, Ryan clad in a smart blue suit, while Stretch was more casually attired.

Unfortunately my digital audio recorder  played up and wouldn't work, causing me some distress. Gary asked me what I thought of the movie so I thought it best to be honest and and gave my opinion, saying that I thought the climax was improbable. He then gave me a  lucid and very detailed explanation about the motivations of the characters and explaining how the plot played out: "You did actually watch the movie didn't you? You weren't reading a book at the same time?" he joked.

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Glamorous new poster for Sex and the City 2

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 14/04/2010 - 19:58

Sex and the City pulled in a juicy $415 million worldwide back in 2008, and now, two years later, we are on the brink of Sex and the City 2. Have you been seduced by the trailer's allure yet? If not, perhaps this rather glamorous new one sheet poster that we've undressed will get you hot under the collar and wanting to see more of those infamous NYC girls.


SYNOPSIS: Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda take another bite out of the Big Apple in the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster. Returning in the starring roles, as the four great friends are Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. Of course, where would these women be without their men? Also back for the much-anticipated sequel are Chris Noth as Mr. Big, David Eigenberg as Steve, Evan Handler as Harry, Jason Lewis as Smith, Mario Cantone as Anthony, and Willie Garson as Stanford Blatch.

Sex and the City 2 also reunites the original creative team from the series and the first feature. Michael Patrick King is once again directing from his own screenplay.

Sex and the City 2 struts into cinemas in the UK and Ireland on May 28th

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 14/04/2010 - 07:47

The terrestrial schedules look rather skimpy this evening, like the lull before the storm of tomorrow night's live election debate with the top party leaders. The Freeview channels are rammed with films and repeats, for example. I know what I'll be tuning into, though. My love of Mediterranean food and passion for cooking it doesn't stop at the obvious French, Italian and Greek. A spell living in France meant I developed a taste for north African grub and so I'll be

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Second trailer released for Angelina Jolie action-thriller Salt

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 13/04/2010 - 14:51

Colombia Pictures' action-thriller Salt is headed to our screens this summer and now the second trailer has arrived. After seeing the first back in December on the reel prior to Paranormal Activity, I was surprisingly pumped. It looks like it's got an interesting plot loaded with thrills and plenty of bullets. This new trailer offers a little more insight than the first, and still has me pretty excited to see the film.

Salt is directed by Phillip Noyce (The Bone Collector) and stars Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber. The script was co-written by Kurt Wimmer (The Thomas Crown Affair, Street Kings, Law Abiding Citizen) and Brian Helgeland (Green Zone, Man on Fire, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3).

SYNOPSIS: As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt (Jolie) swore an oath to duty, honour and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. Salt goes on the run, using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture. Her efforts to prove her innocence only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues and the question remains: "Who is Salt?".

Salt blasts into cinemas in the UK and Ireland on August 20

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Armchair Viewing: Over The Hedge (2000)

Posted by Justin Bateman | Tue, 13/04/2010 - 05:53

By Neil Davey.

"That, my friend, is a magical combination of cornflour, dehydrated cheese solids, BHA, BHT, and good ol' MSG, a.k.a., the chip, nacho cheese flavour."

What's it about?
As they wake from hibernation, a group of animals discovers that, what used to be their forest is now a small patch of greenery in the middle of a new housing development. With their food source gone, the panicked creatures have to rely on an urban (and urbane) raccoon called RJ (voiced by Bruce Willis) to help them survive by sneaking food from the human world that lies over the hedge. What the animals don't know, however, is that RJ has an ulterior motive: he actually owes a load of food to a hungry bear who's about to cash in the debt.

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 13/04/2010 - 05:27

Is it me or is Jools Holland intensely irritating? I love him when he’s busy hammering the piano keys but the rest of the time there’s an unattractive smugness about him. I can forgive him, though, for continuing to bring new music to us. Later Live… returns for a new series tonight on BBC2 at 10pm. Veteran Paul Weller entertains with tracks for his new album but there’s a raft of new groups to enjoy too. Welcome back.

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Trailer for Thai horror Phobia on DVD

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 12/04/2010 - 13:42

Thai horror will make you face your fears on May 10th when Phobia is unleashed on DVD in the UK by Icon Home Entertainment. Comprised of four interconnected tales of terror, Phobia is a grizzly anthology film with its roots firmly set in classics like Creepshow, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and Tales from the Crypt.

2004's excellent Shutter put co-directors Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom on the horror map, and now they return to the genre teamed up with Paween Purikitpanya (Body) and Yongyoot Thongkongtoon (Metrosexual) to present four macabre stories. I personally can't wait to see this critically-acclaimed Thai horror quartet.

SYNOPSIS: Thongkongtoon kicks things off with "Happiness", a dialogue-free instalment featuring a teenage girl housebound due to injuries received in a taxi accident, whose only connection to the outside world is via her mobile phone. Another boring evening starts to look promising when she begins receiving friendly text messages from a mysterious boy. Things take a turn for the worst when it becomes apparent that the texts are being sent from beyond the grave by a lonely corpse who's very keen to meet up...

In "Tit for Tat", a group of dope-smoking school bullies face bloody, Final Destination-style retribution when their latest victim, a fellow student, seeks revenge via black magic and a terrifying curse from which there is no escape. Or is there? Paween Purikitpanya's hyper-kinetic directing style, unexpectedly creative death scenes and generous helpings of gore deliver a thrilling tale with a suitably gruesome pay-off.

A self-referential horror-comedy that manages to give passing nods to Titanic, The Sixth Sense, The Others, and the director's own Shutter, among other movies, Banjong Pisanthanakun's "In the Middle" even have one character posing the question: "Why are ghosts always females with white faces and long, straight dark hair?". That's definitely not the case in this story of four youths on a camping and white river rafting trip that takes a creepy turn when one of them goes missing after their dinghy capsizes. Giggles and gasps are produced in equal measures in a segment that will delight film fans, especially those who don't like to have the endings of movies ruined by inconsiderate friends.

Directed by Parkpoom Wongpoon, "Last Flight" takes the movie's shock factor to new heights as the sole stewardess on a flight taking home the body of a deceased princess is haunted, mid-air, by the woman whose marriage she wrecked and who she accidentally killed. Taut, claustrophobic and full of unexpected scares, "Last Flight" is a textbook example of effective, short horror film-making.

Phobia screams onto DVD in the UK and Ireland on May 10th

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Tonight's Terrestrial Telly Tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 12/04/2010 - 11:53

Two of this evening's better viewing options are on C4. The fascination of grubbing in fields with a metal detector does occasionally pay off, as Terry Herbert discovered last year. Saxon Gold: Finding the Hoard (9pm) looks at how Terry's unearthing of 200 ancient coins changed his life forever when he claimed Treasure Trove and made his fortune. Cash aside, it's another exciting glimpse into our collective past when the land gives up its secrets.

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