Paranormal Activity was one of the most annoying cinema experiences I’ve ever had. Not because of the film, that was creepy enough to move Wolverine to a tremble and was packed with some excellent dialogue, but because of the audience and the shitty theatre I watched it in. I don’t think there’s anything more annoying than a bunch of people who go just to laugh at the quiet, atmospheric moments and react in exaggerated ways to the shocks. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to see plenty of horror films and I know the drill, but when someone sits next to me and eats popcorn so loud it sounds like they have boxing gloves for hands, I know I’m not going to have a good time. I just want it to come out on DVD, then I’ll be able to watch it on a decent screen, with a decent sound system and not have to dig my fingernails into my legs like a psycho. Jesus.
Do not enter into Funny People expecting another light-hearted Judd Apatow comedy of the Knocked Up ilk, because it’s thoroughly depressing. Yes, you will laugh occasionally, but for most of the film you will sit quietly and wonder why the hell you rented it. I’m not saying it’s an entirely bad film, Adam Sandler delivers a decent performance as morally challenged comedian George Simmons, but it will definitely suck the positive atmosphere out of your day/night. If the atmosphere wasn’t positive to begin with then you’ll probably just end up killing yourself. Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy it. It made my mouth go all droopy at the sides like a sad cartoon character and I had to drink like three bottles of Sunny D to perk myself up again.
Sheffield’s Doc/Fest came to a close yesterday and I stayed true to my agenda, making a point to catch a screening of Penny Woolcock’s latest film, 1 Day, before the festivities wound down. Essentially a hip-hop musical, the film is an entertaining look at life on the streets of Birmingham for young black youths. I admire Woolcock’s effort because it’s always hard to make films like this, authenticity is a big issue and for people that have never experienced the circumstances depicted, we can never be sure as to whether it really hits home or not. From an entertainment point of view, however, I was thoroughly enamoured with Woolcock’s script, the lyrics provided by the actors and the excellent performance from Dylan Duffus as the protagonist, Flash. I cared about what would happen to Flash and his friends, whether or not he would overcome his hardships and even forgave some of the deplorable acts he committed, in short, I was enjoying it.
Even though I have respect for Woolcock’s back catalogue, 1 Day was still better than I expected and find it astonishing that it has been banned from public viewing in the West Midlands. The censorship needs to be overturned and everybody needs to watch this. Oh, and I want a soundtrack release, ‘Ride Again’ is brutal.
Marginally less homoerotic than Top Gun and riddled with Samwise Gamgee style loyalty, Howard Hawks’ Only Angels Have Wings is a claustrophobic adventure obscured by a haze of cigarette smoke. Planes crash, women become hysterical and Cary Grant takes charges and slaps bitches. Honestly, revisiting the classics is fun.
Entertainment’s current fixation with vampires has left me bored of violent sex, blood-sucking and the smell of burning flesh at sunrise (well, perhaps not entirely). But, putting my doubts aside, I decided that Park Chan-Wook’s Thirst was going to be worthy of my time. Thankfully, it was. Gruesome, charming and beautiful, I felt as intrigued as the first time I watched The Vengeance Trilogy and found myself thanking the Gods of cinema (Buzz and Woody?) that somebody had injected an ounce of sanity into a world so inexplicably enamoured with Twilight. I’ll be adding this to my ‘vampire flicks I can stand’ folder along with The Lost Boys and From Dusk Till Dawn.