Films: The Way It Is

Profile photo of Mr Lovegrove Mr Lovegrove / Blog53 Comments

Films: The Way It Is

While choosing a film to watch, please remember the following rules (you can thank me later)*:

1. The Thin Red Line must never, ever be watched as it is THE WORST FILM OF ALL TIME and it will be 171 minutes of your life that you will never get back.
2. Action films must be watched on Friday and Saturday nights, with the volume turned waaayyy up.
Sub-rule: James Bond films must be seen with your dad, if available (an older uncle is an acceptable substitute). All dads/uncles must say that (a) Sean Connery is the best Bond (this is true) and (b) Ursula Andress is the best Bond girl (this is not true—it’s Barbara Bach from The Spy Who Loved Me).
3. All horror films must be watched at night, with the lights out. No exceptions.
4. Comedies must be watched on weeknights, or on Saturday mornings.
Sub-rule: when watching Withnail and I, the greatest comedy of all, do not play the drinking game. You will die.
5. Historical epics (Spartacus, El Cid, Lawrence of Arabia) are reserved for Saturday and Sunday afternoons. A bowl of bonbons or tea and biscuits are optional.
Sub-rule: when watching The Great Escape, a brief sob is acceptable when *spoiler alert!* the 50 are massacred.
6. Foreign films must be watched on Sundays with the subtitles on. Dubbed versions are the work of the Evil One.
7. No rules apply to The Lord of the Rings, as it is the best film ever made and can be watched at any time. And before anybody complains, I consider it as one film split into three parts. So there.

* You may ignore these rules – although that would be a mistake – but following them will definitely add to your film-watching experience. I follow them, and there is nothing wrong with me. Probably.


53 Comments on “Films: The Way It Is”

    1. Profile photo of davebigpicture

      I caught my daughter watching an Adam Sandler film the other day. A sound thrashing, bread and water and a thousand lines, “Adam Sandler is an unfunny twat of the highest order.” She won’t do that again in a hurry.

  1. Profile photo of Rigid Digit
    Rigid Digit

    If you insist “gentlemans special interest films”, please ensure you draw the cutains, or at least have some fairly robust net curtains.
    Unlike the bloke up the road from me.
    He really didn’t think that through – a 50″ TV fixed to the wall opposite the front window.

    I don’t know what his name is, but he has been re-christened “Dirty Barry”

    1. Profile photo of Moose the Mooche
      Moose the Mooche

      The correct procedure in this case is to stand around his window in a big group clapping and stamping rhythmically. He’ll either be very embarassed or think that the foley work on his DVD is rather eccentric.

  2. Profile photo of moseleymoles

    It is acceptable to split up very long films over several nights – Inland Empire, Once Upon A Time In America (which had an interval in the cinema when I saw it), New York, New York , Fanny and Alexander etc but anything less than two and a half hours long should be wolfed down in a single sitting.

    This rule does not apply to anyone with children under five for whom The Artist may count as a long film.

  3. Profile photo of Garry

    Any black and white war film starring either Richard Attenborough, Kenneth More or John Mills (or any combination of the three) should only be watched on a Sunday afternoon following a full roast dinner

  4. Profile photo of Gary

    If you wouldn’t mind swapping the words Thin Red Line with the words Lord Of The Rings I still wouldn’t agree with you, but I’d be a little closer to it.

  5. Profile photo of johnw

    171 minutes!! You didn’t like it but you watched it all?! If it was that bad I’d have given up far far before that point – in fact it may well have been involuntary as if the film is truly bad there’s be the odd ten minutes here and there where I may be studying the inside of my eyelids.

  6. Profile photo of Mr Lovegrove
    Mr Lovegrove

    Johnw, my friend and I had gone to the cinema especially for a late showing. The longer the night wore on, the less inclined we were to get up and go. After a while, resignation set in and we stayed there in the hope that something, *anything* would happen that would justify our efforts. It never did.

    1. Profile photo of johnw

      Ah! The cinema! In the days of streaming and DVDs I’d forgotten that quaint old fashoined way of watching films. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out of a cinema but I’ve given up early with plenty of films at home. The last tedious one we watched was “The Curious Case Of Benjemin Button” . After over an hour we decided to give it another 20 minutes. Nothing happened during that time either so we gave up. I suppose it’s easier reaching a consensus on the sofa with the film paused than in a cinema.

  7. Profile photo of henpetsgi

    I watched a Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore film last night. No more than 2 glasses of wine had been partook. I laughed out loud at least four times.
    I am deeply worried – will I look back on that night as the first sign all was not well??

    1. Profile photo of Bingo Little
      Bingo Little

      Was it Tangled? Because I really enjoyed Tangled. It’s clearly crap film, but it made me laugh.

      I don’t agree with the Sandler fatwa. He’s made some amusing films: Happy Gilmore is one, the Wedding Singer is another. I am a big fan of the Grown Ups movies. Yes, they’re shit, but it’s three or four very funny men clearly enjoying each others’ company (that’s not a euphemism, Moose), and the films have a good vibe about them which overrides the sloppiness of the material. It’s not meant to be clever, it’s not meant to be art, it’s just stupid dumb fun. So, when Grown Ups 2 climaxes by having all the characters assemble in the same place, in fancy dress, and fight, I cheer them on. Why not? I enjoyed it ten times as much as some of the worthy indie tripe I’ve watched down the years (classic example: Spike Jonze’s “Her” – now THERE’S a shit film), and I’m quite happy to say so.

