Noise to Signal

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November 2008

"Filmed in anamorphic duovision!" / 22.11.08

I knew nothing about the filmmakers or the cast, but in two short minutes this NSFW trailer catapulted Black Dynamite high up on my anticipation list:

Seriously, Quentin, Robert – this is how you do grindhouse. “Shh! You’re gonna wake up the rest of the bitches…”

IT Crowd. Series 3. Tonight. / 21.11.08

10:00pm on Channel 4. (Man, that’s too late. It’s really a 9pm show.)

Like the first show last year, I saw this one recorded - and no, it’s not as absolutely stunning as The Work Outing was. It is, however, a hugely entertaining half-hour of sitcom, with one of my favourite IT Crowd moments ever (see if you can guess it), and well worth tuning in for.

TMWRNJ Reunion Gig, 16 November 2008, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith / 21.11.08

Many of NTS’s contributors have been influenced by the former double act Lee and Herring, who managed two radio and TV series of Fist of Fun, and two TV series of This Morning With Richard Not Judy, before being shunned by the BBC. Although there’s never been an official split, both comedians have concentrated on their solo careers, with Richard Herring making a name for himself through his stage shows and his sitcom Time Gentlemen Please, and Stewart Lee through directing the controversial Jerry Springer the Opera.

Carnival of Light / 16.11.08

A never-released Beatles track just might be on the horizon for release according to Paul McCartney, the band’s once-deceased bassist.

It’s called Carnival of Light and from the description it sounds like 14 minutes of nonsense. I’m imagining an even-more-freeform Revolution 9…probably not the sort of thing to make as big a splash as Free as a Bird or Real Love did. Heck, it might even pale in comparison to You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)…if that’s possible. But it’s a one-off experiment by the most important band in history, so it should be interesting.

That’s “interesting.” Not “listenable.”

Flat-Out / 14.11.08

After the success of the two dimensional Portal, which later had its content ported back into the original game, flash conversions are starting to follow hot on the heels of most high-profile games. You can try a sample level of Brad Borne’s Mirror’s Edge 2D, which narrowly beat its big brother to release, here:

Father John Deed / 13.11.08

Just a quick heads-up - partly because I know the guy that wrote and directed it, and partly because I genuinely recommend it - that 9pm tonight on BBC1 sees the first episode of Apparitions, a new supernatural drama starring Martin Shaw as an exorcist. I saw a version of this first ep a while back, although apparently some of the grislier/more controversial stuff has been cut, and it’s VERY GOOD, WATCH IT. I’ll be intrigued to see if the rest of the series - which it was expanded into after the originally-planned two-parter turned out better than they’d hoped - lives up to the promise of the first one…

Two blessed sisters commence to bathe... / 13.11.08

Turns out the parrot sketch is even more historically important than we thought.

“Some of the jokes are strikingly similar to modern ones, with subjects including farts, sex, ugly wives and a dimwit referred to as ‘a student dunce’.”

Heh – farts.

“A student dunce is voyaging on a very stormy sea. When his slaves start to wail, he tells them, ‘Don’t cry: in my will, I’ve set you all free!’”

Still, it’s all in the delivery, right? Check ‘em out as told by Jim Bowen.

Arrested Development Hell / 13.11.08

Jeffrey Tambor confirms that the Arrested Development film is getting the go-ahead. Check check it.

Apparently creator Mitch Hurwitz contacted him and told him to get ready. No definite dates or anything yet, but Jeffrey says “when the writer/director calls you it’s a pretty good sign.”

I was a bit late to the party on this Arrested Development thing, but from the moment I actually sat down to watch it I realized that its cancellation was a serious crime against television. I’m not entirely certain what I’d expect from a big-screen version, but I’ll be looking forward to it all the same. Also, how old is Maeby now?

And don't even mention Hellboy, Peru / 10.11.08

So, erm, a city in Turkey called Batman is taking legal action against Christopher Nolan for his use of the comic character’s name:…

The populations of Ironman, Sweden and Xmen in the Czech Republic could not be reached for comment. The rights to Hulk, meanwhile, have already gone to the similarly-named town in India, with Marvel reasoning that they couldn’t possibly do any worse with the licence than has already been done.

Babes With Books / 08.11.08

Why did it take me so long to find a site that combines a love of books with a love of hot girls?

Babes With Books seems to illustrate a fetish I wasn’t even sure existed, though it’s possible the whole thing is tongue in cheek. I didn’t browse much of it but the pictures and movies I did see suggest that this is safe-for-work material.

One video is just a girl pulling books from her shelf and explaining why she loves them. She is pretty, I’ll give you that, but something tells me she’d feel a little uneasy to know that anybody, anywhere was spanking off to her recommendation of Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Lost Season 5 Trailers / 06.11.08

Undoubtedly, Lost’s new season structure (16ish episodes a year, running from February to March for its final three seasons) has been great for the show. What little pointless filler we had before (and it WAS only a small amount) has been stripped out and then some, and as a result season 4 was a lean, satisfying beast. So, season 5 is coming up in a few months, I’m getting foamy and after the jump we have two new trailers (via Dark UFO, a site you really don’t want to visit unless you like massive spoiler sandwiches.)

Diagnosis: Slaughter / 05.11.08

We flagged up House of the Dead: Overkill when it was announced a couple of months ago, but a further trailer has been released, and it’s looking very promising indeed. Showcasing the second level, Bayou County General Hospital, it looks like the comic Darkplace-style tone will be maintained throughout……

Another Pynchon novel? / 02.11.08

Well, maybe. The L.A. Times reported that Pynchon just might be at work on a new novel, about 400 pages long, “a kind of noir detective story set in the 1960s, with lots of psychedelia as background.” It’s possibly going to be published in August 2009.

Cross your fingers. Because that just sounds awesome.

Sarah Palin, is your refrigerator running? / 02.11.08

Sarah Palin was recently on the receiving end of a prank phone call for a Canadian radio station.…

I’m…speechless. I can’t spoil any of it for you. Just read it yourself and wait for the recording to surface. Words of wisdom (ie: common sense) close the article:

Obama’s campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs, commenting on the prank, said: “I’m glad we check out our calls before we hand the phone to Barack Obama.”

Hank Hill has left the building. / 01.11.08

It’s an Elvis joke. Elvis was known as The King. The show has the word “king” in the title. Fuck you.…

King of the Hill has been canceled. I’ve known a few people who have loved this show and will no doubt be heartbroken, but upon reading the news my first reaction was, “This show is still on?”

As an unrelated (so far as I can tell) addendum, the article informs us that American Dad will live on into its fifth season. It’s a great show—no matter what everybody in the world who isn’t me says—and I’ll be interested to see the direction it takes under a Democratic president. (Stay tuned!)

The Music of the Spheres / 01.11.08

Silva Records has now made the Doctor Who Series 4 soundtrack available as a download, in advance of the CD release later this month.…