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Five Live in Edinburgh: the Best Bits

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Mark Kermode | 17:18 UK time, Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Over the weekend, Mark joined Simon Mayo and a live audience at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, with guests including Jimi Mistry, Alan Cumming, Ian Hart, Andrew McDonald, Duncan Jones and Bill Forsyth.

Go to Mark on Five Live for more reviews and film debate.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Once again, the BBC lawyers have stepped in and prevented international bloggers playing this content, so I am left looking at a freeze frame of you looking smug and Simon doing an Albert Steptoe impression.

    But if this is the Edinburgh International Film Festival where are the international actors and directors? A distinctly Scottish and exclusively British guest list. Maybe if you want us to believe that Edinburgh is on a par with Cannes you should have had somebody on the show from overseas (apart from the guy from Finland ;-) ).

  • Comment number 2.

    Did you find Transformers worse than Bride Wars?

  • Comment number 3.

    Mark, who's a worse director - Bay or McG?

    By the way, I found your review of Transformers 2 very entertaining. I've seen the first one, and that was a tedious chore to get through, so I shan't be seeing the sequel anyway.

    It comes down to this: when films don't even have a solid story at their center, state-of-the-art CGI is not gonna be sufficient enough to start rolling the cameras. When CGI has got even more advanced, Transformers will be dated and seen for the stupid, shallow nonsense it is IMO.

  • Comment number 4.

    WHEN will people storm the projection booths and CUT THESE FILMS TO PIECES?

    I refer you t'my comment on Terminator Redemption's list.

    But surprisingly for me, I actually have to disagree about Shia LeBeouf. While Transformers 2 is vile and he's working with a crap script, it stuns me how much 'believable' conviction he gives his lines. He does have charisma, can't deny that.

    And on the subject of Bay's horror remakes, remember Gunnar Hansen's review of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre remake; the major problem being the camera's stasis at breast-eye-level.

    And the fact that it's just bad.

  • Comment number 5.

    Dammit! It's there any way to see this if you're in the states :(?

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm a new member and I'd like to use my first post to thank the good Doctor for saving me from potentially wasting a few hours of my life watching the Transformers sequel. I found the first one to be a painfully dull ride that I'd liken to being in a coma, on board a plane that's lost its wings and is about to crash into a nuclear power station. Michael Bay is simply one of a number of filmmakers operating the conveyor belt of money-making movie mediocrity. He's been on my list of people who should stop making films for a long time now and I can't see that changing.

  • Comment number 7.

    Dear BBC,

    For the love of God (BBC content really, as there is no God) make a subscription available for the iPlayer. Develop an iPhone App with a yearly subscribtion. "The annual cost of a colour TV licence (set by the Government) is currently £142.50. That works out at less than £12 per month - about 39p per day" (your words). Everyone in the UK whines about the fee. But as an overseas foreigner type. I would GLADLY, GLADLY pay this fee for access to BBC content online or via a iPhone App. I'm missing out on Wimbledon right now and trust me Thai commentary doesn't cut the mustard.


  • Comment number 8.

    Despite listening to the podcast last Saturday, I would also like to see the video blog, but since I reside in New Zealand I can't. This seems to be the case for several blogs and 5 live reviews that I am very keen to see. Is there an alternative route to seeing these?

    I completely agree with Mulholland_Drive. Ever since watching The Island I have felt a deep resentment to Michael Bay. I didn't pay to see that film, but I still want my time back. He could do my dishes or something, that would be nice. Or maybe not. I have this image of the sleazy coke-fueled mogul having CG flashbacks, and throwing my modest crockery around as he feebly re-enacts a scene from his master-work Armageddon, and there's poor me trying to beat sense into his skull with a copy of Night of the Living Dead.

    Also, can anyone refer for me a child-friendly bad movie, on par with Troll 2 or Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. Something so terrible that even 10 year olds will go "Yeah, that really is awful".

  • Comment number 9.

    Hiya Mark!

    I'd just like to thank you BIG TIME for referring to our little film in your interview with Alan Cumming at the live event in Edinburgh on June 19th. Awesome!! really gave our crew a big boost this morning :) :)
    We start shooting next month - and you're always welcome to come see us on the set. Anytime!

    Best wishes from all the gang from Jackboots on Whitehall!

    Paddy (producer)

  • Comment number 10.

    Not that i am jumping to Michael Bay's defense but I wanted to point out that Transformers' target audience is not young kids but early twenty year olds who used to play with these toys when they were younger. The gratuitous pornographic view of women is to keep twenty year olds feeling like they are not just watching a kid's film. Sadly however the film comes across as a version of transformers mixed with not even maxim (dare i say a bit too classy even for michael bay), but Nuts. As a person rapidly leaving my early twenties I was bored by it and demanded more than short skirts to keep me interested. Girls, cars and robots hitting each other? Lowest common denominator. I'd have been happier with a kid's film just about robots hitting each other.

