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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 26/05/2014 - 12:51

X-Men: Days Of Future Past claws to the top

By Rich Matthews

As expected, Fox's prequel/sequel X-Men: Days Of Future Past dominated the US box office over the Memorial Day weekend, grossing $90.7m in the standard three-day weekend, putting just behind the openings of Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95m) and the ever-fading The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6m).

That's also behind franchise-best 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, which opened on the exact same weekend to take $102.8m, non-adjusted. If you ignore the money and look only at bums on seats, Days Of Future Past also placed behind X2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

However, compared to the two most recent franchise entries, director Bryan Singer's return to the world of mutants scored just shy of $40m more than last year's The Wolverine and franchise reboot X-Men: First Class. Its inability to really knock it out of the park and beat Last Stand is likely a reflection of the change in the volume of superhero movies in the marketplace, a dynamic that is also clearly having an impact on Spider-Man.

Days Of Future Past's saving grace – as is so often the case in today's moviegoing world – is a much better international performance, where it grossed a massive $171.1m in its worldwide opening, making it very likely to pass The Wolverine's $282m within a week or so, which will make it the franchise's biggest international performer, and the overall top X grosser when it finally leaves theatres.

At number two, Godzilla took a hefty 66 per cent tumble to gross $31.4m, taking its domestic total to $148.8m and a worldwide gross of $315.4m. With Japanese audiences complaining that this Godzilla is a fat American version of the 50-storey lizard, future-Star Wars-spinoff helmer Gareth Edwards' update is currently tracking on par with the inflation-adjusted gross of Sony's 1998 attempt. However, studios tend to turn a blind eye to inflation and Godzilla's final numbers may well prove big enough to warrant a sequel.

The giant aquatic reptile was followed up at number three by the third onscreen partnership between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, Blended, with a massively underwhelming $14.2m. Compare it to Grown Ups 2's $42m opening and this marks a real disappointment for Warner Bros, especially given it was a big piece of counter-programming that hoped to parlay the enduring appeal of Sandler and Barrymore's The Wedding Singer.

In comparison, the Seth Rogen/Zac Efron ribald R-rated comedy Neighbors sat just behind Blended, grossing $14m to take its tally to $113.6m and $181m worldwide. With Captain America finally dropping out of the top 10, the only other superhero in the chart, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, grossed a further $7.8m to raise its domestic gross to a disappointing $184.9m (80m behind the original reboot) and its worldwide tally to $673.9m, again $80m off pace.

The remainder of the top 10 saw Disney's Million Dollar Arm take $7.1m ($20.6m US), Cameron Diaz comedy The Other Woman gross $3.7m ($78m US, $164m worldwide), parrot animation Rio 2 bag $2.5m ($121.6m, $448.2m), Jon Favreau's indie Chef expanding its theatre count to take $2.3m ($3.5m) and Heaven Is For Real keeping the faith for $2m ($85.8m).

Next week brings a real test for Disney as the Angelina Jolie-fronted reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent, makes its CGI-heavy entrance, while Seth MacFarlane sees if he can follow-up Ted's success with A Million Ways To Die In The West.

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Screenjabber Pubcast: Just some gigolos

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 24/05/2014 - 17:33

They're back! Join Doug Cooper, David Watson, Andrew Jones and host Stuart O'Connor for reviews of what's (slightly) old and new in UK cinemas: Frank, Blue Ruin, Bad Neighbours, The Wind Rises, Silent Sonata, The Two Faces of January, In Secret, Godzilla, Fading Gigolo, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Blended. Plus Amon Warmann joins the guys for a chat about the Modern Family season finale and the home entertainment releases Willow Creek, Birth of The Living Dead and The Wolf of Wall Street.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Top Dog: interview with Martin Kemp and Leo Gregory

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 23/05/2014 - 07:42

Screenjabber's Peter deGraft-Johnson sits down for a chat with director Martin Kemp and star Leo Gregory ahead of the release of Top Dog, a new football film with a dramatic twist.

Top Dog tries to bring a new side to the normal football films we've seen before, adding some real family drama to the mix. It's out to own on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday May 26 from Universal Pictures.

