I’m expecting some stick about this.
Back to Tinseltown. As you know, I am a huge fan of film. Some of the best times of my life* have been wedged into a cinema seat with a bucket of popcorn while somebody tells me a story. I like it. However, there is a downside. Sometimes you go to see a film, or see it later on television, and it’s been touted to the skies and you go, ‘’What? That’s it? Why all the fuss? It’s really not that good, is it?’ The term ‘overrated’ could have been coined specifically for films that fail to deliver.
I was reminded of this by the current fuss surrounding Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It has to be worth a watch simply because of Woody Harrelsen, but I’m rather put off by Frances McDormand. I’ve never been too impressed by her. I may be the only person in the world who watched Fargo and reckoned that was 100 minutes of my life I’m not getting back.
Alicia Silverstone’s first foray onto the silver screen was The Crush, and I’m pleased to say she managed to move on past that. It was a truly awful film, one of those that makes you wonder how it got a/past the studio pitch, b/off the storyboard, and c/into cinemas in front of people who actually paid to be there. Diabolical.
I’ve only ever walked out of one film screening. One of those things that looked mainly OK on paper – Sean Connery and Ving Rhames – but with the complication of Catherine Zeta-Jones, who irritates me almost beyond redemption. Given her presence, and the fact the whole shooting match is a bit of a clumsy reworking** of The Thomas Crown Affair***, my wife and I got about 20 minutes in and adjourned to the pub to moan at each other and to anybody else who’d listen.
Here’s my top pick for a waste of cinematic effort and resources. Titanic. I did a three word review of this piece of crap to my co-workers in the US: ‘The ship sinks!’ I should perhaps have issued a spoiler alert. But this film was so massively overlong, and on occasion so heavy handed it felt as if you were being beaten around the head with a big stick. The bit where whatserface is being tightened into the corset? That’s a visual analogy too far.
Then the English. They’re all privileged insufferable toffs with a stick up their arse****, or straw-chewing locals with an uncertain regional provenance and accent, while the Irish are all twinkly-eyed and full of life and music. The onboard ceilidh is absolutely excruciating.
Why anybody would suffer through this 3:15h of dreck several hundred times is utterly beyond me.
And I hated Atonement too, despite the presence of the immensely talented and ravishing Keira Knightley.
*At least while fully clothed.
***Which they should have left up to Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, and kept that wimp Pierce Brosnan well out of the equation.
****Or Billy Zane channelling Richard Chamberlain in Towering Inferno.