A great number of people have approached me recently with comments like, "it must be great being a film critic at this time, we really need escapism what with all the horrible things that are going down in the world."
This has rather perplexed me; I normally use the 'things that are going down' as an espaist route from all the dreadful cinema I have to watch, not the other way around. To be frank, if your only hope for joy is to watch a film then I have bad news: none of the films I reviewed this week score anywhere near pass marks.
*It should be noted that I am currently reaching the end of a short ban from my local cinema for shouting obscenities during a kid friendly showing of Peter Rabbit - apparently the kids were too young to here some honest and forthright film criticism. Anyway for that reason I was unable to watch any new releases this week and so will instead be reviewing a couple of 'the classics.'
Therefore for the purposes of this week the column should really be called, "Walking out my living room" as that is where I watched all of these films. (For the purposes of those unaware of my methods, films are not assigned a mark out of ten. Rather the score is the time at which I decided enough was enough and ceased my viewing.) Anywway here are the reviews:
1) Pulp Fiction, 1994. Score - 41 minutes
I don't really know where to start with this one, and evidently, neither did the director. I have always been told that one should start things at the very beginning - there's even a line in the 1965 film The Sound of Music which spells this out. (I haven't actually seen the film because apparently it is about a singing nun so I imagine it is a horror film and that's my least favourite genre.)
But Quentin Tarantula clearly never got the memo; he's put the events in the most ridiculously nonsensical order here. What follows is an incoherent mess, which promotes drug use, violence and burger consumption, three of the great evils of our society. The only saving grace is that it stars a member of The Church of Scientology, the great John Travolta. If it hadn't been for this I doubt I would have made it past the 5 minute mark.
2) Groundhog Day, 1990. Score - 38 minutes.
This one actually started rather well. My favourite TV programme is the weather report, so it was with great joy that I discovered the protagonist was a weatherman - it was just so relatable. Sadly, it did not take long for the film to run out of fresh ideas. In fact, it got to the point where it began repeating entire scenes which had already occurred earlier in the movie. Not only does this show a disturbing lack of originality, it also treats the audience as if they are completely stupid. I am not completely stupid - I was even a member of a winning pub quiz team once. A joke of an attempt.
3) The home video I made when I holidayed in Blackpool, 2006. Score - full marks.
I have stuck this on the end purely for the sake of balance. If this column contains nothing but negative reviews, it could give the impression that I don't know what a good film looks like. But believe me I do. This was the 212th time I had watched my favourite film, and I'm still spotting new things on every view. A cinematic delight.
Xavier is our resident film critic, find him on Twitter here.