SYNOPISIS | Hooligan gang leader, Billy Evans (Gregory), is above the law. He knows it, and they know it. And when you regard the law as an irrelevance, all kinds of opportunities can open up for you – especially when you begin to exert your increasingly powerful influence over the back street pubs and clubs of east London. But he's about to discover that this time he's finally pushed his luck too far. And this time it isn't the law he'll have to contend with. It's something far more dangerous.

Top Dog tells the story of how Billy’s life takes a brutal turn for the worse when he bites off more than he can chew with underworld figure Mickey (Ricci Harnett) over a family member’s pub he wants to reclaim as the home of his football firm, the Acton Casuals.

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Taking Out the (Trailer) Trash

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 20/05/2014 - 07:43

By Norman Quarrinton

Trailers can sometimes spoil a film, but most of the time they fill you with a sense of anticipation, excitement and awe. So here is the latest roundup of what is coming soon to a cinema near you .

Sex Tape

Bad Teacher co-stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel reunite with director Jake Kasdan to bring us this R-rated comedy based around the nightmare scenario of accidently leaking a sex tape. Segal and Diaz are a married couple who go down the DIY porno route in an attempt to spice things up in the bedroom. It would be a pretty short film if that plan worked out for them, which it doesn’t – the video finds its way onto “The Cloud” and hilarity ensues as the husband and wife duo battle technology as they try to erase the video’s existence. There’s so many f-bombs in this trailer that it eventually stops being funny, but there’s some great tech-based gags which makes it worth a look. Just don’t watch this trailer with your kids. You have been warned.
US Release: July 25
UK Release: September 5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Looks like the die-hard TNMT fans will finally get the movie they’ve been waiting... oh no, wait, this looks terrible. What’s wrong with their noses? I know they’re mutant turtles, but WHAT’S WRONG WITH THEIR NOSES?!
US Release: August 8
UK Release: October 17

Jersey Boys

After last year’s Republican National Convention fiasco, in which he conversed with an inanimate for object for what felt like an eternity, it seemed likely that Clint Eastwood was on his way to a Hollywood retirement home. Thankfully that’s not the case. He’s obviously still a geriatric, but he’s a geriatric who makes great films and this one looks like another winner. Based on the Broadway/West End musical of the same name Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valley & the Four Seasons. Expect Itallian-American accents, plenty of foot tapping and the guy who plays Lucky Luciano in Boardwalk Empire.
UK & US Release: June 20

How to Train Your Dragon 2

“So it’s like Game of Thrones without the boobs?” is what I would say if I were a less cultured individual. Luckily for you guys, I am a very cultured individual who loves animated movies aimed at children. If you haven’t seen 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon, get down to Tesco or Walmart or Target or wherever it is you buy your DVD’s from, and have a rummage through the bargain bin because you can probably pick it up for under a fiver. Take a kid with you though, you’ll look a bit weird otherwise…And make sure it’s your kid, or the kid of someone you’re very close to, Don’t just go grabbing kids off the street. That’ll probably get you in trouble, and “I just wanted to buy a DVD, you honour” is not a solid defence. Trust me.
US Release: June 13
UK Release: July 4

Sin City: A Dame to Die For

Robert Rodriguez  reunites with Frank Miller, a man so conservative he makes the aforementioned Clint Eastwood look like Yoko Ono. You really have to separate the artist from the art when it comes to enjoying Miller’s work, or just be completely oblivious to his existence, because the guy really is a massive douche bag. Anyway, the long-awaited sequel to 2005’s Sin City has a cast list that’s just as impressive as its predecessor. The Clive Owen Appreciation Society might be a bit pissed-off though - he’s been replaced by Josh Brolin. (Rejoice, members of the Josh Brolin Fan Club).
US Release: August 22
UK Release: August 29

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 19/05/2014 - 07:01

Godzilla stomps to the top

By Rich Matthews

Everyone expected Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures creature feature tentpole Godzilla to easily win the weekend at the US box office, but Gareth Edwards' labour of love trounced all predictions of $65m by grossing $93.2m.

Talk of a new franchise reborn filled the rarified Hollywood air, as the Japan-born literal blockbuster also grossed $103m internationally for a stonking first weekend's $196.2m. Conversation also turned to how this was a more successful launch than Sony's 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed attempt, which took $44m for a final domestic gross of $136.3 and global cume of $379m – but it's worth noting that the inflation-adjusted numbers tells a different story, with the opening in 2014 money coming to $106.2m by the same point.

