David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

ITV Racing
"Grand National"
60s
26 March 2017
UK TV Programmes

John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants.

Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names". Whether we meet Triumph or Disaster, everyone starts the race with one thought: this could be the year.

The film weaves together racing footage, eccentric personalities and visual stories beautifully. It boils down the race's multi-faceted relationship with the nation's seasoned and novice punters alike.

Cooper Clarke's words and voice convey the Grand National's enduring appeal, a blend of tradition and superstitions. The lyrical script also incorporates the channel's "nothing comes close" mantra, further strengthening ITV's revived association with horse racing.

Sixt
"The Cult"

Mark said:

She's about to crash into that hedge


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ITV Racing
"Grand National"
60s
26 Mar 2017
John Cooper Clarke and The Maccabees's 'Pelican' combine to give this ITV Racing promo terrific energy. The broadcaster taps into how the annual Aintree meeting captures the nation's imagination - and turns us all into racing savants. Form goes out the window when it comes to picking a contender; instead, it's all about "their colours and their funny names".

Doctor Who
"A Time for Heroes"
30s
21 Mar 2017
Time is running out for Peter Capaldi's Doctor, ironically enough. This promo teases the actor's final series piloting the TARDIS while introducing his latest companions, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas). The trailer promises more sci-fi thrills from the long-running franchise... though it'll take more than a sonic screwdriver to fix the show's falling ratings.

Eastenders
"Brace Yourself"
40s
22 Mar 2017
This atmospheric trailer from BBC Creative gives us glimpses of explosive scenes to come in Albert Square. A secret affair between a teacher and student is revealed by a slow-motion kiss in the rain, but the shocked reactions from other characters suggest there won't be anything romantic about the fall-out. Martin even stops eating his fish and chips at the sight - brace yourself indeed.

Dispatches
"Secrets of Coca-Cola"
20s
20 Mar 2017
With its cheery burst of Justin Timberlake's 'Can't Stop The Feeling' (not a million miles away from a certain campaign slogan) and distinctive red-and white animation, this ad for Dispatches' investigation into Coke captures the essence of one of the most visible brands on earth.

Robot Wars
"Stuck on You"
60s
15 Mar 2017
Robot Wars is back, and no machine is safe. Led by Sir Killalot, the house robots descend on an innocent car (we like to think someone on the production lost a bet) and tear it to shreds. The inspired choice to use Elvis's 'Stuck on You' to accompany the destruction turns carnage to comedy, as does the final image of an Elvis bobblehead riding into the sunset on the noble killbot's shoulder.

ITV Racing
"Because"
60s
7 Mar 2017
ITV have created another beautiful short film about racing, this time centred around their coverage of the Cheltenham Festival. More dramatic than their last outing, the pulsing soundtrack creates a sense of urgency and anticipation. It accompanies intimate visuals of the preparations for the big day, before coming to a head with the thrill of the race itself. As the script says: nothing comes close.

SS-GB
"Opening Titles"
89s
24 Feb 2017
With murky, layered visuals and an ominous soundtrack, the opening titles for SS-GB tease the intriguing nature of the programme. An alternative history taking place after a Nazi win at the Battle of Britain, the show caught flak on release for lead actor Sam Riley's questionable diction. There are no such issues with sound here, as straining piano swirls over spreading bloodstains and confirms that all is not well in Hitler's Britain... as you might expect!

Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
90s
22 Feb 2017
This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department. The humourless pen-pusher (heís stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programmeís impending return. Itís safe to say these three arenít the ones to ease them.

The Jump
"Contestants"
20s
25 Jan 2017
Channel 4 borrow the Ski Sunday theme tune in this trail for The Jump. A vintage-style commentator introduces four celebs eager to keep their limbs intact: Sir Bradley Wiggins, Caprice, Gareth Thomas, and Robbie Fowler. Good delivery of a tongue-in-cheek script, while thereís a cheeky nod to Robbie Fowlerís famous goal celebration referencing a different kind of white powder.

Dispatches
"Made in Britain"
20s
18 Jan 2017
Dispatches are investigating the cheap clothing industry in the UK, where people are being paid half the living wage to produce the latest high street fashions. This trail for the programme is skilfully animated, getting its point across with a cut paper effect and jagged graphics which sync up effectively with the soundtrack.

The Jump
"Flying Without Wings"
50s
18 Jan 2017
This promo for Channel 4's beleaguered reality show 'The Jump' features the plangent vocals of Westlife. 'Flying Without Wings' accompanies shots of this year's batch of celebrities flying over a snowy landscape, with appropriately transcendent expressions as they perform improbable acrobatic feats.

The Voice
"Lift-Off"
60s
4 Jan 2017
After a turbulent spell on the BBC, The Voice UK has now arrived on ITV. This space-themed promo sees returning judges will.i.am and Sir Tom Jones sat alongside newcomers Jennifer Hudson and Gavin Rossdale. One contestant treats the judging panel to a thunderous performance... one which sends will.i.am into orbit. With The X Factor stalling, ITV will be hoping their latest acquisition is a hit.

