Sunday, 31 January 2010

Game Over

The original intention of this blog was to ascertain whether an Unlimited Cineworld card was actually value for money. I've kept track of every film I watched across 12 months (feb to feb), tagging it when it was a cineworld viewing and whether I would have actually paid money for it.
It turns out if you are me, it is value for money representing a saving of £40 across a year, and as an added bonus throwing in 17 films for free that I would never have paid for.

I did the same for Lovefilm to see what I was actually paying for a film, turns out it's roughly £2.28 each, or £5.28 each for the good ones and 23 bollocks ones for free.
I thought these statistics would provide me with some interest, but it's actually quite a hollow discovery that does make me question what the hell I've been doing for a year.

On the plus side I do enjoy trying to capsule review films (particularly the bad ones) and across the year I've watched 151 films (152 if you count the fact I saw Transformers 2 twice, I must have taken the 2 as a literal instruction). So rather than dribble on about statistics let's do some praising and slamming:

10 favourite new films I saw in a cinema:

1: Antichrist
To see Stalker and Evil Dead amalgamated into one film was a fantastic experience, then add a bit of bonus genital mutilation to round it off! How could this not be my favourite film of 09, why Mr Von Trier you had me at 'Chaos Reigns'.

2: Watchmen
Due to love of the book I already have the story and characters concreted in my head, all I needed was a director with bucketloads of visual flair and who lacked any sort of imagination that might fuck with what I already loved. Perfect match.

3: Avatar
Yeah, I know it's somebody else's story and you can poke sticks at the cliches all you want, but at the end of the day this film is the closest in a long time that my adult brain has got to the head rush I would experience as an eight year old when watching films.

4: The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
There are few directors able to vividly recreate such pure imagination on screen and always get an incredible result. Gilliam is one such director. Lynch is another, but he didn't make a film this year.

5: Drag Me To Hell
What happens when you let a fantastic director off the leash so he can run round and have some fun. Raimi's love of the genre is so evident you can see the glee dripping off the screen in such quantities that there is no option but to be swept along by it.

6: Up
Pixar seem to be the only animation studio to realise that although you can use immense CGI technology to polish turds, you can get better results if you use CGI technnology to polish diamonds.

7: Brüno
This film broke me. I laughed so hard at the midget sex I could barely function. Probably the most I've laughed at a flat screen covered in dancing lights all year.

8: Paranormal Activity
This kind of thing isn't new any more, but it's still being done extremely well. Massive praise for keeping the hauntings as true to real life reports as possible and eschewing all the OTT bollocks for (almost) the entire duration.

9: Sherlock Holmes
Just fun. Really fucking fun. My opinion may be skewed by my watching it during the Christmas holidays - a 14 day period of which I mainly subscribed to sobriety when I slept. It was great fun though.

10: Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Yes, erm. My high brow pretensions do tend to melt away rather sharply when there's giant robots hitting each other. Particularly when they're using trees for the hitting parts.

5 brilliant films I watched on a telly

It's harder to start picking out favourites from stuff you watch at home because you're not forced into such limited choices. I also tend to watch a lot more crap at home, the excuse being I'm searching for gems. Well here's 5 gems that had a larger impact on me than most:

1: Salo, or The 120 Days Of Sodom
There is nothing that can prepare you for this film. Like having your emotions scoured with wire wool. Incredible.

2: Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee
Genius. Genius concept, genius acting, genius humour and unbelievably genius rapping.

3: Pulse [Kairo]
Turns Japanese ghost cinema on it's head, which is a nice thing to see when the genre is beginning to get lazy.

4: The Fall
What I said about Gilliam above also applies to Tarsem here.

5: The Ruins
I watched this knowing nothing of it, and it pleasantly surprised me. Even when I began to figure things out, it still had surprises in store.

10 Shittest films I saw

1: The Grudge 3
Truly apalling. Like pressing play on the DVD player only to find somebody has shat in your telly.

2: 2012
If a child had come up with this you'd struggle to praise it, but then Emmerich's earnest tone which trys to present this garbage as Something Important accelerate it to levels of shit usually only attained by actual feacal matter.

3: One Missed Call [Remake]/Pulse [Remake]/ Shutter [Remake]
All essentially the same bollocks idea, which is remaking excellent eastern horror cinema into something far inferior. The analogy is somebody in Japan trying to remake The Shining with a cast of Down's Syndrome actors. Actually this is a brilliant idea, but it still doesn't justify what the Americans get up to.

4: The Happening
Aptly titled, because as you watch it's difficult to believe that this kind of filmmaking ineptitude is actually happening.

5: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Made by someone who didn't realise that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a one off-never to be replicated, so don't fucking bother-total fluke.

6: Paul Blart: Mall Cop
I've forgiven an awful lot that I've watched with the child saying things like "oh, but it's for kids", but this wasn't for kids it was for people who laugh at Police Academy movies. Yet not even they would laugh at such cack handed bollocks.

7: Vinyan
I would love to speak to the director to find out where his mind was when he made this, but I believe he's still trying to find his way out of his own arse. The irony being that this is probably exactly where his mind was all along.

8: Prom Night
Advice: Remaking an old shit film as a new shitter film is nothing to be proud of. It's just something that makes people want to tell you to fuck off.

9: My Name Is Bruce
Possibly one of the most embarassing things I've ever watched. Campbell is basically prostituting himself to the nerds who keep telling him how wonderful he is at being shit. Keep rereading that sentence, there really is nothing right about this situation.

10: Zombie Strippers
The kind of film a 16 year old boy will rent and be severely dissapointed by. That dissapointment seems to become even more acute at double his age. Films like this make me sad, why do I watch them ? Did you read the title?

Well, I don't need them tags any more.


  1.'re going to stop watching shit films then being sarky about them? Yeah, right. You may as well keep the blog going. Though if you want a project, how about haiku reviews?

  2. Hey! You can't stop the blog now, it's just too much entertainment! And I do genuinely use it as some kind of barometer as to whether something is like to be good or not (as anyone who's heard me say "Al's blog says.." will know to their pain.)

    Another year Al! Get watching!

  3. I'm not stopping. The Game that is Over is the one of tracking the worth of my various film subscriptions. So no more CW . LF . YES . NO business.
    This thing started as a statistical project with the comments just so I could remember what stuff was, but as Joe pointed out watching shit movies and sarcasm are fundamental character traits of mine and so this place will continue to exist as a conduit for them. After all, there's some days when you just got to piss invective.

  4. Hoorah to not stopping.

  5. I agree with Joe, he only just pointed me this way and when I get here you've packed it in? Thanks a lot, asshole.

    Anyway, Vern reviewed all the Steven Seagal movies. You could do all the JCVD movies? I watched Sudden Death last night and it is fantastically god. At one point he beats a woman wearing a penguin outfit to death...

    Anyway, I hope you keep recording your musings.