Tonight's Entertainment Options
MANCUNIANS: marvel at the jazz-funk jumblers Snarky Puppy, who will be splicing together sounds at Band On The Wall.
LONDONERS: celebrate the 6th anniversary party for hipper-than-thou comedy night Knock2Bag, who promise performances from Tony Law, David Earl and brilliant outsider comic John Kearns.
LOINERS (people from Leeds, duh): explore D'Arcy Thompson's displays of weird scientific ephemera, featuring soap bubbles and elephant skulls.
THE REST OF YOUSE: crank up your respective boob tubes and take in the best of the night's telly, including the new series of Episodes, MasterChef's final week and an utterly off-the-wall episode of Mad Men.
Or just get out there and enjoy the sunshine. I'm off to the park to kick a ball about and pretend I'm Georgi Kinkladze.
Alex will be back on the blog tomorrow like some returning Viking warrior. Have a good one.
Oh, look: here's Guide stringer Luke Holland on the trailer for horror flick V/H/S 3:
Catering to horror fans for whom one story per film is simply not enough, the V/H/S films are anthologies of mini morsels of found footage-style scary happenings - terror tapas, or apparitional aperitifs if you will (you probably won't) - and both entries in the series thus far are actually, quite surprisingly, both quite scary and quite good. Quite.
The trailer's just landed for the imminent third instalment, V/H/S Viral, and it features people shouting shoutily, things banging bangily and all the jumpy jumps you'd expect. No exact release date as of yet, but expect it...SOOON (*insert creepy voice*).
British animated comedies: an inglorious history
Chortle have an interesting feature about the relative dearth of animated comedy on our screens, citing high production costs and general broadcaster resistance as the reasons for the genre's failure to grab a foothold. There's another explanation though: most British animated comedies are, well, just a bit rubbish. Let's look some of the worst offenders:
A dark comedy without the second bit, Stressed Eric was mean-spirited and dour and made you want to take a shower after watching it.
Clunking cultural references and endless Jon Culshaw impressions. Somehow limped on to five series though.
Full English (NSFW)
Channel 4's attempt to ape Family Guy. "God help it," wrote the Guide's Ben Arnold.
I really wanted this to be good because it has a decent writing cast (Simon Nye and David Quantick), but knew it would fail because comedies about football are always uniformly awful .It's witless and very slow.
Have I missed any other notable clunkers?
Are we suffering from James Franco fatigue? Going by the comments thread for this Guardian news story about a forthcoming documentary on the actor/visual artist/man, the answer certainly seems to be 'Mmm hmm'.
Other Franco news you might have missed:
1. He's directing/starring in Palo Alto, a film about romance and women's football (trailer below):
2. He's not very happy about a Harmony Korine-less Spring Breakers 2 (inane Instagram video below):
3. He's starring in Good People, a surprisingly non-meta thriller, which looks quite promising:
Sherlock is great and everything, but do you ever think that his deductions are a little TOO brilliant? Sketch comic Pete Holmes clearly does, and has imagined a Sherlock whose Holmes is utterly rubbish at reading people. Ropey accents aside, it's pretty much spot on.
In other Sherlock news, Una Stubbs reckons that filming of series four could happen in 2015, which is still absolutely ages away, isn't it?
Guardian Film's Peter Bradshaw has just shared his review of Cannes opener Grace Of Monaco and, well, erm...
It's traditional for Cannes to start with something spectacular. This is certainly no exception. It is film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk. The cringe-factor is ionospherically high. A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic.
An absolute savaging, and well worth a read. If that hasn't dissuaded you enough, here's the film's trailer:
So, where does Grace Of Monaco rank in the all-time Cannes bombs? The Playlist put together a list of 10 notable films booed at the festival, which includes both classics (Taxi Driver) and catastrophers (the legacy-shredding Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me), though as it was written before last year's festival, it missed two duffers from 2013: Diana and Only God Forgives, whose VFX showreel is infinitely more entertaining than the film itself (though probably NOT WORK SAFE, as it has loads of bloody bits):
UPDATE: And here's Catherine Shoard's rundown of five other god-awful Cannes openers.
After days of teasers, nudges and hints, Zach Snyder released the first image of the Batmobile yesterday. Unfortunately, some idiot got in the way of the shot, so we didn't get a proper view of the thing:
Yes, that's Ben Affleck as Batman, the first shot we've seen of him in his caped crusader guide. Fans were initially dismissive of his casting, suggesting that he didn't have the sufficient gravitas to play the role of a man who dresses up as a bat,but I dunno, he looks plenty moody here.
After some more Batman coverage? Steve Rose has provided a potted history of the Batmobile (with an accompanying gallery).
Start the day with some MJ
"Is there a phrase in pop that better signifies the listener should proceed with caution than 'posthumous album'?", asked Tim Jonze in his review of Xscape, the Michael Jackson album from beyond the grave. The answer of course is 'no, there isn't', so I approached Xscape with a bit of trepidation. But, as Tim points out, it's actually not bad at all, featuring a few vintage Off The Wall-style bits, a few soupy ballads and lots of fizzy production from a crack team of Timbaland, StarGate, John McClain and Rodney Jerkins. Spotify have the whole thing streaming below, so get stuck in: