Old

After a long day of building stuff I had booked to go to the cinema to make sure that I had a definite end in sight. I didn’t want to be working into the evening always trying to do “one more thing”. As it is the progress is good and I got to where I wanted to be. Still plenty to do though. The only film I could be bothered to go and watch was Old by Michael Night Shyamalan. I’ve looked at what’s on later today and can’t see anything other than a Purge film – which I couldn’t care about – although maybe I should check out a different cinema and see what they’ve got. Watch this space to see if I write another review.

The tide was low this time as I approached the car park. I could see the edge of the mud banks so I’m not sure how much lower it can get, it’s been quite a while since I regularly went this way. When I saw F9 plenty of people were wearing masks but this time there were a lot who were not. It’s very clear that the government [BJ] wants to shed the responsibility and pass it on to individuals [a classic right wing manoeuvre] but in the broadest sense people are stupid. We rules and laws in place to ensure that people don’t make their own choices on many things. If we didn’t have speed limits there would be many many more deaths on the roads than we face now. After the film I thought about what rating to give it and they are explained here.

What did I think of the film? I hated some of the acting and I hated some of the cinemaphotography. I guess M K was heading for a style but it is one I didn’t enjoy. Overall the film was kinda OK but really I just hung around as I wanted to know what the resolution was going to be. I’m not going to give that away here as that wouldn’t be fair but I was hoping for an explanation of why the beach existed rather than what use it has been put to. I guess I can’t have everything.

Oh, there were too many codas. I don’t think any were needed. It could have ended at the point where the people are swimming in fish. That would have been enough for me. It would have meant there were loads of questions that were unanswered but I think it would have made a better film overall. Please remember that I am not a film maker and so I know nothing about these things.

This is communication 1901 and so in line with recent practice I mention below some aspects of the year 1901 – and yes, I am aware that for a lot of people this isn’t even the correct calendar to use but it’s the most common.

  • The UK and Germany agree on how to carve up some of Africa.
  • Boer concentration camps run by the UK are reported to be cruel and have a high mortality rate.
  • Alabama requires voters to have passed a literacy test – and yet modern day republicans are outlawing critical race theory.

Fast & Furious 9

I went to the cinema. I went to the Cineworld cinema in Rochester. I went to the cinema to see Fast & Furious 9 [fucking 9 of them! Can you believe that?]. While driving the approach to the cinema I noticed that the tide was high, the water was lapping around the base of the grasses on the mudbank so it was almost as high as can be. I wrote about why I was seeing this film in this communication. After watching this film I considered how to rate it using my rating system discussed here. Then I tweeted the result because that is what I do.

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I guess I ought to explain my rating of 2/10. The system means that this rating is used when I walk out of a film or gave up watching or just hated it. I’m not sure I hated it and I didn’t walk out but I didn’t want to give this film a massive 4 stars as that would’ve been over-rating it so my excuse for the two stars is that I fell asleep and so this film was so terrible that it couldn’t keep me awake. Not that missing a few minutes in the middle of this film mattered really, there wasn’t any sensible plot as far as I could tell.

This film is what you expect it to be. Plenty of fighting with hands, guns and vehicles. Ridiculous stunts. Over the top sequences and general bollocks. It’s a Fast and Furious film. It’s going to be terrible. I could explain everything that was wrong with this film from the plot to the physics but there are two reasons I don’t want to:

a) there was so much wrong I don’t have the time or inclination to do it.
b) this film doesn’t deserve those words to be written about it.

My experience was one of being too warm, a short period of sleep, feeling cold, losing my facemask, general horror at the physics in the film and laughter at how pathetic some of the scenes were. Does Tbilisi have that much space or canyons close to it?

This is communication number 1899 and so here’s some information about what happened in that time period:

  • Marconi transmits a signal across the Channel.
  • The paperclip is patented.
  • Zeppelin builds the first successful airship.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

I had some time and so I decided to go to the cinema. I almost feel guilty if I don’t go enough as I pay money each month to see as many films as I like and it also gives me something to write here, these are a regular feature of this unvisited site. When looking at the list of films playing there wasn’t a great choice and so I plumped for The Conjuring 3. I haven’t seen any of the other Conjurings but figured it won’t matter a huge amount. I don’t like horror films generally but my reasoning was: why not go?

While driving the approach to the cinema I noticed the state of the tide and it was almost at max height. Whether it was ebbing or flowing was something I would have to wait to find out when I left the cinema – it was flowing. Most of the mud bank was hidden and I couldn’t see any of the channels produced by surface off-run. The weather at the time was low clouds hanging over the top of the Downs with plenty of rain during the day, it had been raining for two complete days, but this was welcome.

After watching this film I rated it on IMDB and there’s a complete guide to my rating system within this communication from a few years ago. I eventually shared the score on Twitter but I need access to my PC for that as I removed Twitter from my phone a long time ago because it doesn’t matter.

I gave this film a 4/10 and I think that was quite generous really. This film does not make it into the good-bad film. It is just a bad-bad film. This film is shit. Makes no logical sense. Has no plot that fits together. Is largely bad publicity for a misguided couple of “paranormal” investigators.

I wonder weather there’s too much in this film. Does the body-breaking look stupid and unrealistic? Do the tunnels seem excessive and un-scary? I wonder if more menace could have been put into this film by cutting out a lot of the “scary” stuff. I used to be terrified by horror films when I was younger. The Omen still makes me shiver – although I haven’t watched it for years and I ponder whether that seems shit now. I have “grown up” in then sense that I understand the reality of the world and don’t believe in god, the devil, demons or supernatural things. It’s funny how most famous ghost cases end up being shown for fraud by the conspirators when they confess but the news rarely gets out. Amityville had the protagonists admit they made it up, that famous Nessie photo was called out by one of the pranksters etc.

I get that people like being scared and I would imagine that if you believed in spirits or ghosts or god or souls or the devil or witches or any of the super-natural then this film would bother you. But the reality is that this film had a poor script, a poor plot and poor logic. A man died in reality and his murderer went to prison. This film is horror glorified wank.

Land

I went to the cinema. Again. Not really a surprise I guess but given the recent Covid-times I think that maybe sitting in a room with other people isn’t a good idea. But then, I think that the cinema needs money to survive and so far there haven’t been more than 20 people in the films I’ve seen and the distancing is quite good. It’s nice to be back [I’m not counting this film].

I went to see Land and it was in screen 8 of the Cineworld cinema in Rochester. I do like screen 8, it was meant to be the “posh” one many years ago but now it’s just slightly more comfortable than all the others with its better chairs and fewer seats. I’m reasonably sure I’ve seen films in there just because it was in screen 8 and not for any other reason.

As I drove along the riverside towards the cinema I noted the state of the tide and it was low. I could see all of the mudbanks and only the central channel was buoyancy-providable. The weather was actually quite nice given the previous day where it rained the whole day and I was silly enough to go for a walk to see the Medway Megaliths, my shoes were soaked but the sun dried them nicely. After I’ve seen a film I rate it on IMDB and there’s a guide to the rating system within this communication. Normally I would then tweet the result from my phone but I removed Twitter a long time ago so the tweets have to wait for the next opportunity when I’m on my home PC.

So, I had to reread my IMDB communication to remind myself of the scoring system. Then I rated this as a 6. It was a perfectly fine film but not one I’d watch again. I booked whatever film I thought looked most interesting. I had slight pangs of concern when I entered the theatre as all the people in there were women and I ended up being the only man in the room. All the trailers were for what I would call “emotional” films – as stereotypical it is I like space films and then thrillers and action films I guess although most action films are stupid. These are not my usual style of film to watch but I was here now and so it was time to soak up what was on offer.

For me the star of the film was the Wyoming countryside. It looks just absolutely gorgeous. It made me think of doing the same and abandoning all of the trappings of modern life and to head off and lead what would feel like a simpler life. When I say get rid of modern life this woman still have tinned food, knives and a rifle. I wonder if everyone feels that they would like to survive by their “wits” rather than our current world system?

The film was broadly speaking enjoyable and told a nice story, one of emotional recovery and trying to learn to live again after tragedy. I know it was for the purposes of the film for the main character to survive after the midpoint of the film but I’m not sure she would. You end up wondering “what are the odds” but it is dealt with very well although all films suffer survivor bias.

The only part of this film that irritated me slightly was that it made shooting things look really simple and easy. I’m not talking about the pulling of the trigger or the moral problems of killing life but I am talking about how hard it is to hit a target with a rifle. Films make this look much simpler and easier than it really is. The funny thing is I actually know what I’m talking about here – I’m a weapons instructor, coach and a range officer – hilarious I know but I do have those qualifications and use them regularly. Me, having official qualifications in something extreme, I find it a curiosity.

Demon Slayer : Mugen Train

Yesterday I took a trip to the cinema to watch a film. This should have been a celebratory return after the cinemas all shut down during the last lockdown. The last film I saw was Akira and so it seemed fitting that I had booked a ticket to see a Japanese animation. I was looking forward to it but I did have one large problem.

I am clearly very tired and so when I rest or am still for a while I start to fall asleep. This is a little embarrassing as the other day I was struggling to stay awake while mining in Minecraft. I think the next time I go to the cinema it will have to be during the middle of the day. That might help. I tactically closed my eyes a few times during this film. Here’s what I mostly remember:

Gravestones. People on a train. Fights. Shiny faced demon. Train develops organic pink shit all over it. A terrible song at the end.

It doesn’t seem fair to give this movie a score on IMDB when I didn’t manage to see all of it and it’s not the movie’s fault I couldn’t. My overall impression was that it wasn’t very good anyway but, when I look at the reviews on IMDB, everyone seems to have really enjoyed it. I think my problem is that it looked too TV Series like. I think that type of animation works well in shorter format. I don’t really think it works for the cinema. But then perhaps I’m wrong? Plenty of people seem to enjoy it. I think I’ll be a little more choosy for my next film.

Akira (2020 Reissue)

The other night I made sure I went to the cinema because it was the last time I would be able to go to the Cineworld cinema at Rochester for the foreseeable future. I went out of a sense of duty I guess.

I faced quite a problem in deciding which film to see. When I looked at the listings I noticed that Akira was playing and damn I love that film. But there were also some films I hadn’t seen before and maybe it would be better to see a new film rather than one I’ve seen every decade since the late 1980s. Here’s a list of the potentially shitty films I could have seen; After We Collided, Bill and Ted, Saint Maud, Schemers, The New Mutants. I’d already walked out of Tenet and really didn’t want another attempt to see that. I had a conversation with Smith and decided it would be Akira – my fear was that I would fall asleep but it was definitely better than any other film on that evening.

The last time I saw Akira was with Smith at the British Film Institute and I wrote about it in this communication. Until I just looked up that link I didn’t know how far in the past that film trip was. I do know that pretty much every time I watch the film the ending surprises me because I think my brain blocks it out.

The tide was quite high as I drove along the esplanade and I parked in my usual area where there are plenty of spaces but slightly further from the entrance doors. My current parking policy is to park away from entrances and walk, it’s far less stress than finding somewhere close. I had cinema food as dinner – a hot dog, some popcorn and a bag of minstrels, might as well make the most of my last trip. I think I would have liked a massive ice cream but the thought of diabetes kept niggling in the back of my head. After watching the film I would normally rate it on IMDB, but I’ve rated Akira before. The rating system defines that this is a 10/10 film because I have seen it multiple times, bought it on multiple formats and also been to see it at the cinema more than once.

I love this film. It packs so much social commentary into its storyline that it always impresses me. There is always something that happens every time I see this that means the overall movie makes more sense. Except the end. I’m not sure the end every really makes sense to me. I know what is happening but I’m surprised every time.

When I walked out of the cinema I had a real feeling of loss. It felt like the end of an era. I’ve spent so long in that place and have used it as a refuge from my own thoughts at times that I feel a real personal connection with that collection of bricks. I will be sad if it doesn’t open again. I will have to try and find a new cinema and escape venue.

Tenet

I took a trip to the cinema largely because it was there and I hadn’t been in a while. I noticed that the tide was low as I drove into the car park. It’s not often I see the river that low, all of the bank was clear of water along with clear delineations of where the boats chill out. This morning I rated the film on IMDB, there is a communication explaining the rating system here.

I guess this probably needs some explanation? Tenet was the only film I vaguely wanted to see. In fact that’s a lie. I didn’t want to see it. I thought Inception was very over-rated and so I went to see Tenet as a last resort I guess. I was hoping that I would secretly find it amazing and really enjoy it. I did not. A personal recommendation to see this film concluded with the words “but it looks gorgeous, just don’t expect to understand it”. Looking gorgeous is something I can cope with so I tried it out. I think I lasted just over an hour into this THREE hour film.

I don’t care for Bond films. I don’t find them interesting or fascinating and I couldn’t give a shit about the development of the “character” or anything else. Tenet was touted as a kind of Bond film. I guess that’s not a great start. The trailers looked OK but a bit bullshit with the backwards time thing but I still thought I would give it a go. THREE hours!!

The opening act with an orchestra concert being attacked was pretty tame. I didn’t see anything that hasn’t been done before. It all looked rather pedestrian. I did note that if you are going to have people talking to each other then it’s normally a good plan to have the words they say audible. Having characters shout while in gas masks was stupid, I couldn’t understand what they were saying and this started my journey of not giving a crap. Some stuff happened. Someone died by their own hand. Then someone didn’t die. Pedestrian and boring. But, give the film a chance I will.

Secret lab. Time bullshit. Plutonium. Rich boy. Spy person extremely talented at everything that needs to be done. Time bullshit. Blonde. Glamorous settings. Speed boats. More dialogue I couldn’t hear or understand. A little more macho posturing for good effect and add a sprinkle of bullshit.

Even the road chase was a bit shit.

So, the first time I looked at my watch to see if it was worth staying in the cinema, maybe there wasn’t that long to go, was at 45 minutes. This film is THREE hours. I decided to give it another 15 minutes and see if the film improved. It did not. The time stuff was fine. It didn’t make sense with respect to the film but I could cope with that. The rest of it just felt a bit wank. The moment that prompted me to leave the cinema and return home to watch some NFL was when the man decided he had to save the blonde. This man was selected because he was fucking hardcore, he would do everything he could to complete the mission. Then he risks everything to save a woman. Just absolutely derivative and boring. I called “Time Out” and left. I think I made it just a little more than one hour into this “masterpiece” and pretty much disliked every moment. There wasn’t anything I saw that made me think – wow, this is different.

The Vigil

Because the cinemas are so quiet at the moment it is actually quite nice to go there. They’ve got themselves sorted for Covid quite well with hand sanitiser, face masks, wipes etc. The cinema I go to has a 5 people only in the toilets but you can’t actually see in the toilets to know if there are 5 people so I’m not sure how that will work on a busy day. A lot of the current crop of films out are reissues. The cinemas or film companies are trying to get the world used to the cinema again by getting us to see our “favourite” films. Amusingly a lot of these films are ones I couldn’t be bothered to see again. They are pushing Inception quite a bit ready for the release of Tenet but I hated Inception and won’t be going to see Tenet. I’ve just tried to create a hyperlink to my review of Inception but that term doesn’t exist on this site! I’ve just looked up when that film came out and it was in 2010 which is before this site existed, my dark ages I guess. I can tell you that a friend recently asked if Inception was brilliant or bullshit and my answer was “bullshit”.

The state of the tide of the river Medway was high. It wasn’t completely high tide as I could see some mud bank on the eastern side, the river was also flowing seaward quite fast and so I think the tide was waning. There are times when the river looks still, times when it flows the “wrong” way and times when it looks too fast. These coincide with whatever the tide is doing at that time, but with a small delay the further upstream you get.

River Medway
River Medway – I was going to walk further along for the picture but it was near film time.

After watching this film I rated it on IMDB. There’s a whole convention about what the ratings actually mean and descriptions of such are in this communication. When I can then access my PC I tweet the IMDB result. I gave up Twitter on my phone and so I now only check it when I can access the flight simulator. The result is below:

So, things. I considered walking out of this film but thought it would be a little rude so I stayed until the end. This film was a “horror” and I’m not really into that. Once you give up all belief in supernatural you can then logic away the scary shit and just watch the film for giggles. I can remember being a teenager and seeing The Omen, Poltergeist, Amityville and so on and they really disturbed me. There was something about those films that really shook me deep. I think I knew they weren’t real but the playfullness of the filmmakers affected me, which I guess is the point. While watching The Vigil I had the following thoughts:

I am bored and this film is boring me.

This guy is getting paid USD400 for reading Psalms and he is failing to do that. He made an agreement but isn’t holding up his side of the bargain. I don’t know what the rules are concerning a Shomer but he’s not doing anything. A Shomer is there to read to the corpse and ease the spirit on its journey. How long does this journey take? If the Shomer stops reading for a toilet break is that allowed? Must the reading be constant? What are the rules? Overall this seems a silly idea to me. Anyway, the main character isn’t doing his job.

Overall I thought this film was poor. It could have been really good. But it used the sound and music to increase tension when it would have been harder but more rewarding to really explore the relationship between this character and his religion and the traditions it has. I can’t decide if this film was a cheap attempt at horror or a real exploration of the psyche!

