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.


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.


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!

The Hunt

Yesterday I decided to head to the cinema although it was probably not the best idea to be in a room with lots of other people outside of my normal encounters. But still, I went. I do think was silly but because there’s so much going on in this country which is “normal” I don’t think the national psyche has changed to minimise the effects of the virus. I do think that our government aren’t doing enough, but I also think they are stupid and completely the wrong people to be in charge in a time of crisis. Try to think of who, in our current political system, you would trust to run this thing? I can only think of a couple: Lammy and Clarke. Polar opposites there I guess.

Anyway, back to the format. I made particular note of the tide as I drove along the riverside road because it’s important here. The tide was nearly highest and there were fishermen on the banks which was nice to see. I don’t think they’ll find any toilet roll in there though. On my return to home the tide was still pretty high or close to high tide and there were fishermen on the river banks near Peters Village also.

This film puzzled me and I eventually settled on a score on IMDB. There’s a rating system here. I then tweeted this result.

I had heard about this film from plenty of US based podcasts because stupid right wing christian people were freaking the fuck out about this. As far as I know the release was delayed. This sort of thing can only help the final outcome of a film. A little controversy goes a long way.

I think I need to write two reviews. Firstly if this film was written as a comedy and by centrist or left wing people then it is hilarious. It’s a funny look at the divisions in society and the idea that we should take revenge on those who disagree with us. This film takes the standard idea of a Battle Royale and places it in the USA with right-on lefty people hunting down right wing people who have loudly disagreed with the sorts of things that they do.

This film is the same as the Hunger Games or The Maze or any other future dystopian type film. It’s a fight to the death. It’s funny. I don’t think it’s clever or intelligent or sensible but it is funny. It’s also quite bright and cheery.

If this film was written by someone with right wing tendencies then it’s fucking terrible. If someone wrote this as though it was a real piece of work that might be true in the future then they need to chill the fuck out. It’s still funny. I still think it’s bright and cheery. But it shows a dark view into the mind of those on the right as if they think this could happen.

You know what? I enjoyed this film and I might even watch it again sometime. I suspect I will have to change the rating to an 8/10.

Dark Waters

I’m listening to the radio as I write this and they are discussing the leading of petrol, the addition of tetraethyl lead, to help reduce knocking and also allow the fuel to run smoother. As science and others learnt that the lead was dangerous to humans and the environment many people fought back and said all the lead was natural. It wasn’t. But invested parties kept saying that the product was safe. They kept saying that they didn’t think their leaded petrol made any difference to the world. It’s one of those situations where you realise that companies and governments don’t do jack-shit for the people until forced to. It was DuPont who invented this. A side point – the chap who invented the leading of petrol was also responsible for the invention of CFCs – amazing.

I went to see Dark Waters at the Rochester Cinema which nestles next to the tidal part of the river Medway. I happened to notice that the tide level was very low. It was clear because of the mud banks being completely exposed and the rivulets were obvious. I did notice a shopping trolley in the mud and, had I had more time, I would have taken a photograph of it for this publication.

After seeing a film I then rate it on IMDB using a rating scale all of my own invention. You can read how that scale works on within this communication. I suspect that the rating for Dark Waters will be a surprise for some as I haven’t followed my system and am even considering changing my system to fit this score. I don’t want to see this film again but I really enjoyed it, that means it gets a 6 by default. But, I do think that all people should see this film and so I’ve decided to score it a 7.

I really enjoyed the film. It was very educational and full of anti-hope. This is one of those films that everyone needs to see and take on board all of the lessons of capitalism. Over the last ten years I have become more and more convinced that our capitalist governments aren’t doing the best for the people. They do the best for their own interests and it’s quite frustrating to realise that. Watch this film and try to defend DuPont. It’s a bit like watching The Big Short and then trying to defend capitalism. I am convinced that we need to change our society full-scale t omake it work for the people. To make it humanist.

I don’t think this government and management style is going to change peacefully. I think in two hundred years it will be different but largely because anthropogenic climate change will have ruined the planet and kills around eighty percent of humans. The remaining humans will be working to sustain what is left and priorities won’t be economic growth and making money. I’m hoping the priorities will be looking after the Earth and people. I’m glad I’ll be dead.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Yesterday I took a half term trip out to see Sonic The Hedgehog. I know Sony spent a ton of money [or someone did] to change the look of the creature and I was curious to see what the film ended up like. Sonic The Hedgehog forms a massive part of my history, I played it a lot in 1991/2. I was in my first year at university and Big Jim had just moved into halls. He owned a Megadrive AND a television which seemed impressive, none of the rest of us had such stuff. Jase had a TV and I remember watching Rumpole with him on a tiny screen but everyone else relied on the communal television.

Big Jim never locked his door and he was happy enough for us to play his Megadrive when he wasn’t around. There were quite a few nights when I would get a bottle of wine, a few CDs, and head down across to Jim’s room to finish Sonic The Hedgehog. This was in the days before save-games on consoles and so every game was a fresh start. I can’t remember which level of Sonic it was now, but there was one where you would gain four or five lives every time you did it [100 rings]. This meant that the aim was to die before the end of the level and go back and get more lives. It was the only way to ensure you had enough lives to finish the whole game.

It would normally take about three hours, a few CDs and a bottle of wine to get the game done. It was good fun. It was also the start of my downfall I guess? I bought a Megadrive in my second year of university and that probably had the effect of ruining at least two of the educations being paid for by the state. It’s OK though. I realised my mistakes and have been paying it back to society for the last thirty twenty five years or so. It was worth it and without the Megadrive this site wouldn’t exist in this state.

The weather wasn’t great on the drive to the cinema but I did remember to look at the river to gauge the state of the tide. It was pretty low as all the mud bank was visible. Upon leaving the cinema the tide was lower as a boat that was floating earlier was then resting on the bottom of the river. So I left the cinema pretty much at lowest tide [not checked online].

After seeing the film I rated it on IMDB using a system I developed many years ago. This rating will probably cause some consternation amongst readers of this site, but I don’t care. I then tweet the result and here is that tweet:

You know what? I quite enjoyed this film. Yes, it was a kids’ movie, no, there wasn’t really enough adult humour, but overall it was quite good fun. You could watch any kind of kids/alien/monster film and it would be the same as this. Pretty sure I saw Monster Trucks a while back and it’s exactly the same. Alien thing befriends humans and then solves some puzzle or problem while being chased by the evil government. I think there was the possibility of more “Sonic” specific ideas that could have been placed within the film but I still enjoyed it.

I need to talk for a short while about Dr Robotnik. I wasn’t really aware of who was in the film before I went to see it and after a short while I recognised the facial contractions of Jim Carey being Jim Carey and I thought it was him but at the same time I didn’t recognise him. While watching the credits I had to wait quite some time before Jim Carey’s name came up and I was starting to worry that maybe it wasn’t him. It was. This film has Jim Carey being Jim Carey and it was glorious.

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Another Sunday another storm. This time one that rained on Kent but without the winds. Last weekend was windy too. I got out the house by going to see Underwater last Sunday which ended with me feeling I had intimate knowledge of Kristen Stewart’s stomach. Today, there wasn’t a lot on that I wanted to see so I took a trip to Rochester cinema to see Birds Of Prey.

The tide was ebbing just above half tide I reckon on my way in. There’s a natural fascination humans have with the water, the way the boats rock and nestle on the water, I like it. I am always amazed at the complication we humans have made on this world and the machines were are able to create. Such ingenuity.

After watching the film I rated it on IMDB. This scale has been discussed within this communication and it would be wise for you to read it. This film troubled me while I watched it and I considered leaving many times. I posted my rating to Twitter.

I hated pretty much every moment of this movie. It was shit.

While waiting for the adverts and trailers to be over I have been reading a book on the Kindle app on my phone. It saves me having to see the same trailers over and over if I go to the cinema often. Most adverts are also quite terrible. It’s a shame we no longer have cartoons before the main feature in the theatre. I’m currently reading a book about the development of the F-16XL.

General Dynamics F-16XL

This aeroplane was developed to increase the capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. I’m only two chapters into the book at the moment and it has covered the approval process along with the design process. I’m still waiting for the first flight. I’m reading a book published by NASA. It’s very interesting and allows me to learn stuff during the dead time at the cinema.

In the past I’ve read books covering the development programme of the X-15 and how the pressure suit was developed. These were both quite fascinating and I’m looking forward to finishing this book as there are still others I want to read. You should have a look at the books published by NASA. They are free and damned interesting.

Glimmer Of Hope
Glimmer Of Hope

Just there is a sliver of lovely blue sky showing promise for future days. This was the view as I returned to the village.


Rather than sit hunkered down in my house away from Storm Ciara I thought it would be better to spend the time in the cinema. So I went to the Cineworld at Rochester to see Underwater. I hadn’t even heard of the film before I booked the ticket but I watched about ten seconds of the trailer and it looked like an underwater adventure/action movie so I could cope with that. There wasn’t anything else on at the cinema I wanted to see.

The roads were covered in detritus of the storm and the river was rather unsettled in the wind, there were waves and everything! The tidal state was quite low, it would have been more fun with water spray had the tide been higher as some might have even made it to the road. I’m reminded of a time I went to Hastings and the sea was raging. The waves were crashing over the sea wall in spectacular fashion. I think this was the time that my dad had a job interview and we drove there. I was in charge of navigation and the M25 wasn’t fully open, the date should be easy to figure out from that!

Stormy Medway
Stormy Medway

I ought to get on to what I thought of the film. But “The Prologue” never gets started [classic Up Pompeii reference there for you]. I rated this film a little while after watching it. I normally do this while walking back to the car but I wasn’t sure. After a little while of thinking about it I gave this film a 4. There is a whole communication that underpins the numerology of the scoring system and you can read that here. Can you believe that on the day of the Oscar ceremony I went to see this film!

The trailers were the first warning. There was lots of trailers for horror movies. I don’t care for horror movies. They just aren’t any good. Once you accept that the supernatural doesn’t exist then horror movies are just shit. Movies with dolls in them are the worst. What a load of shit. I guess people like being scared in a safe way. Like rollercoasters. Anyway, I digress:

It wasn’t a good film. I’m not even sure it was enjoyable. I didn’t care for any of the characters. It’s most important that we ignore any of the physics involved now, I’d already decided I wouldn’t get annoyed by poor science. I didn’t at any point want to walk out so I guess there’s that.