That makes its US tally an impressive $230m and its total gross a bulky $633m worldwide in today's change – numbers that will undoubtedly make the new Godzilla a bona fide hit, if it hits them. Emmerich didn't really stand a chance 16 years ago because he was following up mega-blockbuster Independence Day, which took $817.4m in 1996 money (approximately $1.4bn adjusted, which is Avengers big), and Godzilla's gross paled in comparison. Back to the present, and Godzilla once again looks like a viable franchise and is a boost for Legendary (which paid for 75 per cent of the film's budget) as it parts ways with Warners to plough pastures new with Universal.

Meanwhile, Disney's Jon Hamm-starring baseball comedy Million Dollar Arm could only manage to score $10.5m for a number four ranking, with Seth Rogen/Zac Efron frat vs parents comedy Neighbors taking $26m in second place ($91.5m US, $146.3m worldwide) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 $16.8m in third. Spidey 2's tally now stands at $172.2m in the US and $633.2m worldwide, which puts it a good $50m off the pace of the first reboot domestically, and needing another $120m to match its global gross. However, this could be mirroring the pattern of Sam Raimi's early noughties trilogy, which saw Spider-Man 2 grossing around $40m less overall that the first film. If that trends continues, Sony can expect The Amazing Spider-Man 3 to be the biggest yet. The top five was rounded out by Cameron Diaz/Leslie Mann/Kate Upton cuckold comdy The Other Woman with $6.3m ($71.7m US, $151m worldwide).

Bringing up the back five were godly grosser Heaven Is For Real ($4.4m, $82.2m), parrot sequel Rio 2 ($3.8m, $118m, $438m), Marvel's current barnstormer Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($3.8m, $251m and crossing the $700m worldwide mark with $703.4m), animated turkey Legends Of Oz: Dorothy's Return ($2m,$6.6m) and Christian comedy Moms' Night Out ($1.9m, $7.3m).

Godzilla's muscle will truly be tested next weekend, with Fox's mutant-crammed brain twisting bringing together of cast young and old for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which is expected to bring the biggest gross of the year so of around $125m. The big lizard also has deal with the lesser threat of the reunion of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in Blended.

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London's moral compass put to test

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 15/05/2014 - 22:20

The moral compass of the British public was put to the test this week, with a hidden camera experiment, aiming to determine whether or not the average Londoner would pocket £1,000 found on the streets of the city.

To mark the release of The Wolf of Wall Street on Blu-ray and DVD from May 19, which sees broker Jordan Belfort resort to underhand tactics to become rich beyond his wildest dreams, a series of hidden cameras were set up on the back streets of East London, where a tempting wad of £20 notes laid in wait, ready to test the moral compass of the city.

The experiment began when the first passer-by Sam Elobeid, 23 from Whitechapel, walked straight into the trap. Following a few brisk glances over the shoulder and a slight bend of the knee, he swooped in for the money. Little did the he realise that, ready and waiting behind a street corner, stood a half-naked marching band accompanied by stunning majorette girls, inspired by Jordan Belfort’s own Stratton Oakmont office party entertainment. On the money-grabbing cue, the band marched from their hiding place and surprised the unsuspecting target with the loud and outrageous sights and sounds of a The Wolf of Wall Street office party.

Elobeid said, "I was walking to work and I saw £1,000 bundle of cash just sitting there. I just stared and thought ‘wow’, I could pick it up and maybe call someone to hand it in.  Then this band came and surprised me, they’re a little underdressed maybe… truly a shock!”

Throughout the day, over two hundred Londoners, from all walks of life including an old lady, groups of city workers and local builders passed the surveillance spot. A whopping 75% swooped in for the cash and the money was stashed in pockets, bags and even a pram. Some brave passers-by begun to simply stroll off with the money in hand, but no-one escaped unnoticed. Each and every one was greeted by a loud, brash procession of the half-dressed marching brass band and gorgeous baton-twirling ladies. What followed was a series of shocked, awestruck and somewhat embarrassed reactions, all of which were caught on camera.