This Shomer has left his protected bubble of Hasidic Jews in New York. We learn why he left I guess and he is part of a support group for people who leave this oppressive regime. He suffers guilt and problems stemming from a traumatic incident along with leaving the community. We learn that he has seen things and takes tablets to help him control his visions. So, this film is about the psychotic breakdown of a man leaving a religious organisation and the mess that the Hasidic caused him. He is troubled by his own demon and it comes to him while he is [not] doing this Shomer job. I might read a little more about this film and, if I’m lucky, it will be a metal breakdown rather than a horror movie. I won’t be letting you know though!

If you want to know some more about strange religious behaviour then just read an article on the Eruv. It’s a piece of string that “extends” the boundary of your property so that you can go outside and do things on the days when God insists you stay inside your property. Why God allows this loophole is beyond me, it’s all rather made-up.

Unhinged

I rated this film on IMDB, there’s a communication with a list of how the rating system works. I tweeted the result.

This film was terrible. I hated it. I considered walking out but was curious how they would end it. It was utter shit.

I think the lesson here is how we blame the wrong people for the things that go wrong. Woke up late? Your fault. Lost job just before retirement payout? Likely the fault of the regulations that are written by your government. Addicted to opiates? Likely the fault of the government. The media spin everything so our anger is misplaced. It keeps the masses quiet. Why don’t Amazon pay any tax? Because of the laws of the land. Why don’t companies pay fairly? Because of the rules of the land. Why is your MP fucking useless? Because individual people are selfish and vote without any form of altruism. Best I stop this before I end up in a downward spiral. This film was shit.

Back To The Future (35th Anniversary)

So, I wanted to get out and go somewhere and I normally return to the darkness of the film theatre as an easy escape. There isn’t really a lot of films on at the moment because all the major studios have delayed release of all their films due to the SARS-Cov-2 issues. So, in a sensible move, the cinemas around here are showing classic films to get us to visit. Today, as of writing, the following films are available to watch with my comments after each:

  • Back To The Future (35th etc) – seen
  • Back To The Future II (2020 reissue) – will watch at home
  • Dark Waters – seen
  • Dreambuilders – don’t want to see
  • Goodfellas: 30th Anniversary – maybe
  • Harry Potter II RE – don’t care for these movies
  • My Spy – already seen on Amazon Prime
  • Onward – absolutely not
  • Proxima – seen
  • Sonic The Hedgehog – seen
  • The Dark Knight (2020 reissue) – can’t stand Batman films
  • The Empire Strikes Back: 40th Anniversary – maybe
  • The Greatest Showman – kill me now
  • The Shawshank Redemption (2020 reissue) – maybe
  • Unhinged – really not sure about this isn’t it just Falling Down?

So, there is plenty to see and that’s just today. Tomorrow there’s a different selection of films going on. I might go again at some point. I’ve been going to early showings assuming that the cinema is cleaner than after a few crowds have been in. I’m not sure about the whole opening doors to the toilets thing but I guess if everyone uses hand sanitiser that shouldn’t be too bad. To be honest in the film yesterday there were only five people in that particular screen and I think we all pretty much enjoyed the film.

Earlier in the day I had been down to the river at Peters Village and seen that the tide was quite low. When I checked the tide charts supplied by Wolfram Alpha I could see that the tide was turning and by the time I went to the cinema it would have been around 75% of high water for that day. Sure enough on the way in to the cinema as I drove along the esplanade I could see that the tide was indeed getting towards its highest. There were no mudbanks to be seen.

After watching the film I rated it on IMDB because that is a thing I do for cinema films and there is a previous communication detailing the ratings process here. I then tweet the result on my rarely used (for now) twitter account.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this film again. It was great fun. There are so many aspects of the film that are well thought out and delightful little touches that it was as if I hadn’t seen the film ever before. I couldn’t tell you when I last watched this whole thing, but I can tell you that it was still excellent and it did make me wonder why films weren’t made like this anymore. Maybe they are and I just haven’t found them, or maybe they are and I’m struggling with confirmation bias, but this was a well scripted, well made film where every little bit of it just seems to work really well.

I’ve already bought the box set on Blu-Ray along with the Indiana Jones trilogy and Star Wars (1-6). I will be watching the next few films in this particular series over the next week or so and I can’t wait. I honestly can’t remember much and am pretty sure that the last time I watched the third film would have been in the cinema when it originally came out. We’ll see what I think of it!