Rob Pearson’s Films of the Week

January 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

OTB critic Rob Pearson casts an eye over what films are on TV- what to watch and what should be cast from the land of television never to return.

TROY, ITV 1, Sat 31st Jan, 9:50pm Alert Me

This week brings us one startling example of how to act like a wet blanket: step forward Orlando Bloom, uncharismatic elf extraordinaire, saddled with the thankless role of Paris in the non-more-epic, swords and sandals adventure of Troy. As Paris, Legolas plies a nice little trade in wife-stealing, seducing the most beautiful girl in the world with the frankly unattractive offer of a life being hunted by her entire country for the rest of their lives, having a farm somewhere, or something, oh, and some sweet Orlando-loving…

Yes: the war to end all wars essentially boils down to ‘you nicked my bird’. Diane Kruger stars as Helen, the face who launched a thousand ships – but in terms of storytelling and character, you’d barely even toss her a lifebelt. Despite this being a fairly loose adaptation of the Iliad – it’s Hollywood, after all – Homer actually gains a writing credit. He must have a very good agent. Hotel Rwanda, Starsky & Hutch, Amelie and More

First Cut – My Dad the Serial Killer Review

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

First Cut – My Dad the Serial Killer, Channel 4, Friday 30th Jan, 7:35pm Alert Me

Documentaries tend to live or die on their subjects. You can have three whole hours dedicated to Killer Guatemalan Ferret Hunters, but if they have the personality of a Hobnob, it’s just not likely to make good television.

And this is, bizarrely, where My Dad the Serial Killer both falls down and partially wins you over.

Matt Rudge’s documentary examines the deeply personal fallout from the Levi Bellfield ‘hammer’ murders that rocked London during 2005. By focusing on his unsuspecting family, Rudge is able to explore the after-effects of a lesser-heard victim in these terrible tragedies. Read More

Sold?: Cadburys- A return to wacky form

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

To the delight of lovers of oddball ads everywhere, Cadbury has at last returned to its motherland of Quirk. Fresh from a short trip away experimenting with some trucks in an airport that turned out to be disappointing duds, the purple people clearly felt it was high time to go home to their purer ways of madcap, music-loving gorillas and Phil Collins music. Their new revelation is a return to form.

So here’s the gist, two kids sit in a photographer’s studio ready to have their picture taken when the photographer goes off to answer a phone call. The boy does something with his watch and boom- eyebrow madness. …Read more

Jamie Saves our Bacon Review: How the supermarkets are telling us porkies…

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews


Jamie Saves our Bacon, Channel 4, Thursday 29th Jan, 9:00pm Alert Me

Ok so there’s going to be a lot of blather about the fact that Jamie’s back on the campaign trail. It’ll go a little like this: ‘Blah blah, Jamie Oliver back on his high horse, when will he ever get off it… isn’t he annoying, how can he keep finding stuff to fret about?’.

Yes, it’s true. Jamie Oliver has been fretting a lot about a lot of different things. Tonight, he’s fretting about pig farming.

Turns out that it’s pretty brutal, at least in the EU. The pig equivelent of battery farming for chickens is something called a ‘sow stall’. This is basically a cage in which the pig is kept, where it can’t turn or move and where it has to eat and poo in the same place. This kind of farming is illegal in the UK which is great for animal welfare but terrible for pig farmers, as now a huge amount of our pork is being imported from cheap EU sources. This has the double impact of the fact that we often eat pork that has been reared in a terribly cruel way, and it’s destroying the British pork industry.

So this is Jamie’s latest campaign and in tonight’s Jamie Saves our Bacon we watch him reveal, right down to the smallest detail, the life of a farmed pig in a weird half documentary, half live show format. Does Jamie make a pig’s ear of it? Read on

License Fee Justified? Nah.

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Are we at OTB the only ones slightly loving the recession?

Sure, we can’t afford to go out at the moment and we’re having to resort to using the Daily Star as toilet paper (in itself, oddly satisfying) but it gives us the warm and fuzzies to see overpaid, overblown celeb’s being brought to their knees.

The Sun has reported that the BBC has told some of its biggest stars that they will have to take pay cuts from around  25% as a result of the worsening economic tsunami (when did it evolve from a storm, by the way? what’s next? financial cthulhu?)

This would mean that Jonathan Ross’s ridonkulous three-year £18million contract could be cut by £1.5million a year, Graham Norton’s two-year £5million two-year deal would drop by around £1.25million and Chris Moyles will have to make do (and no doubt moan about) a cut of over £150,000.

Ok, so considering their current wages, it’s less a case of ‘brought to their knees’ and more ‘slightly stooping to their shoulders’, but still. Small mercies, eh?

