Avatar first. Boring. I fell asleep for forty minutes during it and woke up in the cinema still bored. Sure, the effects were good, but you get used to them after the first five minutes and then you’re left with a tired story-line lifted from Pocahontas and World of Warcraft. The planet never seemed real and the scale was all wrong. The American invaders so over the top and unpleasant, they were a parody. I just felt ripped off. Like I did when I saw Titanic and realized I’d fallen for the hype.
Inglorious Basterds…! Don’t get me started. I’m not a fan of gratuitous violence and I hated Kill Bill, but yet again I fell for the hype, only to realize straight away that Tarantino is getting away with murder. Of modern history mostly. The whole thing was just such a pile of pants. I know there’s the argument that film-making is supposed to provoke a reaction in the audience, but outrage wasn’t the emotion I was looking for. I was seriously tempted to write and ask for my money back.
The Hurt Locker – well, I guess it’s America’s way of feeling good about the war in Iraq, but I just didn’t care. It posed in parts as docudrama but the characters never felt like anything other than actors. Guy Pearce was the only good thing about it and he lasted less than ten minutes. Ralph Fiennes, a supposed special forces operative, stranded in full view of the enemy because – wait for it – his mate had thrown a wrench at someone! – hammed it up so much, it was like he’d been in the desert since The English Patient.
Maybe I’m just being pernickety because I’m a writer and during my viewing journey plot holes jump out at me as clearly as pot holes, but it annoys me that these hugely hyped, expensive films aren’t better, when Americans are SO good when it comes to the TV series.
Oh, how I love American TV series. You see, I am a total addict of the DVD box set.
Then there was all of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is genius. The Shield saw me through writing Platinum because the plot pace was so fab. There was a lot to learn too from The Wire with its totally believable characters and Mad Men with such awesome character development. Cameron, Tarantino and Bigelow take note please.
Californication seasons one and two brought sunshine into my January. And let’s face it, if I ever did get to chat with Kirsty on Desert Island Discs, my one luxury would be a DVD player loaded with the whole of The Sopranos. I still miss Tony like a fun, but naughty dead uncle.
My latest addiction is Harper’s Island. We’re saving the last two episodes for tonight. Oh it’s good. So good. There’ll only be one series sadly, as most of the characters get killed off, but it’s impossible to predict who’s for the chop. The episodes are fabulously named after the sound of each death ‘Ka-Blam’, ‘Sploosh’, ‘Gurgle’. You an imagine. No, actually you can’t. It’s much better. Go see.