Margaret Brown, 82 retired from Bethnal Green was caught on camera picking up the money, said “I thought it was my birthday!   Then this lot came at me, all dressed up and blowing trumpets....if you can call it dressed up, they had no clothes on! If I had kept the money I probably would have taken a holiday to Clacton in a caravan."

Gennardo Boccia, from Shoreditch said, "I was on my way to work and I saw this big pile of £20 notes.  I thought, ok, no work today, let's go to the West End and go shopping instead.  But then these guys came and scared me, the whole band with majorettes and trumpets. What would I really do with the money if I had kept it? A little shopping, but mostly just pay bills."

The footage captured suggests London could be a city worthy of Jordan Belfort’s ‘Wolf’ title. Check out the full video footage of the Are You Wolf Enough? experiment below ...

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 11/05/2014 - 21:22

Seth Rogen and Zac Efron's Neighbors knocks Spidey off his perch in style

By Rich Matthews

In a slightly unexpected turn of events, the new ribald R-rated frat house vs new parents comedy Neighbors, starring unlikely cinematic bedfellows Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, chugged a Rogen-best $51.1m over the second weekend in May 2014.

That represented a good $10m more than most predictions from industry insiders, and easily trounced The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which took a hefty drop to web $37.2m in its second weekend at the box office.

Sony will be keeping a beady corporate eye on Marc Webb's sophomore webhead outing, which has now grossed $147.9m, but has already bagged $403m internationally for a global gross of $550.9m.

The first Amazing reboot had managed to haul in more than $50m more than the sequel in the US by this point, but it still looks set to better the first film's final international cume of $490.2m.

This falls in line with a general trend of declining domestic numbers for the wall crawler, paired with improving foreign funds. Neighbors was no slouch itself at the global box office, raking in $34.4 to take it's tally to $85.5m worldwide. If it continues at this pace, it should easily become Rogen's biggest movie to date.

The only other two new releases – Christian mom-com Moms' Night Out and indie animation Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return – could only muster just shy of $8m between them to languish down at seventh and eighth respectively. Clarius Entertainment, the independent behind the Oz flick, is likely to take a real bath as a result of such poor grosses for a wide release.

Sitting between them, and making up chart positions three to six, were a bunch of solid performers – Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton continued to get female buns on seats with The Other Woman ($9.3m, US total $61.7m, worldwide $127.7m), other god-bothering drama Heaven Is For Real kept the faith for the current theatrical piety bubble ($7m for a domestic tally just past $75m), while sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($5.6m, $245m, $696m) and Rio 2 ($5.1m, $113.2m, $423m) continued to keep tills ticking over nicely.

Expect Cap to pass the $700m mark very soon. Rounding out the chart at nine and 10 were YA blockbuster (in the US at least ) Divergent ($1.7m, $145m, $253m) and Paul Walker's last fully completed movie Brick Mansions ($1.5m, $18.3m, $26.6m).

On the specialty front, Jon Favreau's return to low-key indie comedy a la Swingers, Chef, posted a decent screen average of $34,000 on six screens, so it may have some real legs when it widens its release.

Rogen and Efron should enjoy their current lofty position at the top of the heap, because Godzilla is waiting in the wings to stomp over all contenders next weekend, and then mega-sequel X-Men: Days Of Future Past is predicted to debut with at least $125m on May 23, by which time summer madness will be in full swing.

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Cozzilla: The Godzilla movie you’ve never seen

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 11/05/2014 - 21:01

By Mark Searby

As the creature rises from the water ready to do battle with the humans, his mighty battle roar echoes and shudders. Fire rushes from his mouth, burning the city. People run for their lives. The fire burns red, then orange, then blue. The crowd running from the vicious monster also appear in the same colour sequence. Welcome to the first ever colourised version of Godzilla, which has actually been dubbed Cozzilla by fans. But this is no ordinary monster movie. Instead this is an Italian redubbed/semi ripped/part stolen take on the Far East’s most famous monster from one of its biggest fans and the director of Cozzilla – Luigi Cozzi.