Top Five Family Animations That Have Caused Controversy

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Cartoons are basically the visual manifestation of all the twisted, derailed trains of thought of their creators. To a four year old it seems totally acceptable that cats might play saxophones and that dogs are capable of eating food in such a way that it’s romantic rather than bizarre and borderline sickening, but when adults do it the whole exercise takes on an entirely new and disturbing aspect.

I mean, seriously, what sort of guy can get up every morning to go to an office where he draws mermaids?

The sort of guy who wears an entirely colour-matched outfit and calls it his “Tuesday ensemble? or the sort of guy who likes putting pictures of private parts in kids’ movies, that’s who. I know who I’d rather be friends with.

The Little Mermaid

The fact that this is basically a movie about inter-species relationships is generally ignored by those who show it to their children, but it’s well worth remembering that on a very basic level this movie is about a guy who wants to get intimate with a fish.

The Little Mermaid also has a picture of a penis in it. You know how Ariel’s dad is this big muscled guy with a huge trident who spends most of the time talking to a crab and firing supercharged liquid at an enormous witch/octopus hybrid out of aforesaid trident?

He also lives in an underwater palace which is held up by penis-pillars.

I’m not saying this is in anyway unusual for merman kings, but I’m just not sure it’s entirely appropriate for a family audience. …Read more, pictures after the jump…

The Lowdown: Things You Didn’t Know About Gok Wan

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Gok Wan is a cult. The anglo-Chinese stylist has become some sort of naked messiah, encouraging women around the country to get out their “bangers” and make the most of what they’ve got.

Prior to his TV work, he worked with some of the best photographers around including Rankin, Mike Owen and Tony McGee as well as working on fashion journalism. Over the last few years, though, he has rarely been off our screens.

We’ve had How To Look Good Naked, Gok’s Fashion Fix and Miss Naked Beauty. Next up, Gok tackles his own personal demons in “Too Fat Too

1. Gok Wan’s birthname is Ko-Hen Wan, which means “Noisy Big City” in Cantonese.

2. In a crash diet, Gok lost 11 stone, bringing him down from 21 stone to only 10. Despite having lost so much weight, he still says that he doesn’t regret having been fat – in fact he says that he had to try harder to get attention after losing weight as his weight had defined him.

3. Gok Wan’s brother is like the Chuck Norris of Leicester – he’s an accomplished martial artist who teaches Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee’s martial art. Read more. Trivia prevents hair loss

Ricky Gervais ploughs through more records

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant, loyally supported by token oddity Karl Pilkington, have now had their phenomenally popular podcast downloaded over 150 million times. Considering that they were the first ever people to try charging for the internet-only show, one can only assume that they must be totally rolling in it.

It should warm the hearts of man that a show beyond the reach of the censors’ red markers should prove so popular, with material that’s not exactly kosher pulling in millions of listeners, particularly in the wake of the hyperbolically named “Sachsgate”.

In other news, Karl Pilkington has recently met David Shrigley and drew a picture. Find it here.

Pick of the Week: Monday 26th January

January 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

William and Harry: What Really Happened
Ch4, Monday 26th January, 10:00pm Alert me

Jacques Peretti investigates the truth behind the headlines triggered by Princes William and Harry. At the funeral of Princess Diana, her brother Earl Spencer gave a speech in which threw down the gauntlet to the Royal family. The battle was to be over who the princes would become – would they be traditional like the House of Windsor, or would they be more like their mother? At stake was the future of the monarchy.

Gok Wan: Too Fat Too Young
Ch4, Tuesday 27th January, 9:00pm Alert me

Gok Wan explores the rapidly growing problem of teenage obesity in the UK. On a candid and personal journey, he also addresses his personal teenage issues around food, and hears from leading experts about recent breakthroughs in tackling this national epidemic. Gok talks to young people and addresses the frightening extent to which they have been affected by food addiction. …Read more

Jonathan Ross sparks yet more tabloid fury

January 26, 2009 by  
Filed under News

It seems that the News of the World have got Jonathan Ross’s scent now, and they’re not letting it go. The tabloid paper obviously listened to Ross’s Saturday morning Radio 2 show with a level of attention bordering on the obsessive and picked up on a slight nod in the direction on sexual innuendo.

At one point, the massively popular presenter is in conversation with co-presenter Andy Davies and tells Davies he should give an 80-year old Spanish woman “one last night before the grave”. Now, one can only assume that the News of the World took this as some sort of personal slight, as they tracked down the woman in question and spoke to her son who in turn had a bit of a rant about her mum being “an old person who can’t defend herself” and that “this man needs to go for what he said”.

However, the tabloid’s own readers don’t seem to completely share its moral outrage, with the majority of comments on the website telling the paper to “get over it” and to stop harping on about “outrage”. It looks like the whole Ross affair isn’t going to peter out…

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