Now that my cinema ban has been lifted - for now, anyway - I was keen to get back to the silver screen. Well I wasn’t keen actually, I was contractually obliged. But in this hellhole of an existence, what’s the difference?
Here are the films I reviewed this week:
As a reminder, such is my distaste to most of the cinema I am exposed to, my scores are not given as star ratings or marks out of ten, but instead as the minute at which I lost faith with the production and walked out of the cinema.
1) THE INCREDIBLES 2, 2018. Score - 5 minutes.
My memories of the first entry in this franchise are hazy, but unless I have succumbed to a particularly nasty head-knock I seem to recall the film revolved largely around a family of superheroes and expected, for better or worse, more of the same this time round. Imagine my shock, therefore, when the sequel seemed to take as its subject matter some sort of anthropomorphic Chinese dumpling, and appeared to have no connection whatsoever to its predecessor.
I can only suspect the creative types behind this project thought this was an inventive subversion of expectations or a bold experiment with the genre or something like that, but I don’t stand for that sort of pretentious nonsense. I promptly left the cinema in an outrage, accidentally toppling the pile of children’s booster seats that stood at the entrance to the screen on the way out.
2) MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN, 2018. Score - 23 minutes.
My relationship with musicals would probably best be described as complex - if, like me, you consider hatred to be a complex emotion. Added to the fact that I have not seen the first film in this series and that I only know one ABBA song - the hardly bearable ‘Take On Me’ - I went in to this showing with remarkably low expectations.
Alas, I would be lying if I said that this film had no effect on me. A couple of musical numbers in, tears were inexplicably forming in my eyes, and before too long I was bawling my eyes out. Confused as to what had brought about this reaction, and altogether uncomfortable with the experience, I made the wise choice to abandon the screening immediately. I proceeded to wander the nearby streets in a daze for the next two hours, trying and failing to replace the catchy and uplifting music that was swirling round my head with something more tolerable. I eventually found my way home and stuck on the only film that could improve the situation, which brings us to...
3) The home video I made when I holidayed in Blackpool, 2006. Score - full marks.
Another re-watch of the only true cinematic classic yielded yet more new insights. For example, this time I realised that the bizarre blob obstructing half the frame for the film’s opening act was a result of my finger having been placed over the lens of my camera. Not only does this thoroughly help put my own stamp on the film - putting me at once behind and in front of the camera and firmly establishing me as an actor-director-auteur - a present day Orson Welles, if you will - it also provides a mildly disorientating effect, highlighting that Blackpool is at this stage still unfamiliar territory for me - a far cry from the comforts of my own home in Burnley. Will I ever watch this film, I wonder, and fail to spot something new?