So a quick run through of how Cozzi’s version was arrived at. The black and white Japanese 1954 film Godzilla (the original theatrical movie featuring the monster) was bought by Jewell Enterprises in the US and redubbed with American voices and additional footage inserted with actor Raymond Burr. Burr’s footage was filmed and inserted to match the original style from the 1954 film, making it look and feel as if it was all shot at the same time. This new English language version called Godzilla: King Of The Monsters was a big success at the US box office, and eventually in Europe. This is where it came to the attention of Cozzi. He wanted to licence the original ’54 version without the Raymond Burr scenes, but was unable to obtain the rights. Instead was sold the Americanised version and set about creating the first colourised film version of Godzilla.

At first Cozzi tried to release the black and white version in Italy, but the distributors felt black and white films had become boring and wouldn’t capture the audience's money anymore thanks to Technicolor movies becoming the main staple of cinemas. Also the original Godzilla runtime was only 80 minutes, but during the 1970s a film had to run over 90 minutes for a theatrical release in Italy. Cozzi was forced to add more footage to make sure it played in theatres; the final runtime of Cozzilla was 105 minutes. The additional material consisted of scenes from other sci-fi films and real-life footage from news reels about death and destruction, including scenes of dead bodies scattered in wasteland. The additional Godzilla scenes had been ripped from Godzilla Raids Again (1955) and the shark fighting an octopus nabbed from Ray Harryhausen’s The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953). There are some minor additional clips from The Train (1964) and The Day The Earth Caught Fire (1961) also inserted to pad out two disaster scenes.

Cozzi decided to colourise his Godzilla movie and hired Italian animator and cartoonist Armando Valcauda to work on this, by using gels attached to the negatives one frame at a time. This new colourisation was called Spectrorama 70. Yet this is an invented name by Cozzi to help sell advertising. The 70 refers to the 70mm movie reels that every major Hollywood blockbuster was being shown on. The issue arises on the film that shows the gels used consisted of four or five different colours only. Many times the orange, blue and yellow gels are used during the scenes featuring humans and the red gel reserved for big explosions. But when the camera pans across the gels remain static, causing a real mess on screen.

Due to the additional length of Cozzilla, the film required new musical scores for selected scenes which were provided by an Italian music composer called Vince Tempera under the alias Magnetic System. The name Cozzilla actually came from Cozzi’s pen-name, which he used when writing articles for sci-fi magazines. He decided to use it as the production company name for his version of Godzilla, and it is seen at the beginning of the film causing the film to have a nickname that differentiates it from all the other Godzilla movies from around the world.

With the updated Cozzilla finished, Luigi Cozzi released it into the wilds of Italian movie theatres in 1977. It received mixed to positive reviews from Italian film critics, yet audiences flocked to see the monster from the deep finally in colour. In selected cinemas it had additional special feature that when Godzilla took a step the seats would rumble creating a bigger immersive experience for the viewer. The movie soldiered on in Italian cinemas for a couple more months and was then withdrawn; at the time, no home entertainment existed (VHS and Betamax were a while off yet) for its lifespan to continue.

So with all this Godzilla talk, where is the Cozzilla? Where is it possible to watch it? The answer is: virtually nowhere. In-the-know traders have sold and exchanged copies on worn out VHS tapes that were converted to DVD-Rs. This version is from the 16mm print (they even included reel announcements beforehand), but it cuts off towards the end without the film's ultimate resolution. The now defunct website wtf-film.com was given a copy in 2008, which it restored as best possible – the source copy was recorded from TV with lots of video interference. The site even added subtitles to the film, and uploaded its version of Cozzilla to Google Video; sadly, it has since been removed and the site is now archive only.

In 2013, exploderbutton.com received several moments of the ending of Cozzilla that had never previously been seen on the bootleg copies floating around the trading tables. Long since thought lost, this end segment gives as much an ending as possible but still see’s the finale cut before the end credits can roll – giving no conclusion to the question of whether or not humanity has been saved.

This still leaves Luigi’s Godzilla without an official release in this age of DVD and Blu-ray restorations of classic and cult films. But why? Well the answer seems to now lie at the door of Italian distribution house Yamato Video, specialists in importing Japanese animation to Europe. It is believed that it owns a copy of the original colourised 35mm film negative. Intending to package it as a double DVD release along with the original Americanised release, this never materialised and has since faded into just a rumour. It’s unclear as to if Toho Studios (the original Godzilla production house) has a copy, but as Cozzi basterdised its version, I wouldn’t expect them to be too happy putting out a film that doesn’t show their work in the greatest of offerings. Cozzi is keeping very quiet as to if he may have a copy stored away at his home or in the clutter of the Deep Red Store, a retail shop he co-owns in Rome with Italian Giallo master Dario Argento.