ITV Racing
"Nothing Comes Close"
90s
5 Dec 2016
ITV mark horse racingís return to their schedules with this beautifully shot film. Having wrested broadcasting rights back from Channel 4, the station wants to treat the sport of kings with due reverence. tantrumís Trent Jaklitsch and DP Ben Magahy ensure itís a fitting spectacle as the channel prepares for the starting flag.

Gogglebox
"Spellbinding"
40s
30 Nov 2016
A fun compilation of reactions from Channel 4's Gogglebox. While Screamin' Jay Hawkins provides the apt soundtrack, we see how tv is an emotional rollercoaster for the show's regulars. Plus it's slightly mind-bending to think that we could now be watching them watching one of their own in the 'I'm A Celebrity' jungle, eh? Pop culture surely is eating itself.

Planet Earth II
"Opening Titles"
30s
10 Nov 2016
Planet Earth II's opening sequence pays tribute to the original with this orbital number. Coffee & TV bring out the beauty of the pale blue dot we call home with a majestic close-up of its rotation, while Hans Zimmer's theme music is equally stirring. It should be appointment telly for audiences over the next few weeks, and the series has already broken the internet thanks to this battle of the reptiles.

I'm A Celebrity
"Lost"
40s
31 Oct 2016
Cheeky chaps Ant and Dec return in this dark and spooky ad announcing another series of celebrities eating kangaroo bollocks for our amusement. The pair find themselves totally lost in the jungle, ribbing each other and cracking some truly terrible jokes before being scared senseless by spiders and skeletons. It's okay lads, they'll vote you off soon.

Children In Need
"Neighbours"
20s
1 Nov 2016
Children in Need remind us to 'do our thing' and raise some money for charity while we're at it. This bright and funky ad features a night in to meet the neighbours - complete with face packs, nail painting, and cheese cubes on sticks - that shows just how easy it is to raise almost two hundred quid for children who need it.

Stand Up To Cancer
"Check Your Balls"
2 mins 20s
25 Oct 2016
Stand Up to Cancer encourages men to cop a feel in the best way possible with this lovely short film. David Mitchell's well-meaning dad tries to give his teenage son some essential health advice, but he just can't find the words. Checking "down there" doesn't do the trick, nor does the "naughty zone". Sometimes, it's best to just be frank about such matters.

Stranger Things
"Opening Titles"
53s
15 Jul 2016
Netflixís original show Stranger Things is a series filled with nods to some of the most iconic films of the 80s, and the show's opening titles are no exception. The typeface calls to mind Stephen King paperbacks, the title assembling slowly through the dark background in homage to genre classics like 'The Dead Zone', with a synth-driven soundtrack that calls to mind horror movie marathons and staying up past bedtime.

The Professionals
"Opening Titles"
45s
30 Dec 1977
There were several versions of the classic opening titles for crime-action drama series The Professionals, due to various voiceover issues, but these will be most familiar to fans of the show. The whole sequence of cars smashing through windows and characters running is fast-paced, hinting at the action to come within the programme itself as the heroes are introduced via silhouette. The funky theme tune makes us ride a wave of nostalgia all the way back to the seventies, if the freeze-frames weren't enough.

Stand Up To Cancer
"Humans"
20s
20 Oct 2016
Another special programme for Channel 4's Stand Up To Cancer fundraising drive, this time we have Greg Davies gone android in a celebrity edition of Humans. 'Burt' shows up at a family's front door and promptly breaks their doorbell, malfunctioning as he is with creepy bright-green eyes and jerky robotic movements. We can't wait to see what kind of 'courtesy synth' Burt turns out to be.

Westworld
"Opening Titles"
90s
2 Oct 2016
3D printing gets sinister in the opening titles for sci-fi thriller Westworld. The programme takes place in a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated completely by synthetic androids known as 'hosts,' and the dark mixture of synthetic and organic in the opening titles draws the viewer into the tone of the show. Guns, horses, and people are all constructed by what look like car assembly robots while the piano-driven soundtrack plays mournfully in the background. Creates a shiver or two, this one.

Gogglebox
"Olly and Niall"
20s
18 Oct 2016
Olly Murs and Niall Horan give us a new version of the Crystal Maze theme tune which displays their, er, musical talents in this ad for Gogglebox's celebrity special in aid of Stand Up To Cancer. Maybe this is what Olly was up to when he failed to show at the Olympics parade in Manchester this week, or maybe the night before if Niall's lovingly-cradled pint is anything to go on. We can see the lad's solo career is kicking off nicely at least, Zayn who?

Stand Up To Cancer
"John Bishop and Jose Mourinho"
56s
19 Oct 2016
This lovely plug for Stand Up To Cancer pits John Bishop and Jose Mourinho against one another in a gruelling 'bad joke battle'. Both participants make strong starts as they exchange Christmas cracker-grade gags, but it's the Manchester United manager who breaks first. An on-form Mourinho is typically good value, and his peal of laughter here is priceless.

The Walking Dead
"Sky News"
45s
19 Oct 2016
Look guys, you can't take zombies - sorry, walkers - seriously in Britain, and AMC seemed to have cottoned on. Our immediate reaction to this ad was 'Let's go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over', as this film calls back to 'Sean of the Dead's use of Sky News footage. The AMC show may be trying to restore a little fannish goodwill and remind us what's compelling about zombies, following backlash to the poorly-executed cliffhanger ending of season six.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.