      I think there needs to be greater appreciation for dumb movies. They’re ace.

      Also, Tango and Cash is sooooo far from being the worst film of all time. It’s got a pretty good opening half hour, and two relatively likeable leads. Not everything about it is rotten.

      As someone who positively gravitates towards bad movies, and lustily celebrates them at the top of his lungs, here are the two worst films I’ve ever seen (each amusingly so):

      Uwe Boll’s House of the Dead

      Brick Mansions

      The Brick Mansions trailer actually makes the movie look ten times better than it actually is. In reality, it’s a shambling, reeking zomboid of a film – laugh out loud funny throughout, and every time you think it’s crested, it finds a way to plumb new depths.

      But these aren’t my favourites. My favourites are terrible, terrible films with huge budgets. Because I like to watch them repeatedly and imagine the secret shame of the hundreds of people involved in their creation. Each toiling away for months, knowing that they are birthing a $200m abomination. No eye contact on the set, returning home each night to burn all their clothes, kick their dog and cry in the shower. Unable to so much as look at their loved ones. The kinds of movies that mark the people involved FOREVER, and in a manner so profound that many of them end up marrying each other.

      Until a few weeks ago, Pearl Harbour was best of breed. Just an unimaginable car crash of a film that in any sane universe would have ended careers. It’s the cinematic equivalent of Limp Bizkit making a concept triple album about 9/11. A Thing That Should Not Be.

      However, a recent release has supplanted it in my heart. Jupiter Ascending. Gloriously, wonderfully atrocious. See the other thread somewhere down there for details of why, but – my god – I’ve not laughed more at a movie in years. An absolute must-see.

      It’s not the bad films I resent. It’s the mediocre ones. They’re the real waste of time.

  8. Profile photo of Bingo Little
    Bingo Little

    Here’s a good rule: go and see any movie in which the audience is at some stage supposed to like and/or sympathise with Ben Affleck. It flat out doesn’t work, and in addition to a pleasing cognitive dissonance, you also get to enjoy a movie in which you’re supposed to be onside with the lead character, but in actuality would quite like him to die horribly.

    Textbook example: Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl.

  9. Profile photo of Bingo Little
    Bingo Little

    Avoid any movie that has an ensemble cast, a theatrical poster with lots of white space and separate pictures of each of the ensemble, a pitching that suggests it’s aimed very self-consciously at both men and women and a title with more than three words in it.

    Examples: This is Where I Leave You, He’s Just Not That Into You, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I Could Never Be Your Woman.

    I blame Love Actually.

  10. Profile photo of chiz

    On long haul flights I’ve discovered the phenomenon of Third Film Desperation, which is the point somewhere over Nova Scotia where you’ve already watched Boyhood and Whiplash and there isn’t a meal due for another four hours, and there’s no chance of sleep, so you scroll listlessly through the available films an always end up picking an absolute dud. Last weekend I saw If I Stay, a movie so memorable I have literally forgotten all about it already – in fact I think I forgot it even as I was watching it. Coming back, after Guardians of the Galaxy and The Maze Runner I started on The Internship but after 15 minutes of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson stinking up the screen I had to give up. There’s lesson in this somewhere. Stay at home, probably.

    1. Profile photo of Bingo Little
      Bingo Little

      Third Film Desperation! Love it!

      About a decade ago I endured a transatlantic flight on which the absolute best film options available to me were the dreadful Ben Affleck vehicle (see above) “Paycheck”, the soul-crushing “Matrix: Revelations” and the rage-inducing “Mona Lisa Smile”. Ugh.

      Set against that, when I was about 7 years old I was on a long haul flight to South America, back in the days when the whole cabin got the same movie on one big screen, and they showed us “Brewster’s Millions” followed by “D.A.R.Y.L”. One of my favourite double-bills of all time.

  11. Profile photo of moseleymoles

    How about this for bitter irony? Son had to leave a screening of Skyfall with something stuck in his eye (no really, not the sad bit with judi) – ending us up at the birmingham Eye Hospital where in the waiting room we watched with the captions on a film that IMDB has confirmed as being Fool’s Gold. 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. We were begging them to put our eyes out long before the end…

  12. Profile photo of Bingo Little
    Bingo Little

    Au contraire – if I had an issue with my eyes I would find it a source of enormous comfort to know that all those in the room with me were so willing to share my pain that they were voluntarily subjecting their own retinas to Fools Gold. If ever a film would make you glad to have temporarily lost the use of one of your senses it’s that one.

  13. Profile photo of Black Celebration
    Black Celebration

    Wretched British Lovey Films. I saw The Love Punch a few weeks ago due to affection for Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan doing comedy). But oh *dear*. Emma Thompson, Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall play the most unlikeable and smug characters I think I have ever seen. They have been wronged by a nasty foreigner due who has done something shady and financial to Emma and Pierce.

    The financial thing is not really explained because the writer couldn’t be bothered coming up with something plausible. Now Douglas Adams didn’t know the first thing about space/time etc but when he had plot lines based on science, he checked with academics to make sure that there was some remote plausibility in there.

Leave a Reply