This crazy, bizarre, psychedelic edition of Godzilla appears destined to be consigned to the bootleg versions. It’s a shame to see the first ever colourised version of Godzilla is unlikely to receive an official release. It’s looking increasingly likely that the real Godzilla will appear before a Cozzilla DVD/Blu-ray will hit the shelves.

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Studio Ghibli interview: BFI curator Justin Johnson

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 10/05/2014 - 15:32

It this two-part interview, Screenjabber's Mark Searby speak to Justin Johnson, the curator of the Studio Ghibli season at the BFI. He gives us his insight into the animated world of Ghibli, including the latest release The Wind Rises.

SYNOPSIS | As Studio Ghibli nears its 30th birthday, and Hayao Miyazaki’s long-awaited and hotly anticipated final film arrives in UK cinemas, BFI Southbank launches a two-month complete retrospective of their remarkably innovative animated features, with a number of films screening from brand new DCPs.

The Studio Ghibli season runs at BFI Southbank in April-May 2014

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A film screening? I'll drink to that

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 07/05/2014 - 18:44

By Hannah Smith

For those of you who read the reviews on this website, or other film websites – shhhh, as if there are ‘other’ film websites – let me tell you a bit about what it costs the people who write the reviews.

“Why are you staying late?” Asks my boss.
“I have a screening to go to” I reply.
“Show off.”

It does sound glamorous; I have a ‘screening’ to go to. Tell me what you picture when I say that word? ‘Screening’ - champagne glasses, red carpet, people dressed like Carrie in Sex and the City?

The first screening I went to didn’t even have wine. Know what made that worse? There was another screening taking place at the same time and they had wine. They also had biscuits – the fuckers. They also had a really insecure and annoying man who had to talk to everyone.

The review for the first film I watched at a screening (without wine) has not yet been published; the release date has not been announced (probably because there won’t be one). For all of your sakes, one can only hope. I spent more than half of the film analysing the many ways in which the main character demonstrated walking, while simultaneously trying not to die of actual boredom. It could happen people, I know it could.

Luckily the other two have had wine. For wine read one plastic cup. Show me the glamour, Cuba Gooding Junior. Show me the glamour.

So I settle down with a plastic glass of cheap wine, a sweaty mess because I have come straight from work and try to enjoy the moments of silence. This lasts one entire second. You see, one of the worst parts of these screenings is that ‘other’ people bring guests. I couldn’t imagine hating anyone enough to want to put them through the ordeal. But it’s free films I hear you cry! Sure, of course, who can afford the cinema these days? I get it, that’s a perk…until you’re watching the worst film you’ve ever seen and you’d pay more than your weekly wage to make it end faster. That’s this week. And then next week, it’s worse still. And worse. And worse – dear Lord when will this torture end?

However, like all stories there are moments of highs – well all stories that haven’t been green lit for production by some film company. Occasionally you get a good one. My second screening had wine, in an actual glass, AND an entertaining film. PR people, you are spoiling me. I’d seen the posters for the film and wasn’t at all sure. If it wasn’t free I wouldn’t have seen it, but I have and I’m happy to implore you to pay good money to see it. And that’s the point, isn’t it? I’m here to tell you what to pay to see and what to avoid as if your life depended on it - people can die of boredom, I promise you. The problem is 99.9% of the films I’ve had the pleasure of watching, you should avoid.

The small plastic glass of wine and the free ticket is no compensation for time. Time is precious. And I have a whole bottle of cheap wine at home. And a glass, sure, I have one wine glass, I am just one person. I’ll tell you what else I have at home … an off button. I also have a pile of bad films that need to be watched, again, so I can save your life. LIFE people, this is life or death. Okay, it’s bottle of wine or cinema ticket but don’t pretend that is not a VITAL service. And we do it, for you.

My plastic glass drains, the lights dim and my hopes fade away. At least this means the ‘other’ people with guests have to stop talking. 

It's one whole minute late and people are still talking, really loudly. Time is precious. The film begins … fucking hell, it’s subtitled and I’ve forgotten my bloody glasses.

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