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Wallander: Firewall (Review)

The wonderful folks at the BBC have given me access to their BBC Global iPlayer for a month to give the service a go and trawl through the archives. I’ll have some thoughts on the service at the end of the month, but I thought I’d also take the opportunity to enjoy some of the fantastic content.

Firewall feels a bit more like a conventional little mystery thriller, especially measured against Sidetracked, the pilot episode of Wallander. It’s very much a conventional television “whodunnit” (or, perhaps, a “whydunnit”), with our lead character opening an investigation into a fairly simple case, but asking a series of questions that point towards something all-together larger. It does feel a bit lighter than its direct predecessor, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it retains the two key virtues of the series. Kenneth Branagh is still on fine form as the eponymous detective, while the Swedish scenery is still absolutely haunting.

Hitting a brick Wallander...

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Non-Review Review: Despicable Me

I think that, as a general trend, the quality of computer-animated films has increased significantly over the past number of years. I think there are a variety of reasons for this – the most obvious being that it seems to be easier to do, and so more companies are trying; but also because there’s an increasing body of work that offers hints on what to do and how to do it. While Pixar remain the undisputed champions of computer-generated animation, I think we’ve seen an increasing number of high-quality releases from all studios in the past few years. Despicable Mesees a new studio throwing their hat into the ring and it makes for an impressive debut. While there’s still room for improvement, Despicable Me is fast and fun, and remarkably uncynical for a children’s movie about super-villains.

Aiming for the moon...

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Meme of the Moment: Cinema Code of Conduct

Note: You can find the full list of participating blogs here. Kudos to all involved, and especially to CinemaScream for putting it together.

I feel somewhat humbled to open this post with an admission of a breach of blogging etiquette. Those who frequent the site might have noticed that I have been somewhat absent from the blogging world in the past few months – my postings are sporadic, cobbled together from a car ride or bus ride on an iPhone screen. I won’t dare to make a series of excuses about how things have gone upside down of late, or make reference to increasing commitments. We all have those, and yet most manage it far better. Anyway, I owe a sincere apology to CinemaScream – I agreed to take part in this rather ingenious (and thoroughly practical) meme, but it completely slipped my mind. So this post is somewhat more haphazard than usual. But only somewhat.

Basically, the Cinema Code of Conduct (as proposed by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo) is intended to make going to the cinema a far more pleasant experience for those involved. In this era of mobile phones and iPods and such, it’s a rather wonderful idea to attempt to codify the behaviour that should be considered acceptable in modern cinemas. I really wish that a few major chains would consciously publicise the list to promote it among movie-goers. The ten items, included below, are not excessively harsh or intrusive – they are in fact relatively minor things which, if everybody did them, would make going to the cinema a much more enjoyable experience.

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