So last night we venture to the movies.
As most of you may already be aware I usually farken hate going to the movies. There is almost always something that gets under my skin enough for it to end up a complete disaster of a night. Whether it's something about the movie, or the noise made by other movies goers, or some random event that occurs just prior or immediately following - movies nights are just not the thing that soothes me most.
So where to start last night?
Okay, I'll start with the good stuff. We went to Kanpai Japanese Restaurant prior. This is one of my favourite places. It always smells the same each visit (of vaguely toasted green tea pods) and the menu is simple and the quality of food (especially their sushi/sashimi and the eel I'm quite partial to) is beyond reproach. Yet again they delivered the goods. Thank you Kanpai.
The movie. Sherlock Holmes. I'm going to list this a little later as one of the bad things for a number of reasons (mainly Guy Ritchie's direction, but I don't want to waste time talking about that here with the good bits). Generally, though, I quite enjoyed this flick. It was a rollicking adventure particularly well shot and conveyed a 19th century London in magnificent detail (thanks in no small part, I'm sure, by some amazing CGI effects). The story (whilst preposterous and fantastic) motored along at an entertaining rate of knots and when the segue ***SPOILER ALERT*** to the obligatory sequel to what appears to be designed as something of a modern movie franchise I kind of wanted it not to stop.
The performances were generally good, also. Whilst Robert Downey (do we have to continue to call him Jnr?) glided through this effortlessly and charismatically, I feel he could have added more by being a little grittier. Whilst Holmes was apparently a troubled character RDJnr's casual ease failed to give the viewer a real sense of depth of character. But don't get me wrong - RDJnr absolutely steals this show and looks a sure bet to win hearts and capture imaginations as the modern incarnation of Sherlock Holmes for at least a couple of sequels to come. Most of the other characters were comic book caricatures, but Jude Law did well with what he had to deal with. Someone doesn't particularly like Jude Law, but was quite smitten with this performance. To the point that, as we were walking home, suggested that Jude and I share more than a few common mannerisms. But of course, we already knew that, didn't we?
So, as we're leaving the cinema and my opinion on the film is sought and I respond ebulliently - so I'm asked if I'm feeling alright. Apparently I've never had a positive thing to say about a movie first thing upon leaving the cinema. So, whilst I'm only giving this 3.5 stars I think my positivity is enough to recommend this film to just about anybody.
So good food and a pleasant movie experience (and a lovely walk home down the full length of Chapel St) made for a wonderful evening.
But, you're not going to get off so easy as to only hear the good, no sir-ee. Here's a little of what was wrong last night.
Straight back into what was wrong with the movie. The sound effects. I don't know if it is just the Jam Factory Village Cinema's policy to play their movies with the sound turned up to 11, but this film was seriously loud. Now I'm not getting grumpy-old-man on you here, I know I'm getting older and I'm getting more sensitive, but this was loud enough to be uncomfortable. When gun shots went off it was loud enough to make me jump. Which effortlessly segues to my next criticism:
Guy Ritchie. He's essentially a one trick pony, and I'm tiring of his trademark tricks. The fight scene (which was as gratuitous a scene as I think I've ever seen) and Ritchie's trademark ultra slow motion on the ultra violence. And the anticipatory sound effect. This is the one I hate the most. Especially with the movie being played up so loud. The trick, for those of you naive enough not to have noticed, is to start a scene with a ridiculously loud noise. A gunshot, or door slamming or something. Only what you do is edit the scene so that the loud sound interrupts the quiet ending of the preceding scene making you JUMP OUT YOUR CHAIR IN FRIGHT for no apparent reason. I absolutely concede that this is actually a magnificently clever movie trick - but when you use it on almost every scene, like everything else in this life, it not only loses its impact, it PISSES PEOPLE OFF!!
Movie ticketing. I got in early in order to purchase these tickets prior to dinner. "Would you like to be seated in the middle toward the back?" I am asked dutifully. "Sure! Who wouldn't want that. Best seats in the house!" So when, almost two hours later, we arrive at the cinema PACKED TO THE BRIM with perhaps only half a dozen or so other cinema-goers, I am delighted to learn that amongst the vast open spaces of available seating there is a couple SAT RIGHT NEXT TO US! Thanks ticket-lady. Why, oh why, do they do this?
Cinema patrons. So the movie is advertised for 6.50pm. We all know that they're going to make us sit through at least 15 minutes of advertising and movies trailers. But that is an important time for a number of reasons. It gives everyone plenty of time to get in and get their seat, to get settled, to turn one's mobile electronical communications devices to silent, to eat that noisy packet of crisps or the crunchy cone of that mint-choc choc-top ice-cream before the real stuff begins. So why is it that as the lights are dimming for the main feature dozens (yes DOZENS) of punters start streaming into the cinema to take their belated places at the altar? Takes 'em ages to get seated (it's dark now so nobody can find their way) and now, once seated, they take advantage of the first 15 minutes of the movie to do what they should have done 15 minutes ago. Brilliant! And, as per, it just so happened that the person whose group crawled in later than anyone else, and just so happened to have sat closer to me than anyone else, smelled like they were a backpacker that got caught in a downpour whilst in the sleeping bag they've been trekking around the globe in for the past three years. Okay, maybe your idea of personal hygiene isn't quite the same as mine, but SHEEKS people, put on a fresh change of clothes!!!
Whilst I am at it, there was one other pet hate of mine that got me particularly agitated last night. The good-ol'-fashioned 'People-Who-Can't-Share-The-Footpath' syndrome. It's really getting personal now. Seriously - it seems like some god forsaken virility test. Do I "oh, it's okay, you take as much of the footpath as you want whilst I just submissively get out of your royal highness's majestic way" or do I "NO YOU FUCKING DON'T - I'VE GOT AS MUCH RIGHT TO WALK IN A STRAIGHT LINE AS YOU HAVE TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!!"? I am so sick of it. It is so symptomatic of modern life and everything that's wrong with it. You're sharing a public walkway - yet you can't share at all. YOU are more important to ME. I am invisible to you. What happens when I hold my line and walk straight through you? Most times I'll be bigger than you. Most times YOU will come off second best. Yet here you come again. Straight for me.
Is it any wonder people are getting stabbed on the streets at night? I wonder how many of them are just ordinary, innocent sidewalkers like myself who have, for once in their life, simply held their ground. Only to be stabbed to death by the jerk who was too important to share the footpath.
Until next time,