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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 09/10/2009 - 08:33

Ah, coffee! I love it so much, I drink my way through about half a kilo of it a week. Starting my working day without a litre or two of Americano would be unthinkable. And I'm not alone. We're not a nation but a globe of caffeine addicts. We drink more coffee than anything else except water. How Stuff Works (Quest, 6.30pm) explores the world of the humble but important coffee bean. From the bushes it grows on to its progress via the dealers on the commodities markets and the café or supermarket it ends up in. On the way, there's lots of fascinating science chucked in, like the fact that coffee contains several hundred chemicals that make up its flavour and its effect on the central nervous system and a few cups a day can help prevent Alzheimers. Latte, macchiatto or cappucino - whatever your choice, it's all served up here for your consumption.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 09/10/2009 - 07:57

Texas moves to Twisted Pictures
Twisted Pictures
, home to the Saw franchise are closing a deal to bring the Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the company. Talks are also being held with Lionsgate to set up a joint picture deal for the new property, which has already shown profit through working together on all five released Saw films, as well as the upcoming sixth installment. More at Variety.

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Review: Last Night's TV: Bullindgon Boys and True Blood

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 08/10/2009 - 12:07

I’ll level with you. One behaves ridiculously at university. Excessive drinking of horrific beverages, joining of weird clubs, careering from one house party to the next; that’s all par for the course. So it would be very naive to expect our now leaders to have been saints in their youth. That said, it’s surprising that Cameron and BoJo aren’t ribbed more mercilessly about being ex-members of Oxford’s Bullingdon Club, because there’s harmless student silliness, and then there’s the Buller.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 08/10/2009 - 09:17

BBC4's tech/geek strand, Electronic Revolution, is shaping up to be a veritable wiki of interesting and quirky programmes about life in the digital age. Micro Men (9pm) is a feature-length comic drama about a famous technology race in the 1980s. Starring Alexander Armstrong (of Armstrong and Miller) as Clive Sinclair and Martin Freeman as Chris Curry (the CEO of Acorn), this tells the tale of the intense rivalry between two computer boffins in the race to be first to deliver a home computer to the mass market. It's rich in period detail (tinned soup and instant coffee in a greasy spoon and a synth-pop soundtrack) even if not always accurate. Setting that aside, even those of us old enough to remember have probably forgotten how high the stakes were back then. Sinclair and Acorn were entering unknown territory and the pressure on both was immense. The comic approach is probably the best way to unveil this at times bizarre story. The only other geek missing here is Alan Sugar but what's the betting we'll get an Amstrad play before the end of the season?

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 07/10/2009 - 09:48

Pass the hankies, because if you watch The Pride of Britain Awards tonight (ITV1, 8pm), you'll need them. This annual weep-fest certainly knows how to melt even the hardest, most cynical heart and rightly so because this is where the public pays tribute to some genuine heroes - ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. Naturally, the ceremony is littered with celebrities, including the ubiquitous Simon Cowell (is there anything he doesn't appear in these days?) but ignore them and celebrate some of the finest men, women and children in the UK.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 07/10/2009 - 09:47

Polanski refused bail
The Swiss Justice Ministry have refused Roman Polanski's request for bail pending his possible extradition to the US. More at Screen Daily.

Brody becomes prey for Predator
Surprise casting of the year must surely go to the announcement that Adrian Brody will play the lead in Robert Rodriguez's reboot of Predators. The Piano star known for character roles will take the action role originally portratyed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. More at Variety.

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E20-20 Vision

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/10/2009 - 23:27

In praise of Lacey

Stacey Slater, the sick minx of Albert Square - a creation made possible not just through fine scriptwriting but also some very fine acting by Lacey Turner. Stacey burst on to our screens just under five years ago and immediately got a lot of viewers' backs up for a being a brash, gobby 15-year-old. But it was quickly revealed that Stacey was very troubled and as fast as her debut alienated EastEnders fans she grew on us too.

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Tonight's terrestrial telly tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/10/2009 - 08:32

If you've got any sense, you'll be tuning in to part two of Peter Moffat's gripping and finely nuanced Criminal Justice which continues apace on BBC1 at 9pm. Catch up on iPlayer if you missed last night's opener. If the crime drama isn't your cup of Darjeeling, flip over to BBC2 at 9pm instead for a major historical documentary. Blitz: the Bombing of Coventry explores that dreadful night in 1940 when the Nazis rained fire on Coventry, dropping so many bombings that 75% of the city was wiped out. Coventry was nothing if not resilient though, and it rose quickly from its ashes to be the model for the British retaliation on Germany. Survivors of Operation Moonlight Sonata, as the Nazis dubbed it, tell their moving tales, complete with some archive footage.

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Film Industry News Bites

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 06/10/2009 - 07:07

Paranormal Activity to lead to Area 51
As Paramount Pictures cranks up the promotional push for Paranormal Activity, writer-director Oren Peli's attention has turned to his next project, Area 51. This new film will tell the story of three teenagers who are drawn towards the reputed Area 51 situated at Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert. Financing has been secured for the new pic, which considering Paranormal Activity cost just $11,000, a fairly substantial $5m. More on this at Variety.

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Event: BAFTA Premiere Japan 09

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 05/10/2009 - 15:43

Asian film fanatics have something to look forward to this weekend as Bafta’s Premiere Japan 09 weekend screens a series of six Japanese films yet to be released in the UK.

The event kicks off with Gama no Abura on Friday October 9 at 6.30pm (There’s also another screening on Saturday at 2pm). With a title that translates as Toad Oil – a traditional Japanese panacea, the film is a magical realist look into the life of a stock market player whose son is seriously injured in a car accident that sees celebrated actor Yakusho Koji (The Eel, Shall We Dance?, Babel) making his debut behind the camera.

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