    If there is a transformers 3 it should just be about the parents of Shia LaBoeuf as they were by far the most entertaining thing about this movie... is that a compliment? However if he did do this he would probably end up replacing them with CGI parents... (and by the end they would explode or destroy a whole city in typical michael bay fashion)

  • Comment number 11.

    RE: (Please note this content is only available to UK viewers)

    I completely agree. I thought the internet was a global resource, not a local one. Speaking as someone who is currently unable to use American sites like Hulu, because I live in the UK, I completely understand the sentiment being aired in this thread.

    The TV licence in the UK is just another entire mess altogether, and I'd rather not go into it in too much detail. Suffice to say, its needs reforming very badly.

  • Comment number 12.

    Having listened to Mark's Transformers 2 review again, I'd also like to address two points he made.

    "Michael Bay is a filmmaker with a pornographic sensability..."

    I've never heard it put quite like that, but this is absolutely correct. Seriously, you could probably take any frame from The Island or Transformers 2 and it wouldn't really look at odds on the front of a magazine cover. It's like everything has been airbrushed, glossed and sheened to perfection. In other words, it looks completely and utterly contrived (and makes me want to wretch).

    "you crank it up to get as far as you can get in the certificate... that will get you the biggest possible audience..."

    I have to say, this isn't exactly news. Spielberg has been doing this with his films for years. Of course, he is about a thousand times more talented than Bay ever will be, and he's certainly not as "leery" as Bay, either.

  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 15.

    BTW, thankyou for my coffee, and photos available at:

  • Comment number 16.

    I've only just realized that Shia LeBeouf is a real name.
    I thought it was one of the Doctor's nicknames.
    McG, Shia LeBeouf.... what next?

  • Comment number 17.

    Mark, thank you for trashing the worst sequel in modern (and future, i'm sure) existence. Transformers 2 was a soul-crushingly cruel, tasteless affair. Though i must admit, i have a soft spot for Armageddon, even though Michael Bay should be condemned for producing that terrible texas chainsaw remake.

    I will be sure to tell all of my friends who are planning to watch transformers to watch your review, as it offers better entertainment.

  • Comment number 18.

    On the subject of Michael Bay, check out Not quite complete but quite amusing.

  • Comment number 19.

    I just thought I'd comment to say that today I was the recipient of a Kermode inspired rockabilly haircut. My quiff isn't as impressive as the good doctor's, but there's only so much a barber can do.

    It's a great look and I'm glad to be sporting it, thanks Dr K.

  • Comment number 20.

    in the edinburgh prog someone asked if you had seen 'the fall' amd you hadnt. i have as a result of listening now seen it and think it is well worth your time - it looks like cgi until you see the location list at the end (yes that really was the great wall of china). apart from having a really interesting child actor it deals with the telling of stories and realities and film in a thoroughly engrossing way - would love to hear or see a review - perhaps there is a way somewhere prople can request reviews ?

  • Comment number 21.

    Maybe this is old ground, but i'm still confused by the pronunciation of David Bowie's surname. In interviewing Duncan Jones, did Mark say "Bowie" as in Joey or as in Maui? According to BBC, it should be the former, but i thought Mark used the latter. But surely David's own son would know.

    Oh yeah, and the BBC sucks big time with respect to overseas distribution. How is being in the UK and not paying your license fee different from being from outside the UK?

  • Comment number 22.

    @VictorVictory, I assume that if you live in the UK the BBC is very confident that you will have paid your licence because it has developed efficient methods of policing this. When I purchased a newly constructed house in the UK over 10 years ago, one of the first pieces of correspondence I received at the address was a nice friendly "reminder" to pay my licence or risk incarceration.

    Living in the US, I contribute indirectly to the BBC in two ways. Firstly, through a cable television subscription that I have to pay extra for so I can receive BBC America as one of the extra channels (it ain't cheap).
    BBC America carries recent BBC TV programmes although usually not as up to date as those transmitted in the UK. There are also news bulletins and, perhaps shockingly, adverts (Lord Reith must be turning in his grave).

    The second way that I contribute indirectly to the BBC is to donate money to my local public broadcasting station which can only continue to exist from regular donations from "viewers like you". These public stations exist all across America and have a very very high percentage of programming purchased from the BBC, so you can watch Eastender episodes that are about a year out of date as well as a high percentage of "mystery" programmes and very old British sit-coms. There are probably still stations showing "Are You Being Served?" on a regular basis. So when you consider how many of these local stations exist and the fact that they all buy old BBC programmes year after year, this really is money for old rope for the Beeb. Of course the commercial network stations also purchase BBC programmes as well.
    So us folks living overseas are actually contributing something to whatever is left over after Jonathon Ross has had his stipend.

    I have heard Simon say something like "Why should people who live overeas who don't pay a licence fee get to see the pictures?" Which is fair enough for the new "radio with pictures" toy, but for this blog, if I am not allowed to see the pictures, I would still like to hear the audio, please.

  • Comment number 23.

    I hear everytime one of us foreigners "sees the pictures" a kitten dies.


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